In May of 2009, I became a public access television producer. Couldn’t have picked a worse time.
Not because I don’t enjoy hosting and co-producing Media News. It’s a great joy to interview guests and try to shed a little light on the issues closest to my heart including: net neutrality and the digital divide, coverage of turmoil abroad and at home, the loss of local public affairs coverage and the rise in citizen journalism. I feel privileged to bring voices that need to be heard onto my local TV dial.
The reason it was bad timing is that the nation’s more than 3,000 public access centers are on the verge of extinction. Yours may go next week, next month or next year, but their days are numbered due to statewide cable franchising.
For many, who switched to cable and satellite services with thousands of channels, no big deal. But for some, who still jiggle rabbit ear antennas, the switch is a problem, forcing them to replace their televisions, subscribe to cable service they may not be able to afford, or buy and install a converter box using a government coupon. The people most affected by the change are often elderly, disabled, on fixed incomes or from non-English speaking households. Continue reading The Day TV Goes Away: The Digital Television Transition→
The Obama administration has taken a lot of heat recently for declaring war on Fox News, including from Chronicle columnist Debra J. Saunders. And it’s true that you can’t have presidential staffers ducking press inquiries. But media lies and distortions are another ball game entirely. Let’s look at the record: Continue reading Fox News Is No News Outlet→
Media coverage plays a crucial role in educating the public on disability issues. It could–and should–be helping people understand that these are civil-rights issues. But more often than not, reporting on disability perpetuates negative stereotypes or fails to tell the story from the perspective of people with disabilities. Continue reading REPORTING ON DISABILITY, by Suzanne C. Levine→