Tag Archives: Public Access

LOCAL VOICES MATTER

I certainly would not like to see the Worcester Telegram & Gazette be diminished in any way. Media convergence is happening everywhere and it is NOT in the best interest of local communities. What I see is an increase of corporate agenda and government propaganda. These pose serious threats to media democracy and democracy itself.

Internet, Wireless, and Cable giants are also merging and also forming spin offs that would literally redraw the map of cable services nationwide and again, not necessarily for the best interest of our communities or consumers. With less competition, comes less information,and less points of views, and the potential to influence your brain and spending, voting, and thoughts will be now in control of a very small few and WE ALL will have much less a “soapbox” to speak and share our point of view or to even hear any dissenting view or opinion.

While there are a lot of complicated layers to what is happening in these industries, and along with the added recent mergers and FCC rulings, the key concerns are the likely loss of competitiveness, and more importantly, the degradation of fair and unbiased access to venues to support the free and opened flow of news and information, the obvious decline of true media democracy, loss of local ability to influence higher spheres of society, a widening of the digital divide.

The last thing we need is for our voices and our community media programs to be muted. What would be left? Same high bills, same high taxes, and plenty of corporate and government propaganda to influence our thinking.

Who will be accountable for that?

Mauro DePasquale

 

One reason, out of many, why WCCA TV 13 matters

WCCA TV 13 Programs connects the world with Worcester while making meaningful impact toward peace and non-violent solutions. Congratulations to TV 13 community television producer Virgina Swain for giving us another example why public access television matters.

Enjoy the following article which was written by Melissa McKeon of the Worcester Telegram found in today’s T&G:

January 09. 2013 12:36PM

Cable show offers children worldwide forum

By Melissa McKeon CORRESPONDENT, Worcester Telegram

Virginia Swain will offer children across the world a forum on her cable TV show “Imagine Worcester and the World.”

WORCESTER.  Ten-year-old Xinyan of China is a lot like other 10-year-olds the world over. She loves her stuffed animals and has her favorite subjects in school (art, calligraphy) and the ones she dislikes (physical education), and she dislikes having too much homework.

But Xinyan will soon join a growing group of children whose voices, if Worcester’s Virginia Swain has her way, will reach across the world on all sorts of topics.

Ms. Swain, the host of the WCCA-TV 13 cable show “Imagine Worcester and the World,” will be giving children the world over the chance to participate in the show and give their opinions on subjects most of us hear about only from the so-called experts.

“For a couple of years now, I’ve been feeling that they’re missing from the public discourse,” Ms. Swain said.

Ms. Swain’s idea to make children part of her show probably has its roots in Ms. Swain’s past experience, teaching children while in the Peace Corps in Liberia. She taught fourth- and sixth-graders and later taught kindergartners.

In recent years, Ms. Swain has worked with the United Nations and has championed world peace causes through the U.N. while operating her own mediation and reconciliation service in Worcester. Hosting her local cable show gives her a forum.

It’s not the first time she’s given children a chance to air their unique viewpoints, either.

Several years ago, Ms. Swain produced a show with Nelson Place School third-graders discussing climate change with former U.N. Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury and his wife.

The students heard about climate change from experts, created images of what climate change did and how it could be changed, and created action plans for the future.

Their imaginings — and the energy they put into it — were powerful, Ms. Swain recalled.

“They were graphing their electric bills, they started to think about doing more bike riding instead of driving, all these paradigm shifts,” she said. “Naturally they affected their families.”

That experience gave Ms. Swain a template for what she’ll be doing with children on “Imagine Worcester” in the next few weeks: using those young imaginations to open a new vision of the world to her audience.

When the children in the Nelson Place School program brought the ideas they brainstormed home to their parents, they changed their own little piece of the world.

Something else Ms. Swain hopes will change is having children speak without the prompting from adults and let their original, unedited ideas find an audience.

In Ms. Swain, they’ll find a receptive audience.

“I don’t have the need for the kids to adopt my view,” she said. “My need is to allow them a voice.”

Ms. Swain plans the program to highlight children older than 7 and to also have a forum for the children who are shy and less able to speak in public. For those children, she plans an imaging project in which the artwork they produce will speak for them.

Paramount for Ms. Swain and foremost in the concerns of many parents is that the children in the program find a safe place, and a safe way to express themselves, in a world that hasn’t always been successful at protecting them. The privacy of the children in the shows will be protected.

The first children’s show will be broadcast in February, Ms. Swain said, and will be accessible to all, not just on Channel 13 in Worcester but also online at http://www.wccatv.com.

What can be gained by listening to children talk? Ms. Swain hopes it will help foster some intergenerational understanding and discussion, but in a way, it’s the children who will be setting the goals here.

For Xinyan, the goal is simple: “If we can talk more, countries will be closer.”

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WCCA TV’s BANDEdge Holiday Special part 2

WCCA TV’s BANDEdge Holiday Special part 2

WCCA TV 13 BandEdge Holiday Special part 2 ( aka Bandedge #39 2012 Holiday Music Festival, part 2) has been posted on the WCCA website for your enjoyment and convenience at
http://www.wccatv.com/video/band-edge/bandedge39
John Marderasian, Paul and Delores, Mauro DePasquale are featured in the spirited episode. If you are looking for a great holiday music gift to give for that music lover special friend, this double DVD set of BandEdge is the perfect gift idea and it can be available as WCCA TV’s gift to you for your donation of $32.00 to the station. Your donation check should be made payable to WCCA TV , 415 Main Street , Worcester, MA. 01608 ( Be sure to mention BandEdge holiday special 2012 in the check memo. Enjoy and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

My Op Ed piece in today’s Telegram

Many people have told me that they recognize WCCA as a community anchor institution that is democracy in action every day. It really is.

My OpEd piece published in today’s telegram may help explain why that is a fact.

Thank you for your support and friendship and please enjoy the holidays.
Mauro

CANDIDATE DEBATE ON WCCA TV 13 For the Democratic Primary State Representative Worcester 15th District

The Democratic Debate 2012 has been posted on the WCCA website

The Democratic Primary Debate 2012 for the 15th District State Rep race.
moderated by City Council members, Phil Palmieri and Sarai Rivera and
WCCA TV Executive Director, Mauro DePasquale, the participating candidates include
Kate Toomey, Diana Biancheria, Mary Keefe and Ralph Perez. Frank Beshai, also a candidate, chose not to attend.

The program is a part of WCCA TV 13′s VOTER EDUCATION programing.

VOTE ON SEPTEMBER 6th (Note the odd date a Thursday ).
Learn Create Connect at WCCA TV 13 “The People’s Channel”

George Stoney, a key founder of the public access television movement, passes away

George Stoney considered by many to be the Father of Public Access television has passed away. He died Thursday evening, July 12th, 2012 surrounded by his family. Village Voice Obit and also more here from his home town paper.

During one of my first years in Public Access, I had the honor of meeting him many many years ago at an Regional gathering of community cable television associates. (The ACM had a different name back them.) He left an indelible impression on me that continues to inspire me throughout my career in the public access television movement.

It didn’t take long for me, through the few conversions I had with him over time, to realize the depth of his commitment to truth.

George’s life time career is epitomizes a soulful and tenacious focus on community, media, inclusiveness and justice. He was a visionary who understood the true potential of broadband which transcends the commercial wasteland that corporate politics and rogue capitalism tends to produce. Taking his students through the streets of NYC teaching the idea that each individual has a meaningful perspective, is important, and can provide a valuable contribution to building his/her own community. I understood that he knew the incredible empowering potential Public Access television, and, in fact, he has seen it flourish through the thousands of public access centers through the USA including WCCA TV. Many of his students are leaders in the public access movement today. He also developed unique documentary methods that people continue to use today, and he did not limit his knowledge and methods to his personal students only, he encouraged the public access movement to remove the mystery from the production process, to empower others and to push community media boundaries without apology because it was the right thing to do.

He was a creator, an advocate for the disenfranchised, a film maker, a teacher, a founder of public access, a consultant when needed, a man loved and respected by many.

My mere words can not express the profound impact George has had on our public access community or to me personally.

He will be missed, but his legacy will continue on.

On behalf of all of us at WCCA TV, we extend our deepest sympathy to his family and friends, along with sincere thanks for ALL his has done to stand tall for communities everywhere and for Public Access. THANK YOU GEORGE.

Mauro DePasquale, WCCA TV 13 “The People’s Channel” +

Say NO to H.4216 This bill would strip exisiting consumer protections from Telephone landline Customers and prohibit State from implementing future protections for wireless consumers

Say NO to MA H.4216 Here is why you want to save consumer protections for wireless users.
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