LA Public Access TV Could Be Less Accessible

LA Weekly’s Patrick Range McDonald documents the saga of public access television in LA:

It goes far beyond that. The normally slow and dithering City Council on December 3 unanimously voted to consolidate their control over public access and squeeze the citizen-producers onto Channel 36, an already jammed station run by the nonprofit L.A. Cable Television Access Corp., which airs noncontroversial content created by groups like University of Southern California or the L.A. World Affairs Council. The city’s rowdy independent producers currently have access to hundreds of hours of free airtime, but must now beg the powers-that-be for a handful of hours on 36.

These developments have gone all but unreported by the media. A December 4 Los Angeles Times article misconstrued what is actually unfolding, accepting City Hall’s false spin – the notion that Villaraigosa and the council, 16 politicians, will let their most intense citizen-critics sound off as before. Even Freepress, a Web site dedicated to coverage of public-access wars, got the story wrong, reporting that the “City Council retreated from their plan to seize public cable channels and studios.”

Give ’em hell, McDonald.