By Zane Blaney, Access San Francisco
One of San Francisco’s most valuable telecommunications assets, its two public access channels worth $66 million each and its $2 million production facility are scheduled to be substantially defunded on June 30, 2009.
This is the result of the end of the Comcast Cable Franchise four-year extension and the passage of the AT&T inspired Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act (DIVCA), the state-wide video franchising law.
The loss to the public access operations budget is approximately $590,000+. This funding decrease will eliminate public access as we know it.
• Already 14 public access stations in Los Angeles have been eliminated due to DIVCA and all stations in California are gravely threatened.
• It is critical that the Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Board of Supervisors understand that importance of this free speech forum and the value it has in the community. Access SF is calling on the Mayor and the Supervisors to find a funding solution.
• Public Access in San Francisco has been a free speech forum for 30 years and continues to benefit the arts community with local coverage and promotion of organizations and events.
• Every year citizens produce over 2,500 hours of community-based, grassroots programming and thousands of San Franciscans and community organizations use the station, located at 1720 Market Street, to access its equipment and workshops to make their own television shows.
Access SF, the management organization for public access, has created the SOS (Save Our Station) Coalition. The mission statement is:
“The members of the SOS (Save Our Station) Coalition urge the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Mayor Gavin Newsom to seek solutions to provide sustainable and realistic funding for San Francisco’s public access station, known as Access SF. The SOS Coalition believes a robust public access community media center, which has a 30 year history in San Francisco, provides important opportunities for community-based organizations and individuals to exercise their free speech.
“Public access serves the entire community and is a critical work force development site providing significant media services and training to marginalized and disenfranchised communities. It is also the primary local television outlet for San Francisco community groups and individuals involved with youth, seniors, the disabled, labor, faith, culture, ethnic diversity, politics, social justice, the peace movement, the environment, the arts and many more.”
Access SF urges community media arts and other arts organizations to join the coalition and support this local media resource. If you have questions concerning the coalition please contact the Access SF executive director, Zane Blaney, at:
zane =AT= accessf.org, 415-575-4943
San Francisco Community Television Corporation
dba Access San Francisco
Astound Cable Channels 29 & 30
AT&T Channel 99
Comcast Cable Channels 29 & 76
Access World – www.accessf.org
1720 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
“Without Access There Is No Access”