Media & Communications
Where’s the Outcry Over Reviving TV News Censorship, Ex-NBC Exec Asks? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 20 September 2012 08:18

While recent protests over proposed legislation addressing media entertainment piracy were loud and widespread, a veteran TV executive says the public seems unaware of an even greater threat to our free speech and a free press.

“People voiced concern about whether SOPA and PIPA (the House and Senate piracy bills) would limit free speech on the Internet. But the resurrection of television’s old Fairness Doctrine, so government could again edit and censor news is a far more ominous threat,” says Corydon B. Dunham, former 25-year NBC-TV executive and author of Government Control of News: A Constitutional Challenge.

“The Federal Communications Commission has drafted a new policy for government control of news.  And even though a special study last year recommended that such a censorship policy be scrapped, it’s still pending, with the potential for action. Frankly, I’m surprised there is no outcry or debate about this political threat to distort news and speech and suppress them.”

The FCC’s proposed new Localism, Balance and Diversity Doctrine mirrors many aspects of the long-dead Fairness Doctrine, he says. That doctrine was revoked in 1987 when the FCC and the courts found that it had suppressed news, chilled speech, imposed censorship, prevented criticism of the administration then in office, and created an atmosphere of “timidity and fear.”

“The new localism doctrine is very similar.” Dunham says. “It would force television stations to provide government ‘localism’ in news production and coverage – as well as revise news reports to comply with government dictates on news balance and viewpoint diversity. Failure to comply could mean loss of the station license to broadcast.

“It may sound good to some people, but in the past, government investigations and regulation enforcement deterred news broadcasts about public and political issues. to keep their broadcast licenses, stations had to conform their news and political reports to what they believed FCC commissioners would approve or revise news reports to what the commissioners did approve.

“The FCC itself finally revoked that doctrine as against the public interest. Since the FCC is planning to transfer to the internet the broadcast spectrum now used by local TV, news websites ultimately could fall under the new Internet rules.”

Here are some highlights of the old doctrine and the new one:

• The Fairness Doctrine ruled TV news broadcasters from 1949 to 1987. Believing that the communication power of this, at the time, new medium concentrated great power in few hands, the government mandated that broadcast stations provide what the FCC would decide and dictate as  appropriate “contrasting view” coverage.

• Under the Localism Doctrine, enforcement would not only be the job of the FCC, but also of a local board added at each station to monitor programming, including news. the members of that board would be required to recommend against a station’s license renewal if  they thought station programming news was not complying with this new FCC  policy on localism, balance and diversity.

• Under localism rules, a three-vote majority of five politically appointed FCC commissioners at a central government agency would make local news judgments. They would override independent, local TV reporters and editors to impose government agency views on what should be reported and how.

“This new policy, if activated, would directly target news and speech on television and enable an administration to use news coverage to manipulate and influence public opinion about important public and political issues,” Dunham says. “The effect would inevitably be something quite different from independent news.”

That isn’t speculation, Dunham notes. It’s history.

About Corydon B. Dunham

Corydon B. Dunham is a Harvard Law School graduate. His Government Control of News study was initiated at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institute, and expanded and developed for the Corydon B. Dunham Fellowship for the First Amendment at Harvard Law School and the Dunham Open Forum for First Amendment Values at Bowdoin College. Dunham was an executive at NBC from 1965 to 1990. He oversaw legal and government matters and broadcast standards. He was on the board of directors of the National Television Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Corporate Counsel Association, and American Arbitration Association among other posts.

 
Want to Make Movies? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 17 September 2012 07:18
Award-Winning Director Gives Tips for Ambitious Amateurs

Because technology is moving so quickly, it’s easy to miss out on gadgets that may impact one’s life.

“Anyone with a cell phone knows how accessible taking pictures and shooting footage is nowadays, but with a minimum of investment, movie fans can tell their own stories with the same professional hardware that legends are using today,” says seasoned filmmaker Kerstin Karlhuber.

She completed her latest project, “Tides of the Heart” (www.silentgiantproductions.com), in collaboration with partner and renowned songwriter Daniel Jay Paul.

“It’s a feature-length music video – there’s no dialogue. The story is told completely through the music and Kerstin’s direction,” says Paul, whose latest album, “Clean Getaway” (www.danieljaypaul.com), not only makes up much of the score for the film, but also structures the plot.

“With the technology available today, you can really afford to experiment and innovate. That’s what keeps pushing the artistry to the next level,” he says.

Karlhuber and Paul offer suggestions for creative-minded individuals who have been kicking around ideas, but haven’t yet pulled the trigger on a project:

• The Canon EOS 5D Mark III: Canon v. Nikon … who cares? The point is that the big dogs in the film business, from James Cameron to Neill Blomkamp of indie-film success story, “District 9,” are using digital gear that can be purchased by the average movie fan. The sharpest, crispest picture in the history of images can tell your story for a few thousand dollars.

• Adobe, CyberLink, Final Cut Pro, etc.: Film editing software, more than ever, is cheap, user-friendly and easy to acquire. There are several tutorial demonstrations available online, and if you need to come up with ideas for a project brainstorm with friends or family. That’s half the fun.

• Getting started: Sadly, most of the failure of creative projects – whether film, music, art or writing – involves work-ethic issues, or lack of confidence. Ask the following questions: How long have I been thinking about my idea? Is my vision doable? What’s keeping me from pursuing it? … And, perhaps the most insightful question – Why not?

• A little help from your friends: Chances are that if you’re a creative person, you have a few creative buddies who can help you troubleshoot concepts and technical issues. Lean on your artistic friends for moral support – they understand the struggle of the creative process. The same people may be a good source for constructive criticism, too, when the project is nearing completion.

• Consider trends: Karlhuber’s film has no dialogue and relies solely on Paul’s songs for sound. The most recent Oscar winner for best picture, “The Artist,” also features no dialogue, relying on old-school Hollywood visual drama. While this is a coincidence, Karlhuber says it has helped her film gain attention. “If your creative ideas happen to line up with a trending topic, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of the public’s zeitgeist,” she says.

About Kerstin Karlhuber & Daniel Jay Paul

Kerstin Karlhuber is an award-winning filmmaker and director. Her work in the arts has been seen around the world, from off-Broadway to Cannes, the Arclight Theater in Los Angeles to a segment on “Good Morning America.” She is the founder and director of the film production company Silent Giant Productions based in New York City.

Daniel Jay Paul is a songwriter who recently released “Clean Getaway” on the Sunlight Communication Arts label. His songs have been described by Music Express’ Marcus Wright as “music you hear with your heart ….” Paul is the author of the novel “The Last Sunset.”

 
Eleven Years Ago PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Chaz Czinder   
Friday, 14 September 2012 14:31
2-hour documentary. Stop and restart as you have time to watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgUvOnlErn4&feature=related

 
You Will Find Joy PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Sam Newton   
Friday, 07 September 2012 12:48
The Greatest Book every written! It has something for everyone; humor, pathos, romance, treachery, history, tragedy, feats of daring do. The Bible is undeniably the widest read and published book in the world. But really, something for everyone?

Many years ago I began reading “The Upper Room” as a daily devotional. I soon found numerous Bible passages spoke to me, like a primer or a guide. For example, in Psalms 24:12-14 David asks ‘Do you want long life and happiness? Then keep from speaking evil and do good; strive for peace with all your heart’. I began categorizing passages like this, so when someone said ‘I just don’t see how the Bible applies to my life’ the gauntlet was unknowingly thrown down and I picked it up resolutely. Thus You Will Find Joy came to life. And a unique life it is. Not a dogmatic tome, more a self-help manual, a way anyone can open up their lives.

Joy is unique because of its categorized biblical treatment. It is organized so whatever your situation you can easily find a Bible verse to help you.

My aim in putting together Joy is to spread the word our lives can be filled with joy, no matter what life brings. For the Bible really is:

Basic
Instruction
Before
Leaving
Earth

Contact Nancy Newton for further information. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , phone 563-322-7456

Part of the proceeds from sale of the book will benefit disaster relief in the US.

Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and many fine bookstores. Published through Inspiring Voice, a division of “Guideposts” magazine.

 
Announcing the David R. Collins Children’s Literature Festival on October 2nd! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Steve Hart   
Friday, 07 September 2012 12:44

The 2012 David R. Collins Children’s Literature Festival is set for October 2nd at the Davenport River Center and promises a day full of literary adventures. This year’s festival features Cheryl Harness, author of historical fiction, Rick Eugene magician extraordinaire, and seven other enthusiastic authors. All third, fourth, fifth, and sixth graders from schools or home schools in the Mississippi Valley area are invited to experience the magic of the written word from 8:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. on October 2nd at a cost of $5 each. There must be one adult supervisor for every 10 students. Scholarships are available for schools or students who are unable to pay. The deadline for registrations is September 18th, but space is limited so register soon!

The featured presenter, Cheryl Harness, is an author and illustrator from central Missouri whose impressive repertoire of over 40 ghost stories and historical books have titillated young audiences for years. Funny and talented, she will demonstrate her process of researching, writing, and illustrating the ideas the pop into her head. All students will get to experience Harness’ enthusiastic presentation as well as magician Rick Eugene’s tricks and illusions.

Other presenters include Ryan Collins and Belinda Holbrook, both back by popular demand for their interactive presentations that encourage students to engage with literature as both readers and writers. A new group of presenters include non-fiction experts, poets, illustrators, and science aficionados and feature such names as Leone Castell Anderson, Eileen Boggess, Deb Bowen, Michael Graf, and Jill Esbaum. With such a wide array of professional interests, there will certainly be something for everyone.

In addition to the presentations, children will have the opportunity to shop for their favorite presenters’ books as well as others. All children will receive a free book along with other giveaways.

Contact Joan Walton by phone at 563-391-2738 or by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for information and registration materials for your school. More information along with a registration form and Festival brochure are also available at www.midwestwritingcenter.org under the “Events and Opportunities” tab.

The 2012 David R. Collins Children’s Literature Festival would not be possible without its partners, the Davenport Public Library, Bi-State Literacy Council, and the Midwest Writing Center; or it grantors, The Riverboat Development Authority, Scott County Regional Authority, and The Moline Foundation.

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