Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Things that ought not to be on TV

So I have to admit that in flipping channels while making dinner I looked in the Pittsburgh city channel. Seeing a number of unknown faces I realized it was not City Council but the Pittsburgh Cable Communications Advisory Committee.

I have written about QUBE TV and the origins of cable TV in the city of Pittsburgh, which is also the genesis of this committee. So I may have been the single person in the city with just enough interest to see what these folks are up to. There actually are some important issues this committee in particular could be at least talking about. But no.....

What did I learn? The committee spent most of its time debating how to record it's own minutes. No joke. There was a brief, and I mean brief, discussion of thinking about a New York Times article on cable rates. Then some discussion of whether that could itself be part of the minutes. Then at the end some more debate over whether the committee received $5 or $15 a month as stipend to cover parking/travel costs.

Seriously, it was painful to watch and quite embarrassing. I'm the first one to argue for transparency and all of that, but if you are going to be on TV even with a 0.1 Arbitron rating, have a plan will you. Its hard to imagine that given all the changes going on in the telecommunications world there just isn't anything to even discuss among the group that should be at the nexus of information access and regulation here. Here is a write up from Governing recently on the future of public access television which this commitee has some oversight of here. Some issues that directly affect cable TV here in town are part of the presidential debate already.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do we know who the members of this committee are, and who appointed them?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 9:01:00 PM  

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