Keep Us Connected: The first salvo in the big Illinois media fight of 2007

Posted by Mitchell - February 21, 2007 (entry 525)

The big fight for the future of the media in Illinois is the future over state video franchises in the wake of the forthcoming rewrite of the Illinois Telecommunications Act. At stake is the future of community media in Chicago and across the state, which could be drained of funding and organizational support. We've been discussing it on this website and there's also been some coverage elsewhere.

The legislation hasn't dropped (yet), but there is one positive development in the struggle already -- the formation of a very cool coalition to which CMA is a charter member, the Keep Us Connected coalition. If you're part of a group that uses community or public access TV, consider joining the coalition and spreading the word.

There's more on the way: a helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions is also in the works, which will be posted to the CMA website and elsewhere. Plus there's an public action in the works in Chicago on Wednesday, March 14. More details will be posted here when they're made available. Nope. Change of plans: Read more here.

UPDATE: The bill has just been introduced.

UPDATE TWO: This Thursday, March 8, the Illinois House Telecommunications Committee will vote on Illinois House Bill 1500. If passed, this bill would shut down public access TV stations across the state of Illinois, which would deprive a great many community and activist organizations of a number of key media outlets.

House Bill 1500 is the focus of an emergency call of action across Illinois. Please act today and contact your Illinois State Representative and ask them to oppose House Bill 1500, or visit this webpage.

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