IN: Losing public access TV harmed right to free speech

Posted on February 26, 2008 - 12:30pm.

from: The Times

Losing public access TV harmed right to free speech

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 | No comments posted.

One by one, the Comcast public access TV studios in Mishawaka, Portage, Merrillville and Hammond were shut down. The significance about the Hammond studio was that live, call-in, powerful programming took place on a weekly basis.

This shutdown happened because the state went from local franchising to state franchising. HEA 1279 was signed by the governor, and 42 of the 50 state senators and 79 of the 100 state representatives -- some Democrats, some Republicans -- voted for the bill.

It is my understanding that AT&T and Verizon had a big say in this bill. It is also my understanding that Comcast was not in favor of HEA 1279, but they shut down the studios anyway, even though they could have kept them open.

Public access TV was the most powerful form of free TV available to the public. Northwest Indiana, where our Indiana-based TV media are dwarfed by the Chicago TV media, just got even smaller and cut out the public's right to free speech.

Juan M. Andrade, East Chicago

( categories: AT&T | Comcast | INDIANA | State Franchises )