Friday, July 27, 2018

The Dem Primary debates will be televised ... the Mayor finally says

As most of you know the League of Women Voters Framingham is sponsoring the debate of the Democratic Party candidates on Aug 20th. Steph has sent numerous e mails and made phone calls about the Government Channel covering this event at the main branch of the Library. Giombetti and Cannon were in favor, but no word from the Mayor. FINALLY.. today, the COO let Steph know that the Gov Access group will be recording this event. televised.

As a side bar: The last year we were at Town Meeting, we approved funding for the Library to have the main room modified into a real studio. Of coarse, this has not happened yet. The bid just went out according to Mark over at the Library. I was against this upgrade to the room and spoke in length to Mark about it. He really didn't understand the complexity of a full blown TV studio and it's operation. He told me that staffers would be running the studio and I was just flabbergasted. You don't just walk in and start running switcher, cameras, sound boards and lighting.. there's significant training in all the disciplines to make decent quality TV.  My concern is that Ron Rego from Gov Access has anything to do with this, as he has clearly shown over the years, he just doesn't know and relies on outside firms to make the call. Clearly evident is the new set up for the Council meetings and all meetings that go on in there. The mics are constantly cutting out and the sound in the room is not consistent leaving the attendance asking, what did she/he say? Viewers at home just switch to another channel.

But this issue of what Gov TV covers goes way way back... it's ok for Gov TV to produce shows with Giomebetti in them (Framingham Today) and it's ok to cover the marathon with Mike Bower , or a concert in the Library, but it's not ok for Gov TV to produce debates and candidate forums...  and where is the Cable Advisory Committee you ask?.. their to afraid to even get involved. Our PEG stations need an overhaul and to be one entity, not the three that are now.
I've railed on this for years and years at Town Meeting, and now that there's a COO, looks like I have to start over with him. As you read their statement of purpose

The Government Channel will provide coverage of public events and community affair events that increase public understanding of Framingham Town Government and the diverse community it serves.

Aren't debates or candidate forums increasing public understanding of Framingham I ask you?

From the COO:
The Mayor has agreed to sponsor the recording of the State Representative election debate being held at the Framingham Main Public Library on Monday, August 20, 2018, in order for the event to be recorded by the Government Access Channel. According to the policy set in place by the former Board of Selectmen, this is not normally the type of event for the Government Access Channel. Given the unique circumstances for this election for one of the State Representative seats that represents Framingham, the Mayor’s decision is to make sure the election is widely known to the public in order to increase participation. It is also dependent upon legal review to ensure there are no violations with campaign laws.

According to the Policy on Government Access Programing, effective as of April 1, 2016, the primary mission of the Government Channel network is to provide live gavel-to-gavel coverage of Board of Selectmen, Planning Board and Framingham Town Meetings. The Government Channel will also provide coverage of other boards and committees of the Town when an agenda item is of high interest to the Framingham community. The Government Channel will provide coverage of public events and community affair events that increase public understanding of Framingham Town Government and the diverse community it serves. Any coverage beyond government meetings is also dependent on the availability of staff resources.

The Mayor’s office will be reviewing and updating the policy to make it consistent with the new city form of government and to clarify the role of the Government Access Channel as compared to the Public Access and Education Access Channels for programing requests.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have.


Thatcher W. Kezer III


At July 27, 2018 at 8:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was there every a question of whether they would do it. Isn't that their mission?

At July 27, 2018 at 8:30 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Let me be clearer.. Ron Rego said no 10 days ago... that's when Steph contacted Cannon, Thatcher and Giombetti. And keep in mind, Gov Access did our debates last year in the Great Hall. So they can do this stuff.. if someone tells them to do so.
I hope we all agree.. they exist because we pay them 300,000 a year (from our cable fee's) to do just government related programming.
Unfortunately my attempts at fixing our access channels have not gone to far. Mainly because of Giombetti and his ego.

At July 27, 2018 at 8:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can't blame Dennis for everything. H was not even a selectman for the last several years. The blame is in poor management of department heads, first by the town manager and now by the mayor


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