The League of Women Voters has for a long time supported the concept of a statewide public affairs station accountable not to any political faction or special interests, but to the entire public. We would be hearing from all viewpoints on forums and panel discussions. We’d be fed facts and complete information and not distortions and half truths or outright omissions. HI-SCAN sounds good.
Currently, if we want to have something aired on the access stations in all of the counties, we need to arrange for it individually with each station. Under a HI-SCAN system, this would not be necessary.
As DCCA proceeds to develop a plan for a statewide system, however, it needs to heed the advice of the 2004 report and get the representatives of stakeholders together such as the cable operator, government agencies, PEG entities, community organizations, etc. to discuss some of the issues involved in bringing such a program to fruition.
The active participation of the present PEG access organizations in the process is important, for they’ve worked at making a niche for themselves in their respective communities, and they have increasingly been able to reach out and fill the public’s need for platforms for free expression and the need for information on community issues and in political contests. We need to be sensitive to the challenges they may face in adapting to their changing roles.
We urge you to support this bill. Thank you for this opportunity to testify.