The silencing of freedom of speech on public access television in Los Angeles and many other cities by local and state officials in collusion with giant corporations is an attack on the freedom of everyone.
In the measured language of Wikipedia, “Public Access was created to provide a free-speech forum, open to all on a first-come, first-served basis without discrimination or favoritism based on content.”
In the more passionate language of that time 40 years ago when public access television was born, the theory was simple:
Public access empowered every individual, every community of interest to give voice to their ideas, values and experiences on television for all to see and hear unfettered by government or corporate control.
People like the father of public access, George Stoney, a film studies professor and documentary filmmaker, saw how government had granted monopolies of the broadcast airwaves and cable systems to corporations that controlled the content. (See interview with George Stoney - hint: select "Broadband Video" under viewer)
In the fervor of the late1960s, the Public Broadcasting System and public access TV were born, opening up the power of TV to the free exchange of ideas.
It was a great leap forward for freedom of speech in America, but its future was always in doubt, always under threat.
Almost from the beginning, limits were imposed on public access and finally in recent years laws enacted by the State of California and the City of Los Angeles have shut down public access entirely.
This is a denial of the First Amendment, a betrayal of the Constitution.
Click headline to read more and access the resources at the P-TIC website--