ASSOCIATION OF CABLE ACCESS PRODUCERS
(STATUS REPORT - SHORT SUMMARY)
Public Access Cable Television & ACAP -Unique Institutions to be celebrated by all.
1. Began around 1970 – with historically first ever significant input by “Civil Society” representatives of “The People” rather than only Private Sector (Corporate) and/or Governmental (Tax and Spend) - the traditionally recognized "Legitimate" Entities & Loci of Power & Influence. Unique social, political & economics made it possible.
2. Sidney W. Dean Jr. & other Public Access pioneers represented Civil Society interests.
3. Were able to achieve franchising procedure templates which as a price of being grated a franchise – that "license to print money" - in the words of Lord Beaverbrook - required cable companies to provide funds out of corporate earnings for effective Multi-Media production & distribution capability to “PEG” access entities. The (P) in the acronym stands for Public (The People - That’s us - Unique & Historically NEW!) as well as the more established & recognized “E” for Educational & “G” for Government Institutions.
4. It Set up & accepted as a matter of Law encumbrances on Corporate Cable Television
Private Sector Corporation’s ability to retain ALL earnings (net of Taxes imposed by Government entities - the “normally” accepted dialectic - as is the case for virtually all other aspects of the Economy) for their own “feasibility” models informing their investment decisions & priorities, relatively modest provision for “the people”.
5. Both capital cost and operating funds for Public Access Cable Television entities are thus derived from the legally supported payments of “Franchise” obligations from profits of Cable Companies. Uniquely in the case of the Public (the “P” in the PEG acronym) this is – it is proposed – totally unique to all Mediated communications through time & presently. It did NOT apply with: Cave Wall Paintings, Cuneiform Clay Tablets, Papyrus, Vellum, Smoke Signals, Carrier Pigeons, Pony Express, Broadsheets, Newspapers, Magazines, Telegraph, Radio, Local Television, National Network Television, Satellite Delivered Global Television, Listener Supported Radio and Television (leaving for the moment the implications of the Computer & Internet) which compels us - in our interest - to emphasis and Proudly celebrate the PIONEERING and TOTALLY UNIQUE quality of PUBLIC ACCESS CABLE TELEVISION – & the producer members of A.C.A.P.!
6. We should recognize that UNIQUE democratizing event now imbued with institution support & recognized as “accepted law”- a small but potentially crucial opening providing “The People” with the means to participate on a reasonably competitive playing field in communications for the first time ever. Many might want to challenge or even obviate that PUBLIC provision – We must not allow that to happen. Indeed it (and we) might well represent “The Means of Communications” which could extend that idea to the rest of the National & World Economy to the much more inclusive “Means of Production” which have been Historically - & Remain – Plutocratic & all but totally exempt.
REAL democracy may be “in the air” – hallmark of the dawning new liberating Zeitgeist.
THE WORLD AT LARGE – INCULDING ALL OUR COMPATRATES IN OPEN SOURCE CYBER REALMS – OUGHT NOTE WELL THE PIONEEEING A.C.A.P