Feb 22, 2009

Prof warns of legislative dangers to public access TV

Public access TV is in danger, writes Jonathan Nichols-Pethick, assistant professor of communication and theatre at DePauw University. Pending legislation in various states threatens to make the local channels extinct. "As media educators, activists, practitioners, and just plain concerned citizens, we need to focus our critical attention on the proper target," he contends, urging readers to take actions including putting pressure on city councils, working with nonprofit organizations that oversee the channels, and encouraging students to produce programs for the stations. His essay is titled, Terminating Public Access Television.

The man inside Big Bird and Oscar speaks

Caroll Spinney, 75, has played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street for the past 40 years. As Sesame Street turns 40, Spinney recalls: "When, I joined Jim [Henson], I asked, 'what is Big Bird like?' He said, 'That's up to you. I'm giving you free reign on developing the character.'"