C.A.T. Board: How do you “redefine” yourselves when some of you don’t even know what you are in the first place? | Street Jazz

Monday, March 22, 2010

C.A.T. Board: How do you “redefine” yourselves when some of you don’t even know what you are in the first place?

Posted By on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Fayetteville’s Community Access Television may be one of the few non-profits on the planet where the board members don’t actually have to know too much about the organization they safeguard.

Oh, some can parrot the lines about new technologies which we see quoted from time-to-time in daily papers, but for all of that, there can be an amazing disconnect when you ask a C.A.T. board member:

“What’s on TV this week?”

It seems such a simple question, yet for many C.A.T. board members (and this has been true over the years) the question goes right over their heads. They are no more aware of what is on C.A.T. than they are aware of the weather on the planet Vulcan.

While there have always been producers at C.A.T. who don’t have cable (and thus don’t watch the station) ignorance of what is on the channel is inexcusable for a board member.

For such people, fighting for people’s right to free expression is an abstract idea, something they will fight for to the last canape, or at least until they come face-to-face with something really yucky on public access that they can’t ignore.

At a recent board meeting, one board member assured a potential board member that nothing “vulgar” was allowed on C.A.T. - and no one on the board (even those who had been around the station for a long time) stepped forward to correct her misinformation.

This is, sad to say, an old story. Something “controversial” will air, and some board members will suddenly realize the limits of their devotion to freedom of speech and the First Amendment.

That is why the appearance of the following agenda item at the C.A.T. Board annual retreat last Saturday raised concern among some:

2:15 P.M. The Next Step: Redefining Ourselves

Seen that dog and pony show before, usually from folks on the C.A.T. Board who wake up one day and decide they’d like to be involved with something a little more “prestigious.”

Cuz that First Amendment stuff? It’s okay as long as it’s all fancy speechifying - but sometimes freedom of speech makes me people - especially some public access board members - uncomfortable, and then they have fantasies about “redefining” themselves.

******

Quote of the Day

Perfection never exists in reality but only in our dreams and, if we are foolish enough to think so, in the past. But the notion of perfection is very real and has tremendous power in disparaging whatever is actually at hand. - Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs 

*****

On the Air: C.A.T.  Board Controversy

Monday night at 7pm Sheree Burnett, who has been a vocal critic of the current board of directors of Community Access Television,  will be the guest on my show.

Over the past several months, actions on the part of the C.A.T. Board have prompted a number of C.A.T. producers to file complaints and Freedom of Information Act Requests in order to get information from a board which is perceived in some quarters as destroying morale amongst staff and producers.

C.A.T. Manager Sky Blaylock recently resigned as a result of all of the infighting, and personal attacks against her.

Included on the program will be clips from shows Burnett has produced, which include scenes from C.A.T. board meetings, and a recent special meeting of Fayetteville’s Telecomm Board, in which the spouse of the current C.A.T. Board president claimed that there had been “death threats” made against her.

Show days and times

Monday (7pm)
Tuesday (noon)
Saturday (6pm)

C.A.T. is shown on Channel 18 of the Cox Channel line-up in Fayetteville.  

Those outside the Fayetteville viewing area can see the program online at:                                                                            
http://www.catfayetteville.org/

Programs online are shown in “real time,” meaning that they are shown at the same time as they are shown on C.A.T.

rsdrake@cox.net

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