Spring 2003

The Commonwealth Broadband Collaborative and the Premiere of "First Tuesday"
by Peter Miller

Community media and technology programming, integrating multi-site videoconferencing, simultaneously cablecast over community cable access stations throughout eastern Massachusetts and web cast everywhere the Internet is available, with live-time chat and available as video-on-demand—many of the dynamic features of Commonwealth Broadband Collaborative programs were developed over the preceding two years and reported upon by Reebee Garofalo in his winter '02 article on "The Greater Boston Broadband Network (GBBN): An Innovative University-Community Partnership." Coalition partner organizations have been developing this state-of-the-art model since the inception of the CTC VISTA Project in the fall of '00, in part as an educational opportunity for their VISTAs.

Steve Provizer Nettrice Gaskins
"First Tuesday Co-Hosts"
Steve Provizer
Nettrice Gaskins

When the GBBN transformed itself on the cusp of the new year, emerging from intense in-person and online conversations and planning discussions, reborn as the Commonwealth Broadband Collaborative (www.cbcmedia.net), there was new energy and direction in the quantum leap that such a change suggests. And that change is most concretely seen in the development of a pilot monthly television and web cast show, building upon the kind of programsming developed earlier with Alan Shaw (on Technical Literacy, Civic Engagement and Social Empowerment), Charlotte Ryan (on media literacy—Drive-by Shooting: Race and Class in Mainstream News), George Stoney and Toni Stone (on the Origins of the Community Cable Access and Technology Centers Movements), and available in the CBC archives.

"First Tuesday," in contrast with the more traditional academic didacticism of the earlier productions, is more dynamic, fast-faced, entertaining in style. With hosts Steve Provizer and Nettrice Gaskins introducing segments separated by a music and graphic multi-media opening, closing, and PSA roll-ins and transitions, the CBC is establishing a radically new kind of public space that extends well beyond the single community cable access station show on which it builds.  The February 4th premiere featured The CBC has begun distributing other locally-produced affiliated programs on other Tuesdays; March 18th premiered the first "Other Tuesday" program, a show initially cablecast on Cambridge Community TV on "The Internet and Grassroots Democracy."

In February the project was highlighted as one of the new innovations in broadband applications development, being featured at the Broadband Forum hosted by the Alliance for Public Technology at the Washington Press Club on February 21st and highlighted in their joint report with the Benton Foundation on broadband development.

With lots of initial volunteer/donated time, talent, expertise, and effort and a budget of approximately $500 per show, CBC is in the midst of facing a series of challenges and opportunities for this kind of project that is sure to grow—developing production team coordination and cohesion; guidelines and procedures for "other Tuesday" programming, growing participation and membership; technical specifications and network infrastructure; fundraising proposals.  Stay tuned.

Peter Miller is on the CBC Coordinating Committee and produces "First Tuesday."


"First Tuesday" premieres live February 4, 12:30-1:30 E.S.T.

On your community cable access station in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Malden, Lowell and everywhere on the web at www.cbcmedia.net (with a live-time chat option)

Brought to you by:
The Commonwealth Broadband Collaborative (formerly, the Greater Boston Broadband Network)

Hosted by:
Steve Provizer, Allston-Brighton Free Radio, and Citizens Media Corp and Nettrice Gaskins, Boston Neighborhood Network Multimedia Center and Adjunct Faculty, Community Media and Technology Program, UMass/Boston.

The first show will cover:

  • The September 21, 2002 Conference on "Media, Technology, and Social Change: Broadening the Base, Building the Movement" -- A Retrospective
  • Remembering Antonia Stone, founder, Playing to Win and the Community Technology Centers' Network (CTCNet
  • The Earned Income Tax Credit Program -- a refundable federal tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. With millions of dollars going unclaimed, learn how people can easily apply, what Boston is doing that's special, and how community technology centers are starting to help.

Save the Date flyer

For more information on the CTC VISTA Project, 2003-2004 program, check out the most recent update in the announcement section of the project home page; see also the current CTC VISTA Update newsletter.

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