autumn's blog

Bingo, BBQ, Net Neutrality

By Autumn Labbé-Renault

This column was originally published in The Davis Enterprise Aug. 26, 2010.

It’s nearly September and as we all know, that heralds a season of intense activity in our community. In addition to a full complement of activities and programming here at the media center, I’m pleased to announce the following events:


Each second Sunday, those philanthropic Davis Odd Fellows organize a bingo benefit for a local non-profit. We’re thrilled that Davis Media Access/KDRT 95.7 F has been chosen as the beneficiary of the Sept. 12 bingo at the Odd Fellows’ Hall, located at 415 Second Street in Davis. Community members, friends, and family are encouraged and welcomed to come for an afternoon of fun playing Davis bingo, and benefiting community radio. For more information please visit

We thank the Odd Fellows for their continued partnership and wonderful support of community organizations.

What, exactly, is the future of media?


This column was originally published in The Davis Enterprise on May 27, 2010.

I’ve written about media policy for nearly 15 years and can say I sometimes feel jaded. But put the words “state-run” in front of the word media, and I’ll admit surprise.

To provide some context, let me first recap the past few months. Media conglomerate Comcast proposed to merge with other media conglomerate NBC.  Partially in response, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been holding a series of public meetings to solicit public comment on its media ownership rules, as well as the impact of technological changes on journalism.

The FCC is tasked with being the public watchdog on such issues, and with evaluating media ownership rules to promote competition and diversity in local media markets. Though the proposed Comcast-NBC merger has been a nexus for criticism, there’s been a slow, steady erosion of media diversity in this country for decades. With each consolidation, jobs are lost, along with local perspectives.  What happens to democracy when local stories go uncovered or are limited in their perspective? This sort of question keeps me awake at night.


DCTV Programming Now Online

This column published May 2, 2010 in The Davis Enterprise, Hometown media are rare, and Davis has many. I think that says a lot about our community. I've written about community media and media policy for The Enterprise since Feb. 1996 and thank them for an enduring partnership and years of coverage.

By Autumn Labbé-Renault

There are thousands of hours of social-interest content being produced each day at community media centers across the country, but this content has been disproportionately absent from new media platforms such as YouTube. Challenged by dwindling funding, detrimental legislation and constantly changing technology, these typically small non-profit centers have had difficulty adapting to the significant workflow required to upload and manage large quantities of video online.

Media demographics have shifted significantly over the years. People still watch TV (consider Comcast, AT&T and Dish Network all vying for their market share), but a growing audience asks our staff at Davis Media Access (DMA) ‘’Why can’t you put this content online?”   Until now, the tools available to us required encoding and uploading to outside video file sharing hosts and consumed large amounts of staff time. We’ve been uploading some content, but we’ve been limited. 

All that is now changing. I’m proud to announce DMA has completed Phase 1 of our participation in the Open Media Project with the launch of a new video-sharing website for Davis Community Television (DCTV).


PEG Access Media left out of FCC discussions

The FCC is now holding hearings re: "Workshop on Public and Other Noncommercial Media in the Digital Era." Public access media is not included in this discussion! This is a great time to get these words: PEG -- Public Access TV -- Community TV -- Community Radio -- Community Media in front of the panelists and the FCC.... Be sure to mention the Alliance for Community Media and the work the ACM has done for decades to help create local media and educate people on how to do this. Mention DMA as a great example of community media in action!


DMA assists Davis Schools Foundation with video contest

Davis Schools Foundation "School Matters!" Video Contest for DJUSD Students:

What is it?
An opportunity for Davis students, grades K through 12, to spotlight
their creativity by producing 90-second (or shorter) Public Service
Announcement videos. Working in groups of up to four, students can
either work under the guidance of staff members from Davis Media Access
at one of two workshops, or can produce the videos on their own. Entries
must be submitted to Davis Media Access by May 7, 2010.


Of media tools & instruction manuals

Of media tools & instruction manuals

By Autumn Labbé-Renault

Special to The Enterprise

This column originally appeared in The Davis Enterprise Feb. 26, 2009

I saw “The Lightning Thief” this past weekend, which may explain my analogy of contemporary media to a Hydra, that multi-headed Greek mythological beast that, if decapitated, grows a few more heads to replace what was severed.


Free Speech Compromised

By Autumn Labbé-Renault

This article was originally published in The Davis Enterprise Jan. 31, 2010.

In conversation with community media colleagues from a seven-state region last week, a  hot topic was the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Jan. 21 in Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission ( Free speech advocates all, we took issue with the decision that equates corporate-financed campaign speech as protected, and wipes out over 100 years of laws designed to curb corporate influence on state and national elections.


Amy Goodman event a success!

[img_assist|nid=203|title=goodman|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=132|height=200] On Nov. 20, noted journalist Amy Goodman shared with a capacity crowd at UC Davis her unique perspective gleaned from 13 years hosting “Democracy Now!”, as well as selections from her new book Breaking the Sound Barrier (Haymarket Books, 2009). I’ve long admired her work, so it was a thrill to meet her and to hear her resounding support for our community’s independent media outlets. I also enjoyed meeting Denis Moyihan, who's worked with Amy for years on the show and column, and edited this most recent book. Goodman appeared the same night as students were occupying Dutton Hall on campus. She called...


Community Access Preservation Act of 2009

Davis Media Access
Board of Directors

HR 3745, the Community Access Preservation Act

WHEREAS, public, educational and government (PEG) channels play a significant role in the City of Davis and Yolo County, are a unique and valuable resource for local information and debate on issues for the residents of Yolo County and the City of Davis; and


Flu Season, Sofa Film School & More

This column was originally published in The Davis Enterprise on Sept. 24,2009

It’s flu season, and as the first seasonal flu works it way through my household, I’m all too aware of what that means. Davis Media Access (DMA) just finished shooting a three-minute PSA with the Yolo County Health Department. The PSA was created to raise awareness of both the seasonal flu and novel H1N1 virus, and outlines steps for prevention and care.

20/20: Meeting a challenge pledge by June 30

Davis Media Access (DMA) is nearing completion of the 20/20 Campaign, our fundraiser launched in Oct. 2008 that celebrates 20 years of community media in Davis. With a goal of raising $20k before June 30, we are asking community members for a donation of $20 or more in recognition of DMA's 20 years of service. 20/20 donations help provide support for youth media services, KDRT-LP 95.7 FM, Open Media Sessions and much more.

At the end of May, DMA received a pledge of $5k, bringing our total raised to $16,790. We will secure that pledge if we raise matching funds before June 30. As of June 5, we've received $3k in matching challenge funds!

Sunny Shine provided the pledge specifically in recognition of DMA’s work with youth, from high school internships and volunteer opportunities, to Kid Vid camps, to youth radio and documentary making. We thank Sunny for her generous support, as well as everyone who has contributed to DMA. We are gratified by such strong and diverse community support. This is the first time we've run a fund raising campaign that was not specifically for KDRT, though KDRT listeners from Utah, Oregon, Florida and New Jersey have sent donations!

DMA’s partnerships with the City of Davis and DJUSD enable us to run a media center, ensuring community members’ access to equipment and training. Through these, DMA manages public access channel 15 and educational access channel 17 on the Comcast system, as well as their related websites. We round out offerings with trainings in digital media, topical workshops, participation in open source projects, grassroots low-power FM radio, local productions, event coverage, and advocacy and information for broader media issues.

Our list of supporters is growing daily. Won't you please join us? Thanks very much for your support & interest!