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.

Save the Date: It's a BBQ on the Backlot!

Last year we started a new tradition called BBQ on the Backlot. It's an Open House, replete with food, fun and festivity, and a chance for DMA's volunteers, board, staff (and anyone else who would like to find out about DMA) to enjoy a relaxing evening. The event takes place from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7 and we encourage y'all to come on down. DMA will supply the burgers and dogs (veggie options will be available) and beverages; potluck items and smiles are encouraged. DMA is located at 1623 Fifth Street in Davis.

Nov. 2 election coverage in the works

Local election coverage has been a staple of DMA and its earlier incarnation, Davis Community Television, since the mid 1980s. For the Nov. 2 General Election, we’ll be featuring candidate statements for many local races, as well as special interviews with local electeds at many levels. Andrea Jones and Lea Rosenberg will reprise their role as hosts. Programs will be available on DCTV local cable channel 15, on, and online at

Net Neutrality

And finally, it wouldn’t be my column if I didn’t squeeze in something about the larger media landscape. The Internet and high-speed access to it has become so commonplace as to be taken for granted by many segments of our society, its speed, ease and accessibility giving rise to all sorts of uses for civic and social engagement. 

Media and technology have often been described as disruptive simply because they lend themselves to such democratic participation. (This is far from new, dating back to the development of the printing press.)  And it’s a given that for every action, there is a reaction, usually in the form of forces with more money and political standing trying to quash such participation or at least severely hamper it by creating lots of rules.

Which pretty much summarizes where we are with Google-Verizon’s proposed scenario for “separate but equal Internet” service. The proposal lays out a two-tiered system of Internet access, one for corporations and businesses with enough wherewithal to pay to play; the other for the rest of us.

Google’s involvement, in particular, has created quite a backlash, and it’s not stemming just from the grassroots.  Last week Sen. Al Franken, D-MN, blasted the proposal, calling “net neutrality the First Amendment issue of our time.” Several of his Democratic colleagues have written to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), condemning an industry-centered  policy framework.

Much will unfold in the coming weeks and I’ll be tracking it. To get more information and stay informed, I recommend

Autumn Labbé-Renault is executive director for Davis Media Access, an organization providing access to, and advocacy for, local media. She writes this column monthly. Reach her at