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B-TV’s position clarified

Brian D. Scott
Monday May 20, 2002

To the Editor: 

I wanted to comment on the opening line in the May 14 article written by Kurtis Alexander regarding the City Council item under consideration to move adult programming on channel 25 to after midnight. Although I was not directly quoted, Mr. Alexander incorrectly extrapolated this opening line from our conversation. During our conversation I did state that Berkeley Community Media should not be expected to be the moral conscience of the community. I stated that we were prohibited from censoring programming and that these decisions regarding obscenity needed to be a matter of law and not personal predilection. The FCC regulations on airing of sensitive content are extremely vague and require a community standard to determine whether content may be considered "obscene" and therefore unlawful. I feel that open dialogue about what program content may be considered obscene and what may be merely offensive to some viewers is essential to assure that the First Amendment is protected while at the same time providing a mechanism to properly deal with unlawful programming, for instance child pornography. Ultimately, community responsibility for content on our access station is vital to accurately represent Berkeley residents. I applaud the efforts of all Berkeley residents who get involved in access television and invite anyone with opinions on either side of this issue to come down to Berkeley Community Media and B-TV. 


-Brian D. Scott 

Executive Director, 

Berkeley Community Media