By Hakim Bellamy of Media Literacy Project / Reposted from medialiteracyproject.org
It seems that the wave of support from media justice advocates across the country has helped to progress the situation of Albuquerque-based, public access television non-profit Quote-UnQuote Inc. Combined with a staff that has worked relentlessly to keep the channels from going dark and overwhelming community support, Quote-UnQuote has led an inspired resistance to a recommendation from a City ad –hoc committee to award the public access contract to a for-profit entity. The direct communication campaign by national partners and the local movement’s (including the Occupy movement) vigilant protection of access to free speech in Albuquerque has put the City Administration on notice.
With the entity that won the committee’s recommendation unprepared to assume the contract on January 1 (raising more concerns about the RFP process and how it was awarded to an company that could not meet the deliverables that they committed to in their winning proposal), the City of Albuquerque granted Quote-UnQuote a three month extension that is set to expire at the end of March.
The extension allowed more time for Quote-UnQuote and their legal team to dig further, ultimately discovering that the City of Albuquerque had unnecessarily created an ad-hoc committee to administer the RFP process. There is an already existing body within city government that is ordained to handle matters involving any large contracts related to cable television service in Albuquerque. That body is called the Cable Franchise & Hearing Board. Quote-UnQuote promptly updated the Cable Franchise & Hearing Board on the status of the RFP process and encouraged the board to exercise their authority to oversee the process. This resolution was approved at the City of Albuquerque Cable Franchise & Hearing Board on Monday, February 13.
As the Media Action Grassroots Network anchor for New Mexico, we would like to thank our media justice partners across the country for providing research, mobilization and support for Quote-UnQuote. As a MAG-Net general member, Quote-UnQuote has been a strong ally to Media Literacy Project and has continually worked for an equitable and socially just media environment in New Mexico.
There is more work to do! Quote-UnQuote will continue to need our help. Please visit Quote-UnQuote.org for status updates and calls for action.