'Real' News Is the News They Want Told

RECEIVED Wed., March 29, 2006

Dear Editor,
    We have this to say regarding Wells Dunbar's reporting on PACT – Public Access Community Television (“Naked City,” “Improper Appearances,” March 24) [News]. First, the “news” about the DA indictment of the former executive director of the former nonprofit that managed Austin's public access community TV station is actually old business. The Statesman stories from which Wells' news capsule was gleaned dates back to Feb. 3 and 4. Second, the former nonprofit, Austin Community Access Center Inc., (erroneously called Austin Community Television in the article) has not technically disbanded. They in fact are still dealing with the fall-out of mismanaged funds.
    The real and current news about Public Access Community Television last week, covered quite well by News 8 Austin, was that after six months of negotiation PACT and the city officially signed the contract that puts PACT in charge as managers of the access center at 1143 Northwestern Ave. ... and that PACT's Executive Director Linda Litowsky was the associate producer for OilCrash – a film that debuted at SXSW. ... and that PACT staff person Ross Wilsey had his work featured in SXSW. ... and that the Accessibility Internet Rally redesigned PACT's Web site, completed just in advance of SXSW. ... and that from March 16 to 18 on Channel 16, PACT cable cast 50 Austin bands as part of its musical showcase called East By South East (EXSE), bands like Lucid Dementia, Austin's third Best Punk Band in the Austin Music Awards.
    It is a sad story about the former executive director's theft of funds. It was important for the Statesman and Chronicle to inform their readers about this. But there are exciting and substantial changes happening for the better at what is now Public Access Community Television (cable channels 10, 11, and 16). That story must be told as well.
Linda Litowsky, executive director
Garry Wilkison, general manager
   [News Editor Michael King responds: The “Naked City” "news capsule" the PACT managers cite in fact reported an indictment announced by the Travis Co. district attorney on March 15; the story is also mentioned briefly among a list of matters uncovered by the city auditor over the last couple of years, in an article about City Council and the city auditor, not community access television under its various pseudonyms. We are, however, simply fascinated to learn of our correspondents' personal film projects, and that PACT has recently redesigned its Web site.]
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