VIDEO Why is Jim Fella Editing Anything?

School Board workshop meeting discuss Jim Fella and TV 3

TV-3 MEETING -Thurs., June 18, 5: 00 PM

By: Pat Hunter

June 15, 2009

The Loudon County Community Channel TV-3 Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday June 18th at 5:00 PM at the TV-3 Studio located at the side entrance behind the fenced area of the Loudon County Tech Center, 4380 Harrison Rd., Lenoir City. The public is asked to attend and express their opinions about the current practice of editing public comment at the end of public meetings.

Video editing is the process of modifying segments or re-arranging video to form another piece of video. The Station manager denies editing segments from re-broadcast public meetings but the proof is in the pudding. TV-3 edited the end of May 4th Commission meeting, picking and choosing who would be seen and heard. At the end of the meeting, Chairman Bledsoe asked for public comments of non-agenda items but his comments were edited. When I spoke about TV-3 and censorship issues, my comments were also edited out. Commissioner Bob Franke spoke afterward, he agreed that public comments were part of the business meeting and his comments were also edited, as were the comments of Chairman Bledsoe who asked for a 2nd time if anyone wanted to speak on non-agenda items. But, when Mayor Doyle Arp followed the three speakers, his comments were not edited by the TV-3 censor. 

In a News Sentinel article, Nick Pavlis, government relations director for Charter Communications and a former Knoxville City Council member was quoted as saying "... in his years of experience at public television stations across the state, he has never heard of such a policy. "I've never heard of a station shutting down the camera during public comments," he said."

"Fella said he had spoken with representatives of the five organizations that provide funding for the station, including Loudon County Commission, the county school board, Lenoir City Council, the Lenoir City school board and the city of Loudon. None of the organizations has a problem or concern with the policy of not including public comments, Fella said."

At the May 7th, School Board workshop meeting, School Board member Lisa Russell brought up TV-3's airing of school board meetings. School Board member Van Shaver asked, why is Jim Fella (TV-3 station manager) editing anything? No vote was taken by the previous School Board requesting that TV-3 edit public comments at school board meetings yet Fella claims that he spoke to someone. Shaver asked other school board members and he also asked Director Honeycutt and his secretary if they told Fella to edit public comments from school board meetings; all shook their heads in a no motion.Video Clip Why is Jim Fella editing anything? 

The station manager wants everyone to think that he is only following the directives of some officials but who are these officials and where are the minutes and votes by local government or agencies who requested that TV-3 edit (cut out) public comments at the end of public meetings? 

Should Loudon County TV-3 continue to receive public funding when the advisory committee doesn't want to hear from the public? Is TV-3 working at the detriment of the public?