Letters

Week of December 24, 2003

Mind you, the mystery lady's dialogue is spoken quickly in most spots, and that keeps the show moving along nicely. I concur with Mr. Brown's praise of the cast, crew and directors, but I respectfully disagree with his point about verbosity. It was very satisfying to see a full, intelligent script brought to life by the good people of the Rep.
Bill Townsend
Pacific

More Humbug
You can say that again: I just want to set the record straight on a few things that were mentioned in the dhTV sidebar to Mike Seely's "Rattle and Humbug" cover story [December 3]. First, it was mentioned that some think that dhTV is a "sinking Titanic" and that it is taking away from the money given by KDHX members for KDHX radio. This is not true. If a member pledges money to KDHX, the money goes to support KDHX, not dhTV. dhTV is supported by Charter Communications and grants.

Second, there was comparison between KDHX and dhTV in terms of "members." Membership is currently not our main goal for dhTV, so it is unfair to base our success on that alone. Our efforts right now are concentrated on improving dhTV -- making it a valuable resource for the community, a place for those interested in media to learn TV and filmmaking techniques and have access to equipment.

dhTV aims to give the people of our community a chance to learn the craft of TV and video and provides them a forum to showcase their work. It may never match the viewing ratings of PBS, but that is not the only goal. Can you wander down to KETC, submit an application and have your own show? dhTV is the only place in the city where St. Louisans have the chance to use this medium that is being swallowed up by corporate conglomerates.

Our loftier goal for dhTV is to have it become the home of documentary filmmaking in St. Louis. In the immediate future, we will be helping producers create documentaries about such important local topics as the history of black radio in St. Louis, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing project, the recycling industry and homeless shelters. Our plan is to not only have these projects air on dhTV, but to be screened in public theaters. I believe that many of the projects that we assist independent producers with will not only have an impact on St. Louis, but on a national level as well.

We also have a new initiative called "City Visions," which is, in essence, creating a resource center for local filmmakers. The initiative includes free filmmaking workshops with nationally known filmmakers, a documentary salon where 25 or 30 documentary filmmakers get together once a month to screen and discuss work, an on-line gallery of local short films, the TV show Behind the Lens (which features short films from independent St. Louis producers and a support program for filmmakers that gives them the resources and help they need to complete their short projects.)

The Double Helix Corporation's mission is to foster community participation, knowledge and training in and through mass media. Under the leadership of executive director Beverly Hacker, dhTV is succeeding at that mission -- and is on the road to do much more.
Doug Whyte, development director
Double Helix Corporation
St. Louis

dhTV in black and white: I have been a Double Helix volunteer along with my whole family since 1995 on the television side. I have been a community producer since 1997 and have produced two black shows during this time. I have been an associate member since 1996. People like Lee Whitfield and Tony Renner are racist and don't like the television station because it once catered to the black citizens of the city of St. Louis with most of the programs, unlike the radio station, which caters to the white community. The TV station was meant to teach the citizens of this city about mass media and the programs produced were local. Now it's for college students, and the local community producers have been pushed aside.
Jerry Bey
St. Louis

Hats off to Bev: I am the host of Beyond Barriers -- not "Borders" as Mike Seely incorrectly wrote in his sidebar on dhTV. It is the only show of its kind that addresses issues and services of the disability community. There are many city residents who need and want services. My hat is off to Bev Hacker and the board, as well as other staff and community producers, for improving the quality of programs for Double Helix. Thanks to Paul Dever and my crew for all their support, as well.
Tom Evans Jr.
St. Louis

Defending Donna: Your article about KDHX didn't have too many inaccuracies. However, I was on the board when Donna Kirkpatrick resigned. That's all she did: She resigned. No commentary was directed at her; she responded to nothing. She just resigned. "Grinding inefficiency" probably most characterizes her tenure there.

As far as Double Helix is concerned, the proof is in the results. Both radio and TV are in far, far better working condition than either has ever been. The fact that TV is working at all is some kind of miracle.
Emily Horton
St. Louis

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