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The Frost Hijack

Friends Nº 20 December 11 1970

The Statement

Issued by the Underground Press Syndicate, which includes the Alternative Television Movement. UPS readership in UK is over one million. This statement is based on information and current research by UPS, ATM and IRAT (Institute for Research in Art and Technology).

Dated 10th November 1970, London.

The hijacking of the Frost programme by media guerillas last Saturday is the direct result of young people being denied access to television. No TV company has available to it statistics relating to age/occupation and leisure activity preferences. JICTAR ratings are a fake: they don't recognise minority groups. According to JICTAR minority groups don't exist.

Consequently our interests and life-style are being misrepresented both in media and in Government. The reaction of the press to the Frost programme is typical. Daily Sketch: are these people fools or fanatics, let's hear your views. And from within the TV industry, an ITA director: television is dynamite... and we're leaving it around for any idiot with a match.

We are neither fools nor fanatics nor idiots. We are people who know what we want and we will disrupt any attempt to block or misrepresent our views.

What we want is media time proportional to our population density, to use the way we decide. Time in the TV studios open to any group wishing to participate. If there aren't enough stations with enough time, amend the broadcastings acts to allow for the setting up of local community TV stations using both cable and broadcast. The plans are already drawn up and there is almost no expenditure needed on capital equipment.

We want to do one thing, politicise our people by informing them about the life-style they are part of and by polarising at public points the conflict in the capitalist society.

We are going to do this two ways: by providing truthful information and tactically combating false information. With the White Panthers we showed live broadcast TV for the sham it is. Now we are getting the equipment so that the next time we get our time we will be able to plug our own programme directly into the transmitter.

The first stage in getting this has been achieved by a merger of TVX and Paradise Productions to form a TV programming collective called "Vision", with the objectives of:

  • 1. To create programming appropriate to today's social and political climate, with special attention to the needs of minorities unrepresented both in Parliament and in Media Programming. To exert maximum pressure to get these programmes broadcast.

  • 2. To support the international Alternative Television Movement in association with co-workers in all five continents.

  • 3. To research technological developments and their applications to accelerated social improvement, with special reference to the development of Community Television Services.

  • 4. To create programmes specifically for the Video cassette market, which will be fully operative in five years time.

Within three months we hope to be able to present our material to broadcast companies and the content will probably give rise to the question "Why won't you broadcast it?"

We are committed to getting the problems of minority groups aired. You know our tactics, so you know what that means.

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