George C. Stoney, American documentary filmmaker and public access cable television lobbyist, has died at the age of 96.
As reported by the New York Times over the weekend, Stoney passed away on July 12 in Manhattan.
Stoney’s directing credits included 1952′s All My Babies: A Midwife’s Own Story, which was selected by the Library of Congress for permanent preservation in the National Film Registry in 2002; Occupation, a doc on Canadian students who took over a McGill University building in 1970, ; and 1995′s The Uprising of ’34, about the legacy of a textile workers strike crushed by factory owners.
Often credited as the “Father of Public Access Television,” Stoney co-founded the National Federation of Local Cable Programmers, and advocated that citizens should have access to the airwaves via cable, which was added to U.S. federal communications law in 1984.
He was on the board of directors for the Alliance for Community Media (ACM) and was teaching at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts in his last years.
“George has been a wonderful mentor and role model to several generations of journalists, filmmakers, and free speech advocates,” said ACM executive director Sylvia Strobel. “His loss will be keenly felt by many in the media industry. We express our deepest sympathies to George’s family and friends.”