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Broadcast Policy

Government Access Channel Policy – College Park TV 23

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the operation and programming of the City of College Park’s government access cable channel – TV-23.

Scope: This policy outlines the mission and operating parameters of TV-23, and provides guidance on programming selection, restricted programming, minimum technical standards, and operating procedures.

Introduction: TV-23 is a 24-hour Government Access channel programmed and operated by the City of College Park. TV-23 is restricted to use by the City of College Park and its defined government partners (Attachment A); it is not available for use by the general public. TV-23 is operated by the Public Information and Marketing Department (PIO), under the direction of the City Manager’s Office and the College Park City Council.

Mission: The mission of TV-23 is to provide direct information concerning City government deliberations, functions, services, programs, and activities. TV-23 can also be used to share information about not-for-profit organizations based inside the city limits, as well as the deliberations and decision-making processes of the City’s defined government partners.

Objectives: TV-23 is used to distribute and share information about City government, programs, and services, as well as the deliberations of the City’s government partners. Specific objectives include:

A. Provide comprehensive, information about programs, services, and events provided by or sponsored by the City of College Park.

B. Provide reliable, accurate and timely information about City government and services.

C. Provide accurate health-life-safety and other educational information that helps meet a City, Council, or department goal or mission.

D. Work with the City’s government partners to telecast programming that informs, educates, or encourages participation in that government body’s decision-making processes.

E. Ensure that all TV-23 programming meets broadcast-quality technical standards.

Programming Types Defined

The following different forms of programming may be telecast on TV-23, provided such programming meets all the requirements of this policy:

A. City Produced Programming – Recorded programming produced under the direction of City staff. This includes programs on City departments, services, programs, issues, activities, or projects associated with the City that use public dollars.

City Sponsored Programming -- Programming produced by an outside agency which supports a City, Council, or department mission or goal, as determined by the Public Information Officer. See the “Programming Selection Guidelines” section of this policy for more detailed information about selecting appropriate City sponsored programming.

Government Partner Programming –
Programming submitted by a defined government partner who informs, educates, or encourages participation in that government body’s decision making processes. Government partners may also submit other types of programming (ie. non-deliberation or decision making related) for the City to review for possible telecast on TV-23. Government partner programming submissions which do not automatically qualify for telecast by the guidelines set forth above in this paragraph, must be reviewed and approved by the Public Information Officer, and support a City, Council, or department mission or goal as determined by the EMT member if all four of these criteria are satisfied, the program will be recognized as a City-sponsored program and may be submitted to PIO staff for telecast as outlined in this policy.

Bulletin Board -- A character-generator Bulletin Board system is maintained by TV-23 to promote City, City-sponsored, and government partner meetings, events, activities, and information. Written Bulletin Board submissions must be provided to PIO staff at least five business days in advance of the event. This service is available for use by the City and its not-for-profit based city organizations, and defined government partners.

Programming Priorities

During normal programming hours, TV-23 airs general information for public consumption. However, during emergencies, programming may be allocated in this order:

A. Emergency Services - In the event of an emergency, TV-23 will be made available as needed and emergency information shall have priority over all other programming. PIO staff will work with City and community emergency services to coordinate the use and programming of the channel during emergencies.

B. City Produced Programming and Government Partner Programming

C. Bulletin Board information, including zip code based weather, traffic and messages

Programming Selection Guidelines

Programming selected for telecast on TV-23 must be carefully evaluated and determined to meet the needs of the City and its citizens. Telecast of any program shall be on a space-available basis per the discretion of PIO staff, taking into consideration time, space, resource availability, and the programming goals set forth in this policy. The following criteria must be met when selecting programming for TV-23:

A. Programming must help meet a defined goal or mission of the City, City department, or the City Council.

B. All rights and clearances to telecast the program on TV-23 must be secured in writing.

C. Programming quality must meet the minimum technical standard requirements as outlined in Attachment B.

General Categories of Programming

The City of College Park airs both text-based (“character-generated”) programming as well as audio-video programming. The programming must fall within one or more of the following general categories of programming:

A. Announcements or programs concerning emergencies and other timely issues that affect public safety and health in the community

B. Programs and meetings which inform the public of the facilities, services and programs offered to the citizens of the City of College Park.

C. Programs that highlight the cultural and historic resources of the City of College Park

1. Public service announcements (one minute or less in length) if submitted by City Government only.
2. Auto-derived programming customized for 30337 and 30349 (inside College Park city limits) zip code.

Restricted Programming

The City of College Park and TV-23 adhere to all standards imposed by the Federal Communications Commission, by prevailing community standards, and by applicable federal, state, and local laws. TV-23 will not telecast:

A. Paid advertising or any program that depicts a product, business and/or service that has the purpose of benefiting a profit-making enterprise. Programming grants, underwriting, and/or sponsorships are not considered advertising so long as the following three conditions are satisfied:

1. The underwriter has no editorial control over the program.

2. The viewing public cannot reasonably perceive that the underwriter has exercised editorial control over the program.

3. The viewing public cannot reasonably conclude that the program is being telecast principally because it promotes the underwriter's products, services or other business interests.

B. Promotions of any political candidates or issue. TV-23 is not to be used to build support for a particular ballot issue or candidate for public office. Declared candidates for any elective office and persons advocating any cause, viewpoint, or proposed policy will not be eligible to appear on the channel within 90 days of the election date, with these explicit exceptions:

1. A non-partisan forum in which all candidates or sides of an issues are invited to participate.

2. Appearance in a bona fide news program or documentary.

3. A televised public meeting or event in which the candidate’s appearance is incidental or unrelated to election or ballot issues.

4. Officials performing their normally assigned duties during regularly televised public meetings.

C. Programming that fails to meet the minimum technical standards.

D. Programming that promotes any particular religion, religious group or belief, cult, special interest or hate group.

E. Any material that includes or constitutes: libel, slander, invasion of privacy, violations or infringements of trademarks or copyrights, obscene, or salacious material. Programs containing copyrighted materials will only be telecast if copyright clearance and permissions have been secured in writing.

F. A lottery as defined by the Federal Communication Commission regulations or any advertisement of or information concerning a lottery.

G. Any material which violates applicable federal, state or local laws.

Editing Policies

Programming and Bulletin Board announcements submitted for telecast on TV-23 may be edited by PIO staff with the following guidelines:

A. City Produced Programming – Any pre-recorded program produced under the direction of City staff can be modified and edited as needed to adhere to the requirements and restrictions of this POLICY. The finished program must be approved by PIO office before it will be telecast on TV-23.

B. Pre-Produced Programming - Any outside programming provided may be modified and edited as appropriate to adhere to the requirements of this POLICY or as dictated by scheduling and/or staffing requirements. If the program is copyrighted, the copyright holder’s approval must be obtained for any and all edits before the edited version of the program may be telecast on TV-23.

C. Bulletin Board - Any message or information submitted for placement on the Bulletin Board may be freely edited by City staff for clarity, content, conciseness, and readability. Submissions are due at least five business days prior to the requested starting date or event. The City reserves the right to reject Bulletin Board submissions that do not meet the deadline requirement or when equipment and/or staffing limitations prevent them from being placed on the system. The City bears no responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided by its government partners.

Ownership and Retention of Recordings

All City-produced recordings are the property of and copyrighted by the City of College Park. Recordings of City meetings are intended for telecasting and archival purposes only. They shall not be considered an official record of any meeting and therefore there shall be no liability for inadvertent erasure or omissions caused by technical malfunctions or operator error. Recordings of all telecast meetings will be maintained by the City until either the City no longer possesses the equipment or technical capability to playback said recordings or the recording media is no longer viable (damaged, disintegrated, obsolete, or otherwise unusable).

Except to the extent required by law, it shall not be the responsibility of the City of College Park to retain any video programming that is broadcast, or submitted for broadcast on TV-23. Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is recognized that certain videos may be kept on file by the City of College Park and reused in future broadcasts if proper permission is secured.

Duplication Requests

It is not the policy of the Public Information Officer and TV-23 to produce copies of broadcasts airing on CP TV-23. Archival materials are kept in accordance with FCC regulations. The general public should expect to make duplications with personal equipment. By Federal law, the City cannot make copies of programs that is does not own the copyright to; including programming produced by outside agencies or the City’s government partners.

No Assurance of Broadcast

Whether the City of College Park will cablecast any particular audio-only programming is in the sole discretion of PIO, and no assurance is either expressed or implied of such broadcast as a result of these policies.

Equipment and Facilities Use

TV-23 audio/visual production equipment and facilities are to be used only for the production of City or City-sponsored meetings, events, and activities. Loaning, renting, or use of the equipment for personal or commercial use is strictly prohibited.