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Government Access TV Channel Operating Policies

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Adopted: May 17, 2006
Revised: May 2, 2007, February 5, 2014

Section 1. Mission Statement
The mission of the Town of Penfield Government Access Television is to serve the Penfield community by providing access to local town government services and activities; to inform residents on local government issues, and public affairs; and to facilitate the exchange of public information through various forms of electronic communications.

Section 2. Goals
The Town of Penfield Government Access Television (Channel) will accomplish its mission through the following goals:
1) Inform citizens on the operations and activities of Penfield government and its agencies.
2) Increase citizen access to Penfield meetings through televising and webcasts of these sessions.
3) Create a channel identity that citizens recognize as quality informational programming.
4) Provide information about Town services and community events using the electronic bulletin board.
5) Provide video production and audio/visual services to town departments.
6) Act as a source of information during local emergency situations as directed by the Town Public Information and Safety Team.
7) Provide informative public affairs television programs of interest and value to residents of Penfield which are not otherwise available or provided by other sources.
8) Cover public forums and events of concern and interest to residents of Penfield.
9) Create a public library of local programming for historical preservation.
10) Emphasize professional quality in the delivery of programming on the Channel.
11) Ensure that programming is fair, accurate, and balanced, without regard to partisanship or ideology.

Section 3. Programming Categories
To accomplish its mission and goals, PCTV Government Access Channel shall provide programming in the following categories, in order of priority:

1) Public Meeting Coverage
a) The Government Access Channel is responsible for providing television coverage of all regular and special meetings of the Penfield Town Board (legislative and work sessions) and the Penfield Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals, Town Public Hearings, Community Informational meetings and Supervisor’s Address. Coverage of these meetings and addresses shall be the programming priority of the Channel.

b) Coverage of additional meetings will be determined based upon staff and facility capabilities at the discretion of the Director. Public meetings produced by other local governmental and school entities within Town, County, State or Federal institutions will be considered for broadcast.

c) All public meetings will be covered from call-to¬-order to adjournment. The meetings will be replayed in their entirety. Any editing will only occur for the addition of title and credit pages for cable casting of taped replay, and coverage lost due to technical considerations.

d) If a meeting is televised live and goes into “Recess,” the Government Access Channel producer may display a message describing the current status of the meeting or play taped segments during the break.

e) Video and audio recordings of Penfield Town Board meetings are intended for cable casting purposes only and shall not be considered the official record of the meetings.
i) Provision of a copy of the meeting tape does not imply reliance on a complete or error-free duplication of the meeting.
ii) Video copies of the meetings will be retained for a time period pursuant to New York State Record Retention Laws (Records Retention and Disposition Schedule MU-1). Video recordings may be retained for a longer period for video archives.

f) Meeting notices may be submitted to the Government Access Channel for posting on the Bulletin Board System. Notices on PCTV Government Access Channel will not suffice for compliance with public meeting law notices.


2) Electronic Participation
a) Penfield resident and PCTV viewers are provided opportunity to participate in public participation in person or electronically from home during the public participation portion of the advertised meeting agenda. E-Participation (Electronic-Participation) is accepted at Penfield Town Board legislative meetings, Public Hearings, and Informational Meeting or as designated by the meeting moderator or chairpersons. Individuals wishing to speak should be considerate of other speakers by; rising hand, using microphone, limiting comments to items related to discussion or meeting agenda, allow others opportunity to speak before adding additional question.

There are three ways to participate:

i) In Person
Individuals present, may use the podium microphone in the front of the room. Questions or comments are directed to the board or meeting moderator. Each speaker is asked to identify themselves before presenting question or comment.

ii) E-Participation - Phone *
Viewers from home have opportunity to use their telephone to ask a question or make comments to the board or meeting moderator. Calls received at (585) 340-8771 are answered in the order they are received. PCTV staff member will provided you with basic instructions and connect you to the boardroom. Callers are asked to identify themselves, before presenting question or comment.

iii) E-Participation - Online * **
Viewers from home have opportunity to submit questions or comments via the Town of Penfield’s website www.penfield.org / or other designated internet services. Comments and questions received electronically are forwarded to a printer located near the board or moderator for reading.
* Do to technologies, outside the control of the Town of Penfield, PCTV cannot guarantee each communication can be received and/or transmitted to the board. PCTV recommends being present as the best option to communicate with the board or meeting moderator.
** Electronic submitted questions and comments received are shared with the meeting moderator. There are no guarantees that your question or comments will be read in full during live broadcast. Questions or comments that are received and not answered during the live TV broadcast will be shared with the appropriate town staff and elected officials.
Please note comments and question are always welcome. Individuals are encouraged to contact a town staff member or elected official directly with questions or comments during regular business hours, in person, by phone or email. Please refer to www.penfield.org “Contact Information” for a complete list of department email addresses and phone numbers.

3) Emergency Message Programming
a) PCTV Government Access Channel may be used to facilitate communications with residents during an emergency in the Town of Penfield in consultation with the Penfield town safety officer and/or Monroe County Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP).
b) Emergency programming will be subject to staff and facility limitations, and is not intended to substitute for the override of cable programming by the OEP in accordance with Emergency Alert System guidelines.

4) News Magazine Programs
a) A magazine-format series may be produced by PCTV Government Access Channel on a periodic basis as a news and information program.
b) Programs will focus on Town of Penfield issues, special activities, events, and Penfield services.

5) Program Series
a) A program series is a group of television programs produced with the same primary communication objective.
b) The programs in a series should be produced on a regular basis.
c) The Director shall decide which programs to produce as a series, and shall supervise their production and regulate their format and frequency.
d) Programs will focus on Town of Penfield issues, special activities, events, and Penfield services.

6) Special Events Coverage
a) Coverage of special events will be provided based upon the Penfield Community TV (PCTV) annual operating policies, goals and objectives as well as staff and facility availability.
b) Special event coverage may include press conferences, special call meetings or other Town of Penfield sponsored events.

7) Documentaries
a) Documentary-style programs may be produced by the Channel.
b) These programs are to be more in-depth than the magazine-style programming.
c) Programs will focus on Town of Penfield issues, special activities, events, and Penfield services.

8) Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
a) PSAs for government activities and events shall be produced for Penfield departments and agencies.
b) PSAs from other agencies or sources, including local municipalities, will be considered based upon PCTV annual operating policies, goals and objectives as well as staff and facility availability.

9) Electronic Bulletin Board (Character Generator) Programming
a) The Electronic Bulletin Board is for the posting of information pertaining to Penfield government and its agencies. Sources of information or messages displayed on the Electronic Bulletin Board shall be limited to those generated by:
a) Departments or Divisions of Penfield government.
b) Request or publication of Monroe County government.

b) Request or publication of the State of New York government.
ii) Request of government agencies to which departments or divisions of Penfield are affiliated, including (but not limited) to the Town of Penfield Department, Boards and Committees, Special Service Districts, Monroe County, and Monroe County municipalities.
iii) Promotional information about Penfield functions or Penfield-sponsored events.
iv) Notices of an emergency nature.

c) Requests should be received in writing at least one week in advance of the desired start date of airing. Requests may be submitted on available forms or via electronic mail or website. Exceptions apply to messages of an emergency nature that affect residents’ health and safety, which will be included in the display sequence as soon as possible.
d) The Channel’s Staff may edit submitted materials to conform to space and technical limitations.
e) The Electronic Bulletin Board will be shown during non-programming hours.

10) Other Programming
a) Programs may be produced which do not fit into any existing program series. These programs will be considered “specials” and may be of any format. Programs will focus on Town of Penfield issues, special activities, events, and Penfield services.

11) Outside Programming Acquisition
a) Programming may be acquired from organizations or entities other than the Town of Penfield. This programming must meet appropriate technical standards, as determined by the Director, and fit within the mission and goals of the Channel.

Section 4. Program Requests
1) All town department heads or their designee, and Penfield elected officials, are eligible to request programming, or television coverage within the scope of services to be provided by Penfield Government Access Channel.

2) PCTV Government Access Channel is classified as a “Government Access Channel” and not a “Public Access Channel.” A Public Access Channel is designed to air programming by residents, organizations, and civic groups that are outside the scope of the mission and goals of the Government Access Channel. These requests are directed to the Penfield Community TV Policies and Procedures for the Town of Penfield’s Community (Public) Access Channel or the most appropriate cable television company or station in the Monroe County area.

3) PCTV Government Access Channel shall not be used to produce video programming for private or commercial organizations.

4) The Town of Penfield may collaborate with other public agencies and similar organizations to develop programming that further serves the public interest, as determined by the Director in consultation with the Penfield Cable Advisory Board Penfield Town Board, and/or Penfield Town Supervisor.

5) Programming requests may be made by letter, fax or email. Requests for programming will be responded to within thirty (30) days of the request. Penfield departments and agencies requesting a video program must be willing to assist in producing the program if asked to do so. This may include furnishing necessary information, gathering together persons and props to be used in the program, and making on-air presentations as deemed necessary by the Director.

6) The Director is responsible for all programming decisions in accordance with these policies and mission statement.

Section 5. Programming Eligibility
To be eligible for production or broadcasting, programming must fall within the mission and goals of PCTV Government Access Channel and also meet all of the following criteria:

1) The programming shall not include slanderous, lewd, obscene, indecent, or violent material or language. When questions arise as to the admissibility of material or language in this regard, the material will be reviewed subject to state and/or local law, and the FCC definition of “indecent” as “programming that describes or depicts sexual or excretory activities or organs in a patently offensive manner as measured by contemporary community standards for a cable medium.”

2) The programming shall not coerce anyone to support or participate in religion or its exercise, or otherwise act in a way which “establishes a (state) religion or religious faith, or tends to do so.”

3) The programming shall not include paid advertising. The Town of Penfield Government Access Television is a non-commercial channel. Advertising is prohibited. Program sponsors shall only receive credit during the opening and/or closing credits of the Program.

4) The programming shall not include direct appeals to purchase commercial goods or services.

5) The programming shall meet all technical and quality standards, and shall be submitted on a facility supported electronic or media video format.

6) The Programming shall be direct, non-editorial information regarding the operation and deliberations of local government and other public affairs. PCTV Government Access Channel shall not serve as a mechanism for building support for a particular policy, program, or issue.

7) The Programming shall not include declared candidates for elected office. Candidates for elected office may not use PCTV Government Access Channel as a part of a campaign effort. This exclusion does not apply to persons who receive air time as part of official public meeting coverage, candidate forums, special election coverage and coverage of incumbents performing official duties which warrant cable casting.

8) The Programming shall not include copyrighted materials unless written permission has been obtained from the copyright holder. Copyright permission must be obtained for all programs produced by outside sources that are cablecast by the Town of Penfield. Copyrighted music is not permitted unless written permission is obtained from the copyright holder.

9) Opinions expressed on PCTV Government Access Channel may not necessarily reflect those of the Town of Penfield, the Penfield Supervisor, or Penfield staff.

Section 6. Program Copyright
1) All video recordings produced by and used for production of television programs by the staff of the Town of Penfield Government Access Television shall remain the property of the Channel and the Town of Penfield.

2) The Town of Penfield shall hold the copyright on all programs produced primarily for airing on PCTV Government and Community Access Channels.

Section 7. Duplication/Copy Orders
The Government Access Channel will provide copies of programming aired on the channel, subject to the following conditions:
1) Copies will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. Copies will be provided as soon as staff and facility time allows.
2) A fee shall be charged for copying programming as indicated by “PCTV Fees” sheet.
3) Copies of all public, informational, town, zoning and planning board meetings are retained by contacting the Town Clerk’s Office.

Section 8. Government Access Channel Administration
1) The Government Access Channel Office reports to the Office of the Town Supervisor, Penfield Town Board, and Penfield Cable Advisory Board, and is responsible for the following:
a) Implementation and oversight of the production of programming for the Channel.
b) Making programming decisions in accordance with operating policies and in consultation with the Office of the Town Supervisor.
c) Reviewing any appeals regarding decisions made on program requests.
2) Operating policies of the Penfield Government Access Channel may be amended upon approval of the Penfield Town Board.




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