POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FALLS AREA COMMUNITY TELEVISION - CHANNELS 8 AND 10 1 HOSPITAL COURT BELLOWS FALLS, VERMONT 05101 (802) 463-1613
These procedures are created to insure that the equipment and facilities of Falls Area Community Television (referred to FACT TV) are used in a manner that is consistent with all applicable state and federal policies, regulations and licenses and that ensures fair and equal access for all parties.
The fundamental rationale for the existence of Falls Area Community Television and its two channels, 8 and 10, is to provide public access users with equipment and resources that will enable them to produce quality programming that is of interest and value to the subscribers of the cable systems of Bellows Falls, Grafton, Saxtons River, Athens, Westminster and other communities served by Comcast Cable Corporation or its successors.
Any cable television subscriber to the cable system of Bellows Falls, Grafton, Saxtons River, Athens, Westminster (Comcast Cable Corporation or its successors) shall be entitled to membership permitting them to vote for the Falls Area Community Television Board at the annual meeting. Also, any person who lives, works or attends school within the Greater Falls area, and is not a member of a subscriber household shall be entitled to membership on completion of a monthly average of five (5) hours of volunteer labor for Falls Area Community Television in the preceding six (6) months.
COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD
The Community Bulletin Board will be used between scheduled programs for continuous display of computer-generated graphics containing public service announcements. Local sponsorships will be displayed on the bulletin board and only be used to show business name, logo, establishment photos, contact information and hours of operation. No commercial information such as the following shall be permitted: mention of specific items, products, prices, costs, percentages, or discount information.
General: FACT provides airtime for members, viewers, and subscribers (clients) of the cable systems in local communities to broadcast announcements that promote programs, activities, events, and services of community interest, called “ Public Service Announcements.” Public Service Announcements ( PSA’s) will be displayed on the televised bulletin board.
Format Requirements: PSA’s must be typed in basic font with basic background 52 words or less, with only essential information included (who, what, where, when) Edited, spell-checked, and grammatically correct Additional graphical artwork must be supplied by the client Computer files and video submissions must be delivered by client in an acceptable media format. (contact FACT for information regarding appropriate format (802) 463-1613). Only edited, spell-checked, and grammatically correct PSA’s will be accepted. The staff of FACT reserves the right to require changes to ensure the format is suitable for broadcast. The client will be contacted to edit the format if the PSA is not suitable for broadcast. How to Submit a PSA: Hand delivered to the station: 1 Hospital Court, Suite 7, Bellows Falls, VT Postal Service to: Falls Area Community Television, 1 Hospital Court, Suite 7, Bellows Falls, VT 05101 Email: EMAIL Website: LINK Design, Edit, and Production Services: In keeping with the spirit and mission of public access television to provide all community members access to studio, equipment, and staff to produce quality programming, FACT strongly encourages the clients to design, film, edit, and produce PSA’s. However, FACT management understands that clients may require assistance from time-to-time. If assistance is needed to design, film, edit, or produce PSA‘s, FACT will request a donation for it’s services. The client must be a non-profit organization to be eligible for video production services.
Check with the station manager for specific scheduling policies and procedures. Public access programming will be scheduled on a first-come-first served basis. Falls Area Community Television may limit the use of equipment and channel time by a single user to ensure that these resources are equally and fairly available to all users.
To schedule access time, a user must submit an APPLICATION FOR CABLECASTING OF AN ACCESS PROGRAM form. Such forms will not be accepted or scheduled beyond the station manager’s specified period in advance of the time requested. Falls Area Community Television must receive program media at least five (5) days prior to the requested cable cast date. Falls Area Community Television reserves the right to reschedule any program or equipment use when an emergency message or broadcast requires it. Although Falls Area Community Television makes every effort to cable cast all programs that are scheduled, in the event of technical difficulties or emergency, Falls Area Community Television will reschedule the program at the next available time slot.
Eligible producers may schedule equipment use time by submitting an APPLICATION FOR CABLECASTING OF AN ACCESS PROGRAM to the station manager. Such forms will not be accepted or scheduled more than six months in advance of the time requested. Use of Falls Area Community Television equipment will be scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis. Producers requesting to transport Falls Area Community Television equipment are required to show proof of a valid driver’s license and insurance.
One of the functions of Falls Area Community Television is to offer regular workshops open to cable subscribers and other community members, instructing participants in the operation and use of Falls Area Community Television’s equipment. These workshops will be conducted for a minimal charge (or small) to the participants.
Periodically, training workshops for certification will be held on the following subjects:
* BASIC CAMERA OPERATION: covers the fundamentals of camera setup, operation and care of camera equipment.
* VIDEO EDITING: planning and operation of video editing and title insertion equipment.
Other workshops maybe held as the need arises. Video production workshops may require a fee. Participants who complete a training workshop will be certified by the station and registered to operate and use the equipment of Falls Area Community Television. The station manager will maintain a registration list of certified individuals.
USE OF STATION EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES
Equipment purchased by Falls Area Community Television may be used by cable subscribers to originate and produce programming for use on Falls Area Community Television’s public access channels.
Cable subscribers who have successfully completed the training course through Falls Area Community Television are eligible to use the station’s equipment at no cost. Users under the age of eighteen (18) must have an advisor/producer who will supervise and be responsible for equipment and program content.
The producer is solely financially responsible to ensure that Falls Area Community Television equipment is not left in any vehicle overnight, and will be transported in a lockable, secure, weatherproof vehicle, and that the equipment will not be exposed to an avoidable risk of theft, extreme temperatures, or damage. Falls Area Community Television may decline to authorize equipment use in cases, which represent an unreasonable risk to the equipment.
REPAIR/MAINTENANCE OF EQUIPMENT
Falls Area Community Television will provide maintenance and repair of all station equipment. Producers are requested to immediately report any equipment failure or difficulty of operation to the station manager for repair or replacement. IN NO EVENT IS A PRODUCER TO ATTEMPT TO ALLOW OTHERS TO ATTEMPT TO REPAIR OR MODIFY STATION EQUIPMENT. PRODUCERS WHO VIOLATE OR PERMIT OTHERS TO VIOLATE THIS REGULATION WILL BE DENIED FUTURE USE OF STATION EQUIPMENT.
Falls Area Community Television’s equipment and channels may be used during regularly scheduled times at no cost to the towns of Bellows Falls, Grafton, Saxtons River, Athens Westminster or public access users.
Producers are responsible for financial and legal arrangements involved in the production of their shows, including release forms, licenses, permits, and contracted and incurred costs.
Falls Area Community Television is a non-profit public access entity and is not operated for the profit of any person or corporation. Commercial or “for profit” use of Falls Area Community Television equipment is strictly prohibited and will result in denial of access privileges. In the event that any producer, photographer or other person should realize income from a project produced using Falls Area Community Television facilities, Falls Area Community Television is entitled to 20% of such income. Commercial or “for profit” use of Falls Area Community Television’s equipment of facilities is strictly prohibited and will result in denial of access privileges.
Falls Area Community Television actively solicits and encourages volunteers from the towns served to develop and produce programming of local appeal for use on Falls Area Community Television. All programming produced using station facilities are intended for use on Falls Area Community Television channels.
With the exception of live studio productions, FACT’s employees shall not be used to shoot, edit, or otherwise produce your programs during their paid work time. FACT employees may agree to assist producers as a volunteer before of after their working hours.
All programs submitted for use by Falls Area Community Television must contain the following information and meet the following technical standards:
All completed programs should be submitted be on one or more of the following media: VHS, DVD or Mini-DV. Each program shall have a label containing: program title, producers name, program length, and production date. Falls Area Community Television may refuse to use any media, which is damaged or contains video and signal information, which does not meet technical quality standards.
While Falls Area Community Television does not exercise any editorial control over the programs, FACT reserves the right to add a disclaimer indemnifying and FACT’s association to the program. Programs submitted to FACT may, at the discretion of management, be scheduled at a time of day that is deemed appropriate, relevant to the program’s content, for instance, when children are not likely to be watching, This includes, but is not limited to programming which contains nudity, explicit language and/or violence.
Presentation of the following on Falls Area Community Television channels is strictly prohibited:
1. Material designed to promote a product or service, trade, business or person, with the single exception of FACT sponsors. 2. Material that identifies any product, service, trademark or brand name in a manner that is related to the commercial use of such a product, service, trademark, or brand name with the exception of FACT sponsors. Material which is intended to defraud the viewer or obtain private information, or which contains false or fraudulent representations, promises or pretenses. Direct or indirect solicitation of funds, with the exception of FACT fundraising. Any and all forms of political advertising. What IS PERMITTED are candidate or issue forums to which all parties concerned have been invited, or public meetings open to any and all candidates. Material which constitutes libel, slander, pornography, violation of trademark or copyright, or which violates local, state, or federal law, including Federal Communication Commission regulations.
It is the sole responsibility of producers to abide by all applicable state and federal policies regarding copyright law for both visual and audible programming. Falls Area Community Television assumes no liability relative to copyright clearance or expense.
All producers should identify themselves as “Community Producers”, and in no event as representatives of Comcast or its successors, or representatives of Falls Area Community Television, unless they are covering a special event specifically for Falls Area Community Television. Producers are solely responsible for their programs and are to comply with all Falls Area Community Television Policies and Procedures, local, state and federal laws and regulations.
Falls Area Community Television reserves the right to suspend or revoke access and/or equipment and facility use privileges for any producer who:
Misuses equipment, and/or abuses equipment, Fails to return equipment on time. In any way abuses employees, interns or volunteers, either verbally or physically.
If any staff member believes that any person is determining to be physically threatening to another person while in the Falls Area Community Television, Falls Area Community Television’s management, Board and staff reserve the right to have the offending person removed and reported to the proper authorities. Any person who interferes with the orderly conduct of business will be asked to leave immediately.
Any individual found tampering with station equipment, especially if programming is interrupted, will have their privileges revoked.
Any user of Falls Area Community Television channels, facilities and equipment must indemnify and hold harmless Falls Area Community Television, its staff, volunteers, subcontractors, Greater Rockingham Area Services, and the board of Directors of Falls Area Community Television against and all liability arising out of such use or for any breach of operating policies.
General: In short, Public Access Television is the availability of a television station to the general public. Falls Area Community Television (referred to as FACT) is a non-profit Access Management Organization (AMO) dedicated to serving the Public, Educational, and Government (PEG) sectors of the Greater Bellows Falls Region.
Mission: The mission of Falls Area Community Television is to provide all community members the opportunity to produce local programming on the PEG access channels. We are committed to serving the Public, Educational, and Government sectors of the community on a first-come, first-serve, nondiscriminatory basis, by ensuring that people have access to the studio, equipment and staff that will enable them to produce quality programming that is of interest and value to the members, viewers, and subscribers of the cable systems in the local communities served by Comcast Cable Corporation or its successors. Equipment and facilities of FACT are used in a manner that is consistent with all applicable state and federal policies, regulations, and licenses. FACT makes every effort to ensure fair and equal access of equipment and facilities for all community members.
Problem Resolution: Part of FACT’s commitment to the community is to encourage an open and frank atmosphere in which members, viewers, and subscribers may voice any problem, complaint, suggestion, or question; and that concerns receive a timely response from FACT management.
FACT strives to ensure fair and honest treatment to all members, viewers, and subscribers. Members, viewers, subscribers, and FACT management are expected to treat each other with mutual respect. Members, viewers, and subscribers are encouraged to offer positive and constructive criticism.
As members, viewers, and subscribers, you have the opportunity to contribute to the success and growth of FACT by voicing your concerns. The management of FACT welcomes and encourages all positive and constructive suggestions. Quality communication and solutions benefit both FACT and it’s members, viewers, and subscribers.
If a member, viewer, or subscriber disagrees with established rules, policies, or practices of FACT, they can express their concerns through the problem resolution procedure by making use of the following steps set forth by the Board of Directors: 1. Member, viewer, or subscriber presents the problem to the Executive Director. The Executive Director responds to the problem during discussion with the member, viewer, or subscriber.
2. If the Executive Director is unavailable, or the member, viewer, or subscriber believes it would be inappropriate to contact that person, the problem may be presented by the member, viewer, or subscriber at a regularly scheduled board of directors meeting. The problem may also be presented to the President of the Board of Directors or any member of the board (call FACT for contact information). A problem presented to the President of the Board or other member of the board will be placed on the agenda of the regularly scheduled board of directors meeting for discussion with the Executive Director.
3. The Executive Director responds to the problem after consulting with the Board of Directors, as appropriate. Executive Director documents and files the problem resolution.
Not every problem can be resolved to everyone’s total satisfaction, but only through understanding and discussion of problems can members, viewers, subscribers, and FACT develop confidence in each other and the service provided to the community. This confidence and understanding is important to the operation of FACT and it’s quality service to the members, viewers, and subscribers.
Falls Area Community Television (referred to as FACT) is a non-profit Access Management Organization (AMO) dedicated to serving the Public, Educational, and Government (PEG) sectors of the Greater Bellows Falls Region. Members, viewers, subscribers of the cable systems services, as well as volunteers are encouraged to film public, educational, and governmental meetings and events to ensure quality programming in the Greater Bellows Falls Region. Compensation is provided for filming some public, educational, and governmental meetings and events. Members, viewers, subscribers of the cable systems services, as well as volunteers may be contracted as subcontractors at a flat fee to conduct filming.
Restriction: When being considered for a subcontracting assignment, the individual must fit the profile of an independent contractor and not an employee. It is understood and agreed between the subcontractor and FACT that the agreement for services rendered does not create an employment contract, nor does it create a joint relationship or partnership between the parties.
Termination: Either the subcontractor or FACT can terminate the relationship with or without cause at any time. At the end of a subcontractors relationship with FACT, the subcontractor shall return any materials, property, or equipment to FACT.
Business Ethics, Confidentiality, and Conduct: The successful business operation and reputation of FACT is largely built upon the principals of fair dealing and ethical conduct of FACT management, employees, and our subcontractors. Our reputation for integrity and excellence requires trust and a scrupulous regard for the highest standards of conduct and personal integrity. FACT is dedicated to preserving the trust and confidence of the public. Subcontractors must exercise good judgment and care at all times to avoid unauthorized or improper disclosure of confidential information. Good judgment, based on high ethical principals, will guide subcontractors with respect to lines of acceptable conduct. If a situation arises where it is difficult to determine the proper course of action, the subcontractor should discuss the matter openly with the Executive Director of FACT to determine the proper course of action. Compliance with fair dealing and ethical conduct is the responsibility of every subcontractor.
Responsibilities: It is the responsibility of the subcontractor to communicate with FACT management to set up the equipment for filming; to film the event; and to arrange to take down and return the equipment to the studio.
Expenses: All personal expenses related to services rendered including, but not limited to, travel and meals are borne by the subcontractor.
Equipment: Equipment is provided by FACT for the filming of public, educational, and governmental meetings and events. It is the responsibility of the subcontractor to care for the equipment in a responsible manner, and to report any technical problems, defects, or damage to the equipment. Prompt reporting of damage or defects could prevent possible injury to others, and deterioration and excessive cost for repairs of equipment. Negligent or improper conduct leading to damage of FACT equipment, and theft or inappropriate removal or possession of FACT property and equipment is prohibited. Any recordings produced by the subcontractor are the property of FACT. Equipment and facilities of FACT are used in a manner that is consistent with all applicable state and federal policies, regulations, and licenses.
Payment for Services: NOTE: Compensation to subcontractors for services are limited to those set forth by the Board of Directors of FACT. At completion of services rendered, the subcontractor will submit the invoice/job sheet to the Executive Director within 30 business days for review. Upon approval, the invoice will be submitted to the Office Manager with instructions for payment as requested by the Executive Director (not to exceed 15 business days). The subcontractor may receive compensation by: 1.) Coming to the office and receiving the check directly, 2.) Certified mail, 3.) Other individuals may pick up a subcontractor’s check only upon prior signed, written notice from the subcontractor naming the specific individual picking up the check. Acknowledgement: In order to retain necessary flexibility in the administration of procedures, FACT reserves the right to change, revise, or eliminate policies. The only recognized deviations from the stated policies are those authorized and signed by the Board of Directors of FACT
FACT TV ORIGINATED PROGRAMMING
FACT originates programs for civic meetings and other events. FACT employees, volunteers, subcontractors and or board members shall not under any circumstance attempt to participate in a meeting while operating equipment during such meetings or events. To participate in a civic meeting, FACT’s employees, volunteers, subcontractors or board members must sit in the public seating area and clearly state that they are speaking for themselves as an individual and not as a representative of FACT.
Upon request, a full copy of this document will be provided to anyone who intends to use the facilities. A full copy of the current policies and regulations procedures will be placed at the municipal offices to the communities served by Falls Area Community Television.
The Board of Directors of Falls Area Community Television reserves the right to make necessary amendments to these Policies and Procedures.
6/17/98 - Board established requirement for monthly financial report, as well as detailed quarterly reports
7/22/98 - President and secretary/treasurer authorized to sign checks and money orders for the station.
8/14/98 - Expenditures (excluding salaries) over $200. shall not be made unless approved by the full board.
11/4/99 - Sponsors who are three months in arrears will be eliminated after being notified by letter.
7/6/00 - By-laws changed to authorize 9 directors.
11/1/00 - Board voted not to show any political material in the final 48 hours before an election.
3/7/01 - All future purchases of equipment will be done by station employees with the approval of the Board
5/11/07 - Board voted to support Nancy Stefanick’s proposal for a radio station under the aegis of Fall Area Community Television. Also, Board voted to contribute no funds or labor of employees or Directors to project.
4/2/03 - Board voted to produce coverage of school and municipal board meetings in Bellows Falls area whenever feasible and financially possible.
11/1/03 - Board voted to establish $40.00 per meeting as the standard rate of compensation for producers of public meetings.
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