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California Public Access Television Member Rules

    Eligibility and Training

    Program Content

    • While political discussions are common on public access TV, do not allow producers to endorse or oppose a political candidate.state capitol image by morsted from Fotolia.com

      You can set rules about program content and refuse to broadcast programming that is considered in violation of these rules. Station operators at Public Access NVCA, which broadcasts from Butte Community College in Chico, preview public access programming before it is broadcast to ensure compliance. According to the NVCA website, the station will not air any program that "endorses or opposes any candidate for public office, contains obscene material as defined by the United States Supreme Court, creates an imminent danger or damage to property or injury to persons, constitutes libel, slander, invasion of privacy, violation of copyright or trademark, or violates any local, state or federal law."

    Scheduling

    • You'll need rules regarding the scheduling of programs. At NVCA, members may request a time for the program to air by submitting a written request and statement of compliance form. Members are required to submit the request at least six weeks before the requested date. Give yourself plenty of time to review the show and prepare for the broadcast; at NVCA, members are required to submit their completed program on videotape at least two weeks prior to the airing.

    Facilities and Equipment

    • Enforce a field equipment checkout system and require members to prove the equipment operates properly at check-in.crew shooting a tv scene image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com

      You're giving nonstation employees access to your studio and some expensive equipment, so it's critical to set rules regarding the use of station facilities and equipment. At CTSCC, public access use of the facilities is limited to certain posted hours. If you're allowing members to take equipment out of the station for use in the field, design a checkout system. At CTSCC, field equipment checkouts are for 24 hours or longer with preapproval. Upon check-in, you should require members to demonstrate that all equipment is in proper working order. If a CTSCC member fails to return the equipment within one week of checkout, the station may impose internal sanctions and file criminal charges.

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