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SCGTV Operating Procedures

Operations

SCGTV debuted on November 1, 1999, and is a 24-hour, 7 days/week government access cable channel programmed and operated by the Brevard County Florida Board of County Commissioners together with its 15 municipalities.


Procedures

I. Space Coast Government TV (SCGTV) is a 24-hour, 7 days/week government access cable channel programmed and operated by the Brevard County Florida Board of County Commissioners together with its municipalities (incorporated areas). The Channel (Channel 499) is available to Bright House Networks digital cable subscribers in Brevard County. In addition, Comcast Cable Communications (Cable Channel 51 serving Mims and Scottsmoor) and Comcast Cable Communications (Cable Channel 13 serving south Palm Bay to Indian River County line) have connected to Bright House’s system so that all cable subscribers will have access to SCGTV (approximately 160,000 subscribers/households). Section 30 of the Brevard County Code mandates that cable operators provide a free local government access cable channel. SCGTV contains programming primarily of local government entities and agencies.


II. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

Space Coast Government TV, operated by the SCGTV/Communications Director and SCGTV production staff, reports to County Manager Stockton Whitten. The Space Coast Government TV Council, comprised of the Station Manager, Assistant Station Manager or designee(s), and a representative/designee from each participating local government, will formulate Procedures, Standards and Guidelines and meet at least semi-annually.

A. The Space Coast Government Television Council shall:

1. Have a quorum equal to the representatives present at any given meeting.

2. Act in the capacity as a management group for SCGTV.

3. Elect a Chairman and Vice-Chairman to serve one-year terms with Vice-Chairman moving to Chairman position at the end of Chairman’s one-year term. SCGTV Council shall elect a new Vice-Chairman at that time.



III. MISSION STATEMENT

Space Coast Government TV (SCGTV) is committed to providing viewers with quality programming covering a broad range of government information and services.

Brevard County and SCGTV will accomplish this mission by providing the following:

  • Information on local government services
  • Explanations of the function of government
  • General information to the public about meetings and government-sponsored events
  • Emergency and public safety information
  • General announcements of government entities
  • Program coverage of government events, such as facility openings, recreational and cultural events, and meetings of government boards and committees

SCGTV is NOT a public access channel. Access to SCGTV is restricted to governmental entities. Appropriate programming will include:

  • Public service announcements (PSAs) of government-sponsored events and services
  • Informational or instructional programs on various government agencies and government-sponsored services
  • Public meetings of government policy-making boards/commissions
  • In-service training programs appropriate for public viewing only, unless authorized otherwise by the Station Manager or Assistant Station Manager
  • Election coverage of vote counting only
  • Emergency service operations for natural and man-made disasters, weather phenomena, poison prevention, first aid, launches, etc.
  • The Florida Channel (State Legislative Session and other State programming)


IV. OPERATING PROCEDURES

A. The SCGTV Station Manager and/or Assistant Station Manager shall oversee the various phases of production for programming aired on SCGTV. SCGTV is responsible for televising local government meetings, government-sponsored activities and events, providing video production training when available, and offering limited technical assistance to agencies.

B. The production of quality video programs requires experienced technical support.

C. It shall be the policy of SCGTV to cooperate with all related news agencies (commercial, educational, and industrial) to the extent that cooperation will not interfere with the operation of SCGTV or its Procedures, Standards and Guidelines.

D. SCGTV recognizes the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission guidelines pertaining to television programming. All such guidelines will be adhered to in the approval of programs for broadcast. Accordingly, the following representative programming applies: (Also see Section H.)

1. Meetings/Programs containing obscene, offensive or defamatory material/language shall not be broadcast on SCGTV. Community standards of good taste will be adhered to at all times. It shall be the responsibility of each contributing entity to assure that meetings/programs submitted to SCGTV shall not contain such material/language.

2. Programs containing copyrighted materials will not be broadcast without proper copyright authorization. Staff submitting programs for broadcast are responsible for obtaining all necessary copyright clearance, and shall hold SCGTV, the SCGTV Council, Brevard County and its municipalities and other government entities participating, harmless in any case of copyright infringement.

3. Copyright for creative properties (original scripts, music, artwork, etc.) shall accrue to the owner/creator of said property. Agreements between the owner/creator and SCGTV will contain the following assurance:

(a) owner/creator shall grant SCGTV copyright clearance for the use of the property in an agreed-upon manner;

(b) each party agrees to notify the other of any distribution of the program;

(c) programs will not be sold, commercially distributed or loaned without prior approval of the Station Manager and/or Assistant Station Manager.

4. Programs, which have as the primary purpose to promote commercial/profit-making services, products, trade or business will NOT be broadcast on SCGTV.

5. SCGTV will not endorse any consumer products.

6 Discussion of any partisan issues approved for broadcast NOT adhering to equal time guidelines will NOT be broadcast on SCGTV. (Also see Section P.2.(d).)

E. ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS

SCGTV will prioritize programming based on availability of airtime as follows:

1. Local government entities and agencies located in Brevard County for use in connection with official government and government-sponsored activities.

2. State and Federal government agencies for use in connection with their official non-partisan government and/or government-sponsored activities that affect the interests of local governments in Brevard County.

3. Programs originated by and/or produced by non-profit group(s) must be related to, approved and sponsored by agencies referenced in E.1. and E.2. above.

F. PROGRAMMING

SCGTV shall consist of ten basic programming modes:

1. Gavel-to-gavel live coverage of meetings/events; generally Commission or Council meetings, hearings, workshops and other live programming as may be determined from time to time by the sponsoring government entity/agency.

2. Tape-delayed public meetings and other government-sponsored activities. Gavel-to-gavel meetings may be presented both live and tape-delayed unedited.

3. Locally produced programs to inform the public of services and programs provided by local government. Such programming shall only be used when appropriate to the Procedures, Standards and Guidelines.

4. Outside source programs may be acquired for use. Such programming shall only be used when appropriate to the Procedures, Standards and Guidelines.

5. Local affiliate repeats obtained through local news organizations and other related groups (PBS, local network affiliates, etc.). Arrangements for repeat programming may be made with such organizations when appropriate to the Procedures, Standards and Guidelines.

6. Public Service Announcements (PSAs) – SCGTV will accept and broadcast prepared PSAs according to the program selection criteria. All PSAs shall be submitted only on DVD/DVCam/DVcassettes/Mini DV or ½” SVHS videotape. (SVHS being the poorest quality). Production of PSAs using SCGTV facilities must be coordinated with the Station Manager and/or Assistant Station Manager.

7. Promotional announcements for government-sponsored events and activities are acceptable for broadcast on SCGTV. However, promotional announcements for events, activities of charities, or outside organizations which the government has no official interest or sponsorship shall NOT be broadcast. The Station Manager and/or Assistant Station Manager shall resolve any questions regarding message appropriateness.

8. Sample ballots and ballot listings may be permitted if submitted by the County Supervisor of Elections or State Division of Elections spokesperson. Non-partisan voter education information on ballot referendum will only be allowed if submitted by an eligible applicant.

9. The following disclaimer will air after all county and city meetings shown on SCGTV:

“The opinions expressed by any member of the public during any period of public comment do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Board of County Commissioners of Brevard County, Florida, Space Coast Government Television, or the program sponsor and are solely those of the presenter. The Board of County Commissioners of Brevard County, Florida, Space Coast Government Television, and the program sponsor hereby expressly disclaim any and all responsibility or liability for any defamatory or slanderous statements expressed by any member of the public during any such period.”


G. PROGRAM REVIEW

1. Programs submitted from eligible applicants are evaluated on the following criteria: (not necessarily in order of importance)

  • Citizen interest
  • Governmental nature
  • Broadcast quality
  • Compliance with programming restrictions
  • Acceptable Procedures, Standards, and Guidelines
  • Public service/Safety needs

2. The Station Manager and/or Assistant Station Manager, prior to airing, will preview all programs for SCGTV. SCGTV program submission process is as follows:

(a) program is submitted to SCGTV for review.

(b) program is reviewed and any changes needed are made. The Station Manager reserves the right to exercise editorial discretion with regard to SCGTV programming according to the Procedures, Standards and Guidelines set forth and contained herein. Note: County/Municipal Council/Commission and their Dependent Special Districts and their advisory boards/committees, Port Authority, School Board, and Legislative Delegation meetings shall not be reviewed, edited or subject to editorial content except for removal of dead tape space caused by recesses during meetings. Review shall be the sole responsibility of the local government entity submitting the videotape(s). Videotape portions may be used as segments of other documentary programming. Insertion of alphanumeric information, visual aids, or clarification pertaining directly to board agendas may be allowed. Other programming or approved PSAs may be inserted during recesses called during meetings.

(c) if the program is accepted as submitted, it can then be scheduled for airtime.

(d) requests for review, revision, or clarification of program content will be honored in order for the program to be aired.

(e) the review process should be completed within ten (10) working days. If a County/Municipal Council/Commission Special District, School Board, Port Authority or Legislative Delegation meeting is taped, it shall be aired within seven (7) days.


H. PROGRAMMING RESTRICTIONS

Programming on SCGTV shall adhere to the following restrictions:

1. Programming is prohibited that contains:

(a) any advertising of a commercial product or service nature;

(b) any information concerning any lottery, gift enterprise, or similar promotion offering prizes based in whole or part upon lot or chance;

(c) any direct solicitation of funds;

(d) any material that would violate any Federal, State, County or Municipal statute or law;

(e) any material that promotes religious beliefs or religious philosophies;

(f) any obscene, indecent, defamatory material, and it is the responsibility of each submitting entity to assure SCGTV of same;

(g) any appearances by or on behalf of legally declared candidates for public office; and

(h) endorsements of ballot issues; sample ballots and ballot listings may be permitted if submitted by the County Supervisor of Elections or State Division of Elections spokesperson. Non-partisan voter education information on ballot referendum will only be allowed if submitted by an eligible applicant.

2. Programming not prohibited previously must conform to the following criteria:

(a) Programming policy shall be to provide non-partisan information concerning the operations and deliberations of government.

(b) SCGTV is not intended as a mechanism for building support for a particular policy, program, issue, party, platform, or individual. Candidates who have qualified (declared) for election/re-election to any elective office, shall not be permitted to make individual statements on SCGTV regarding their elections/candidacy. At all times, current elected officials can participate only in the performance of their official duties. Brevard County Commissioners shall not host or participate in programs to be broadcast outside of regularly scheduled Board Meetings, Workshops or Special Meetings.

(c) It is recognized that grants and/or other types of support may be made available to individuals, groups, or entities for the purpose of underwriting the cost of production. In such instances, a standard “patron’s acknowledgment” may be placed at the end of the production (i.e., “This program was made possible by a contribution/grant from the XYZ Corporation.”).

(d) All necessary copyright materials must be obtained. (Also see Section D.) Written permission must be obtained for all programs produced by outside sources that are aired on SCGTV. Copyrighted music is not allowed unless written permission is obtained.

(e) SCGTV will supply necessary forms for requesters to verify that proper copyright permissions have been obtained.

(f) Programs are governed by Brevard County/Municipal Codes of Conduct. Programs or appearances in programs by County/ Municipal employees not in accordance with these codes may be refused airtime on SCGTV.



I. SCHEDULING OF PROGRAMS AND PRIORITY

1. SCGTV is responsible for the approval of all programs and scheduling of same programs on SCGTV. A schedule will be made available to cable television operators and their subscribers prior to program viewing through local TV guides and the SCGTV website.

2. The Station Manager and/or Assistant Station Manager will establish the program schedule for SCGTV. The scheduling of programming (to include local government meetings) takes place only after it has been determined that (1) the program meets all the programming guidelines established; and, (2) any affected agency has approved its release.

3. Live Programs
Live programming has the highest priority in scheduling. Special meetings or other live events may displace any regularly scheduled videotaped programming.

4. Regularly Produced Programs
This programming will be given regular time slots around which individual programs will be scheduled. Programming is subject to change by the Station Manager and/or Assistant Station Manager, or if applicable, by the SCGTV Council.

5. Individual Programs
Individual programs produced or acquired on a one-time only basis will be scheduled around regular programs and their regular time slots.

6. Emergency Programs
Emergency programs are defined as last minute and/or high- priority programming. They must still meet all programming requirements. The Station Manager and/or Assistant Station Manager may “bump” any programming during its respective time slot to schedule the emergency program.

7. First Priority
Live or tape delayed official public meetings of the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners and its Municipalities, dependent districts, and the Florida Legislature.

8. Second Priority
Approved programs submitted by departments and agencies under the supervision and sponsorship of local governments.

9. Third Priority
Approved programs submitted by County Charter Officers, Canaveral Port Authority and the Brevard County School Board.

10. Fourth Priority
Approved programs originated by an outside non-profit group, and must be approved, related to and sponsored by government agencies. (Refer to E. and H.)


J. VIDEO PROGRAM SUBMISSIONS

1. Eligible applicants may complete a “Space Coast Government TV Program Submission” request to the SCGTV Office at the Brevard County Government Center (2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, “C”, Room 215, Viera 32940) that meets all criteria established herein. Programs must conform to format specifications (that is, “broadcast quality,” inclusion of bars/tone, slate, countdown etc.). If programs requested meet established criteria, they can then be assigned airtime according to priority, subject matter, and topical nature as contained herein. For requests, contact SCGTV (321) 690-6843.

2. In the case of an appearance by an elected official other than public Commission/Council meetings, the Station Manager, and/or Assistant Station Manager shall determine that the official is participating in accordance with the criteria established in these guidelines. If it is determined that the official is not in conformance with the criteria established, that portion of the program must be removed or edited to ensure that the program is in compliance. If the program originator or producer refuses to remove or edit the portion in question, the program itself may not be aired. After approval by affected agencies, departmental programming may be modified or edited to meet guidelines.

K. DUPLICATION

1. DVDs/Videotapes of public meetings will be retained for four (4) years. DVDsVideotapes are not official records of public meetings but are authorized for public inspection or dubbing.

2. Requestors of copies of meetings/programs aired on SCGTV will be charged the actual cost of duplication for each meeting/program. Copies will be dubbed in DVD format supplied by SCGTV. The copy shall include the entire meeting/program/event without editing. Staff is not to custom-edit portions of any program. If DVDs are mailed, a postage and handling charge will be added and must be paid at the time of the request. This section (K.) applies to only Brevard County Board of County Commissioners’ produced programs and County Commission Meetings/Workshops, and its advisory board meetings and programs. Other government entities may wish to establish their own video dubbing policies and procedures.

L. VIEWER COMMENTS AND COMPLAINTS

1. SCGTV, under the direction of the Station Manager and/or Assistant Station Manager, may distribute viewer comment forms to monitor viewer satisfaction with programming on SCGTV. SCGTV may also develop and distribute annual surveys and questionnaires to determine viewership statistics and input through local cable providers.

M. PROGRAM LOGS

1. A daily log will be kept of all programming broadcast during each twenty-four hour period. Log information will include program title, airtime, length of program.

N. SCGTV VOLUNTEERS

1. Qualified volunteers may be used to assist in the production of SCGTV programming. Volunteers will be trained in the care and use of video production equipment and receive experience by participating in the production of SCGTV programs. Volunteers, upon authorization of the Station Manager and/or Assistant Station Manager can also undertake special video projects as a part of their service to Brevard County. SCGTV recognizes the valuable contribution of volunteers in the programming effort and will endeavor to coordinate programs, which will provide acknowledgement of these efforts.

O. TECHNICAL STANDARDS AND PRODUCTION SERVICES

1. Programs from five minutes to thirty minutes format are preferred. However, programs of any length are accepted subject to availability of time. Videotapes should be labeled with program title, episode (if applicable), and length. A contact name and phone number should also be printed on the label.

2. All videotapes submitted for broadcast from an outside source producer will be previewed by SCGTV for the following technical criteria:

(a) Technical quality – Video and audio quality must be acceptable levels as determined by SCGTV staff.

(b) Relevance of Subject Matter of Content– subject matter must be of interest to the general audience and serve a governmental purpose.

(c) Relevance and Appeal– program must be relevant to the needs and interests of Brevard County residents and visitors.

(d) Absence of Advocacy– if eligible, community issues programming must adhere to equal time guidelines. Every effort must be made to present all points of view.

(e) Absence of Defamatory Material– subject matter that slanders or libels individuals or organizations will NOT be broadcast. (Also see section H.)

3. Programming and PSAs shall be submitted on DVD/DV Cam/Dvcassette/MiniDV or ½”SVHS videotape only. (SVHS being of the poorest quality.) Videotapes shall have at least thirty (30) seconds of color bars and tone at the head of the program and at least ten (10) seconds of black at the breaks and end of the program. Video programs originated in SVHS format must be FCC compliant. Reassigning a program in SVHS and dubbing onto DV videotape does not ensure compliance with FCC standards. Usually, FCC compliance for SVHS equipment requires the use of a broadcast-grade time-base corrector during playback and editing. Video programs originated, edited, or dubbed on VHS format may NOT be accepted for playback on SCGTV.

P. USE OF PRODUCTION FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT

1. This will be expanded at a later date when full-service studio facilities are available. At this time however, the Commission and Florida Rooms at the Brevard County Government Center are on-site facilities that can be used for live or live-to-tape programs. Applicants may submit a request to the Station Manager and/or Assistant Station Manager in writing for use of the facility. Applicants using the facility or equipment are responsible for associated costs during use. The current rate is $100/hr for municipal governments and agencies outside the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, its departments and Charter Officers. Editing will be charged at a rate of $50/hr for both simple and complex editing. (Reference: BOCC 2000-209). The Station Manager and/or Assistant Station Manager may refuse to allow use of the facility to applicants who misuse the facility or equipment. SCGTV staff must approve any person(s) using control room equipment prior to live or taped sessions.

2. Remote (off-site) videotaping capability is available. The current rate is $100/hr for municipal governments and agencies outside the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, its departments and Charter Officers. Editing will be charged at a rate of $50/hr for both simple and complex editing (Reference BOCC 2000-209).

3. The Station Manager and/or Assistant Station Manager may refuse to allow use of the videotaping equipment outside of SCGTV staff.

Q. PROGRAM PROPOSAL OUTLINE

Those interested in submitting a proposal for a regularly scheduled program (such as a weekly or monthly talk/interview show) should refer to the following outline. A form will be provided. For weekly programs, a six-month outline is suggested; for monthly programs, a one-year outline is suggested. The outline provides a guide for all parties involved in the production and broadcast and ensures smooth, more efficient production of the program. While the outlines should be as accurate as possible, topics and guests are not “set in stone” and may be changed if necessary.

PROGRAM PROPOSAL (DRAFT)

PROGRAM TITLE:  “TO SERVE AND PROTECT”
AGENCY: BREVARD COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
FORMAT: WEEKLY INTERVIEW (30 Minutes)
PRODUCER:
HOST: SHERIFF WAYNE IVEY

The purpose of this program is to inform citizens of Brevard County of the various services available to them, how this law enforcement agency works, and the variety of specialized areas that function to deliver the best possible services to all sectors of the County.

SUBJECT/GUEST   DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Segment 1: Program points out the importance of neighbors working togther to keep neighborhoods safe. Includes a pre- recorded roll-in

“Neighborhood Watch”
Guests: John Doe President, Neighborhood Watch Advisory Board Suntree - Sgt. Jane Doe, Sheriff’s Office

Segment 2: “Police Athletic League” Program shows the importance of building a bridge of communication between law enforcement, citizens, and our youth through athletic-based programs. Includes pre-recorded roll-in.
Guests: John Doe P.A.L. Director, Deputy Jane Doe Sheriff’s Office

R. PROGRAM IDEA OUTLINE

The following information may be useful when submitting a suggestion for an independent format program to ensure smooth production of the program.

CONCEPT/IDEA
Brief description/background of program

SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT (SME)
Person(s) to be contacted for questions during the production

PROPOSED AIR DATE
To help determine if the program is promotional, timely, or retrospective.

FORMAT/LENGTH
Program type: public service announcement, instruction/educational, community event, interview/talk, election vote-counting, news, promotional campaign, performing arts, public/community meeting, sports (recreation-parks) event, public affairs, organization/department profile, special audience, documentary or other. Also note how long you expect the program to be (half-hour time blocks are best, but there are no length restrictions at this time.)

SCRIPT
If a script is necessary, determine who will write a rough draft, (the SME, department staff or SCGTV staff) and the timeframe needed for the script.

VIDEOTAPING
Provide dates/times if any known activities or one-time events are occurring that should be videotaped during the scripting and planning stages; list any types of video footage that should be in the program and any permissions required before videotaping.

PEOPLE
Provide suggestions of people for on-camera interviews or soundbites who have participated or contributed to or are affected by the project, subject or activity of the program.

SCGTV/Communications Office

2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way
Rooms C207 and C215
Viera, Florida 32940
Tel: (321) 690-6843
Fax: (321) 617-7214

 

Director
Don Walker

Production Manager
Logan Hemenway

TV Production
Anda Skambraks

 
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