LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACCESS TELEVISION
POLICIES AND GUIDELINES
A. Purpose and IntentThe purpose of this document is to provide general guidelines and policy direction for the use of the Collier County Government Access Television Channel. The Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984, 47 U.S.C. Section 521 et seq. distinguishes “public access” from “educational access” and from “governmental access”. Goldberg v. Cablevision Systems Corporation, 261 F.3d 318 (USCA 2nd Cir. 2001). This document applies only to “local government access.” Local government access is a privilege. No person or entity has any right to any of this access.
B. Authority for the Channel1. Ordinance No. 88-90 Section 30-54(b)(1) of the County Code of Laws and Ordinances mandates that each Franchisee shall make available at least one channel for local government access programming to be made available at no charge to Collier County. That subsection also specifies that Collier County shall adopt operating rules for each such local government access channel.
2. The Government Access Television Channel for Collier County operates under the jurisdiction of the Board of County Commissioners and under the county-granted franchise. Responsibility for developing policy and reviewing program content for conformance with these guidelines lies with the County Manager who administers the programming and operation of the cable channel through the Communication and Customer Relations Department, which includes the Marco Island Cable system notwithstanding that in 1999 that franchise agreement was assigned from the County to the City of Marco Island. Section 6 of that assignment agreement does not affect the County’s rights or responsibilities with regard to any channel access.
C. Goals of the ChannelThe primary goal of Government Access Television is to identify, explain, and promote the use of county services and to encourage interaction between county government and Collier County citizens and residents. Programming consists of any information relative to the operation of county services; explanations of the functions of government; general information to the public relative to meetings; times, dates, places; emergency information as necessary and general announcements of current government events in the county. Programming may also include events such as coverage of county facility openings, and recreational and cultural events held outside government facilities. Election results may also be broadcast as provided by the county’s Supervisor of Elections.
D. Eligibility for Use1. Only the Collier County Board of County Commissioners, the Office of the County Manager and its departments, boards, authorities, and other offices that are under the jurisdiction of the Board of County Commissioners or the County Manager are eligible to use Collier County Government Access Television, except as noted below. These are referred to herein as “eligible applicant(s).”
2. Each eligible applicant may submit requests and proposals for programming which are appropriate to the guidelines set forth here. All programming requests, as well as requests for production assistance, are subject to review and approval by the Communication and Customer Relations Department.
3. Each respective local government access channel may be allowed to provide public informational programming from other sources for scheduling as long as the programming meets the stated Collier County Government Access Television objectives and is a subject for local government access.
E. Operational Procedures1. All public meetings of the Board of County Commissioners are authorized for broadcasting. Live coverage of all Board meetings shall be from gavel to gavel, with no editing. Rebroadcast of meetings may be edited by Government Access Television staff, without loss of content, for the convenience of the viewing audience.
2. Each eligible applicant may submit requests and proposals for programming. The programs may be locally produced. All programming requests are subject to review and approval by the Communications and Customer Relations Department. Decisions of the Communication and Customer Relations Department shall be final.
3. Costs which include staff time and all elements of production, i.e., directing, writing, videography, and editing will be determined prior to production and shall be incurred by the requesting department or office. The applicant shall be required to pay in advance a reasonable estimate of such costs.
4. Information for the bulletin board may be submitted by any eligible applicant to the Communication and Customer Relations Department. If accepted, the Communication and Customer Relations Department will format and edit it for inclusion on the bulletin board.
5. A daily programming schedule will be kept on file and will be made available to the public via the county web site (www.colliergov.net).
F. Program CategoriesThe Collier County Government Access Television Channel shall consist of these six programming categories.
1. Live coverage of events originating from county offices will generally consist of cablecast of the Board of County Commissioners’ meetings, hearings, and other live programming as may be determined from time to time.
2. Tape delayed cable casting of items listed in paragraph 1, above, and other similar events.
3. Locally produced programs produced through the facilities of the Collier County Government Access Television Channel to inform the public of the services and programs provided by Collier County.
4. Outside source programs provided such programming shall only be used when in compliance with these guidelines.
5. Local affiliate repeats may be obtained through local news organizations and other related groups (PBS, local network affiliates, etc.). Arrangements for repeat cablecast of said programming may be made with such organizations, subject to be in compliance with the guidelines listed herein.
6. Alphanumeric reader board service should be in operation only when no other video programming is being broadcast and during such times the reader board will be able to broadcast continuous alphanumeric display of current information of interest to the public subject to being within the subject matter as specified in these guidelines.
G. Program PrioritiesThe following shall have first priority on the channel and will be covered gavel to gavel and will pre-empt other scheduled programming.
1. Live broadcast of regular and special meetings of the Board of County Commissioners.
2. Live broadcast of Public Hearings of the Board of County Commissioners.
3. Live broadcast of other meetings of the Board, such as workshops or planning and/or briefing sessions.
4. Other programming on Local Government Access channels will be in the following order of priority:
a. Public affairs programs produced by the Communication and Customer Relations Department as authorized by the Board of County Commissioners and/or County Manager.
b. Programs produced by any other eligible applicant that inform viewers of county services, county policies, and county projects to the extent approved by the Board of County Commissioners and the Communication and Customer Relations Department. The Communication and Customer Relations Department will determine the required format.
c. Programs produced by other government agencies and programming of a general government or public service nature provided the subject matter thereof is in accord with these guidelines. This shall not authorize “public access” or “educational access.”
H. Editing Policies1. No public meetings will be edited. Portions may be used as segments of other programming subject to approval of the Communication and Customer Relations Department and the programming, as segmented, is not misleading. Replays of Board meetings may be edited for the purpose of clarity and ease of viewing including the insertion of times and titles for specific agenda items.
2. Messages programmed for use on the bulletin board may be edited to provide clarity, to maximize the capacity of the system or for any other valid, specified reason(s). Bulletin board programming is wholly discretionary with the Communication and Customer Relations Department, but, broadcast time availability permitting, is not to be unreasonably withheld. The applicant for such programming must specify in writing the reason(s) that support the respective request and provide Communication and Customer Relations Department with a written requested schedule for such programming.
The Communication and Customer Relations Department will be responsible for coordinating and determining all scheduling on the Collier County Government Access Television Channel.
J. Program Restrictions
1. Programming shall be direct, non-editorial information regarding the operation and deliberations of county government. The Collier County Government Access Television Channel shall not be a political forum, nor to support or oppose any policy, program or issue. The Communication and Customer Relations Department has final approval as to appropriate program content for the Government Access Television Channel, subject to the appeal provisions.
2. No Collier County Government Access Television Channel shall be available for any of the following:
a. Any advertising that promotes the sale of any commercial product, service or thing. Non-commercial program sponsors are permitted, utilizing the PBS style. Credit can be given only very briefly during the opening or closing credits.
b. Any endorsement for or opposition to any consumer product, service or thing.
c. Promotional announcements for events, charities, or outside organizations in which the government has no official interest or sponsorship.
d. Any information concerning any lottery, gift enterprise, or similar promotion offering prizes based in whole or part upon lot or chance.
e. Any material that would violate any federal state or Collier County law.
f. Any material that promotes religious beliefs or religious philosophies.
g. Direct solicitation of anything of value.
3. Public service or promotional announcements for government-sponsored events or programs may be accepted for broadcast. Public Service Announcements for events in government facilities such as parks, convention center and recreation facilities are acceptable and may be accepted for broadcast.
4. Declared candidates for elective or appointed office. Declared candidates for public office and persons advocating any cause, viewpoint, or proposed policy of a partisan nature. For purposes of this directive, a person is considered to be a candidate from the time of announcing publicly for office or from the official deadline for filing until the final election for the respective office has been held. The exclusion does not apply to persons who receive airtime as part of a public meeting on the Local Government Access channel, nor does it apply to elected officials acting in their official capacity. This exclusion also does not apply to a program in which all candidates for a particular office appear in a forum where they are all given equal time. Candidates for office may also, during the live broadcast, solicit campaign contributions subject to law.
K. Compliance with Laws; Copyright
1. Compliance with all Laws. It is the responsibility of all applicants to abide by all applicable laws, rules and regulations. By applying for access, each applicant thereby automatically certifies to Collier County, including the Communication and Customer Relations Department, that the respective applicant has complied with all of same, including copyright.
2. Each Government Access Television program is a “public record” under Florida Law.
3. Collier County retains all copyright to all items that are copyrightable by Collier County.