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Community Access Policy

Recommended by the Public Access Advisory Board &
Ratified by RVTV Staff, August 2017.
Amended as of August 2017.


Rogue Valley Community Television

Community Access Policy, version 1.02

I. Introduction

Rogue Valley Community Television, located at the Southern Oregon Digital Media Center, is a non-commercial public, education and government access television and digital media service provided to the citizens of Jackson County and Josephine County by Southern Oregon University.

Thanks to the support of SOU, the City of Ashland and the City of Medford, RVTV provides free airtime and online streaming to content submitted by residents of Southern Oregon and also provides media production training, studio production facilities and field production equipment. Programming for cablecast and Internet streaming on RVTV Voices (Channels 15 & 182), and for the RVTV Public Access Archive, is accepted on a fair and nondiscriminatory basis and is aired without editorial control.

The mission of RVTV to promote free speech and community media by and for the people of the Rogue Valley in order to increase meaningful participation in civic life.

II. Purposes of Community Access

The RVTV Community Access program exists to support the production and distribution of non-commercial, community based images, audio and video generated by the people of Southern Oregon. Towards these ends, RVTV shall, to the greatest extent feasible:

A. Provide the citizens, organizations and institutions of Southern Oregon access to digital media tools such as a high-definition production studio, audio and video field equipment and computer editing equipment;

B. Design and offer community education programs to train local residents in the use of media production equipment and facilities;

C. Promote non-commercial, community-based media programs and programming blocs;

D. Encourage the use of community access amongst a diverse range of individuals, organizations and institutions in order to promote cross-cultural education and understanding;

E. Assure that no censorship over program content on community access channels exist aside from the minimum necessary to comply with applicable laws against obscenity, gambling or commercial advertising.

F. Solicit community support for the public, education and government access activities provided by RVTV at the Southern Oregon Digital Media Center.

III. Conduct Requirements at the DMC and at RVTV Field Productions

A. Access to digital media resources and facilities at RVTV is a privilege, not a right.

B. No activities which are illegal under federal, state or local laws are allowed at the DMC or at any RVTV field production. Also, no activities which are contrary to the Southern Oregon University Code of Conduct shall be tolerated, which include:
1. Engaging in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct;
2. Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, sexual contact without permission, stalking, coercion, forced consumption of liquor, drugs or other conduct directed at a specific person, which threatens the health and safety of any person or seriously alarms or intimidates another person;
3. Remarks, actions, or gestures which have the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, and/or offensive experience due to a race, color, sex, religion, age, marital status, national origin, gender identity or expression, the presence of any physical or sensory disability, veteran status, sexual orientation or any other basis protected by applicable local, state or federal law;
4. Unwanted communication using electronic or digital devices;
5. Forgery, alteration and/or misuse of any record, document or identification;
6. Bringing an animal inside the DMC, with the exception of guide or service animals approved by SOU Disability Resources;
7. Use, abuse, sale, purchase, transfer, possession, manufacture, distribution of dispensing of alcohol, narcotics, drugs or other controlled substances except as expressly permitted by law;
8. Intoxication on-site due to alcohol or drug consumption off-site;
9. On-site possession, storage or use of firearms, weapons, explosives, fireworks or other incendiary or destructive devices;
10. Theft, vandalism, littering or unauthorized access into secured premises or equipment.

C. No staff member, educator, producer or member of the public at the DMC or any RVTV field production shall be subjected to discrimination based on age, race, color, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, or political or religious belief.

D. No staff member, educator, producer or member of the public at the DMC or any RVTV field production shall be subjected to any sexual advance, any request for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, especially when such conduct interferes with the professional operation of RVTV activities or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment for any person.

E. A professional and calm work environment must be maintained in the RVTV Studio. Any guests, observers or audience members invited to the studio to witness a production shall refrain from interfering with the production or distracting studio crewmembers. The studio proper and the area immediately outside the doors of the RVTV Studio and the Studio Production Control Room are a quiet area when the Record Light is activated and all persons (except for talent) must maintain conversations at whisper-level.

IV. Facilities and Equipment Guidelines

A. Use of DMC facilities or RVTV equipment shall require satisfactory completion of a certification process offered quarterly by RVTV. This should begin with attendance at a DMC Open House, which are held once per quarter, usually on the second Wednesday of each month, in order to become familiar with the operations and activities at the center.

B. DMC facilities or RVTV equipment shall only be used to create non-commercial programs which are first-run on RVTV Voices.

C. The high definition RVTV television production studio may only be utilized during designated public access production times by RVTV Studio Producers to make their local programs; likewise, studio production crews shall only consist of Studio-Certified producers and those pursuing certification. No persons are allowed to enter the Studio Production Control Room other than RVTV Staff, those specifically designated by RVTV Staff, and those Studio-Certified producers who are specified by the Crew Director on the Crew Sheet to engage in Control Room-related technical production activities during that specific production.

D. RVTV Field Equipment may only be checked out by RVTV Staff to RVTV Field Producers to make their local programs; likewise, production crews on field shoots utilizing RVTV Field Production Equipment shall only consist of Field-Certified producers and those pursuing certification. The RVTV Public Access Edit Lab is available, upon reservation with RVTV Staff during business hours, only to Field-Certified producers and those pursuing certification.

E. Every quarter, RVTV offers a basic Studio Production Certification Workshop series to provide training to the citizens of Jackson County and Josephine County on how to produce a studio-based community access television program in a responsible, ethical and effective manner while respecting the equipment and their fellow producers. Upon satisfactory completion of these workshops, which shall include the production of a studio television program at RVTV and at least 18 hours of volunteer assistance on other RVTV producers’ studio productions, an individual will receive Studio-Certified status. Attendance at each workshop shall entail the assessment of a materials and services fee, though arrangements can be made for persons of limited income.

F. Every quarter, RVTV offers a basic Field Production Certification Workshop series to provide training to the citizens of Jackson County and Josephine County on how to create a field-produced community access television program in a responsible, ethical and effective manner while respecting the equipment and their fellow producers. Upon satisfactory completion of these workshops, which shall include the production of a public service announcement or short film utilizing RVTV field equipment and editing facilities, an individual will receive Field-Certified status. Attendance at each workshop shall entail the assessment of a materials and services fee, though arrangements can be made for persons of limited income.

G. Once an individual receives either their Field Certification or their Studio Certification, they are permitted to refresh their skill and re-take these workshops, space permitting, without further charge.

H. Studio production timeslots shall be established by RVTV Staff for each academic quarter, or three month period beginning with January, April, July and October. Usually on the second Wednesday of the month proceeding a new quarter, a Studio Producers Meeting will be held which is open to any Studio-Certified producer. At this meeting, a drawing of numbers shall occur in order to establish a draft pick system to hand out preferred studio production timeslots for the following quarter; this process shall also include a preferential system to reward those producers who have given the most volunteer hours to other producers during RVTV community access studio productions.

I. Use of the Green Screen & Virtual set capabilities is only permitted under the direction of a producer who has completed the Advanced Workshop entitled “Green Screen Fundamentals.” Use of the On-Set Display, the studio laptop, the scan convertor and associated equipment is only permitted under the direction of a producer who has completed the Advanced Workshop entitled “On-Set Networking.” Both of these Advanced Workshops may be taken by any Studio-Certified producer who has completed the “Intermediate Directing” workshop.

J. Producers are expected to complete their studio production timeslot reservations in good faith, given the very limited availability of this resource. The following provisions apply to any alterations of reservations made in good faith with RVTV Staff, either at the Quarterly Producers Meeting, or directly in writing in the case of a mid-quarter vacancy.
1. Emergency cancellations shall be granted for a local state of emergency or any sort of facility closure, a verifiable illness, death, or a family emergency; producers may be asked to provide proof of hardship. The unavailability of a proposed guest for a studio production is never an acceptable reason for an emergency cancellation; illness, death or emergency only applies to the producer (s) of a production.
2. Unexcused cancellations (for any non-emergency reason whatsoever) shall only be permitted once per quarter. These cancellations must be made via written or e-mail notice of such cancellation to RVTV Staff, and muse be made no less than one week (7 days) in advance; this shall be interpreted as 168 hours exactly in the case of a cancellation made on a Saturday for the following Saturday, measured from the beginning of the studio production timeslot.
3. Failure to appear for a studio production timeslot without proper notice of cancellation shall result in the loss of any other studio reservations for the remainder of the quarter, and a prohibition on reserving studio time for the following quarter.

K. Field production equipment should be obtained and returned only during the designated check-out times and only with RVTV Staff. Equipment will be checked-out on a first-come, first-served basis with preference for producers who make advance reservations with RVTV Staff. Producers shall also be required to submit a Production Proposal form for any new stand-alone program or new series or programs prior to reserving equipment.

L. Producers are responsible for the repair or replacement costs of equipment damaged due to negligence. Producers must sign the RVTV Equipment/Facilities Reservation form prior to check out which confirms their liability. It is highly advised that the Producer examine the equipment they are checking out prior to leaving the facility. Lost or damaged equipment must be replaced with identical equipment within thirty days. Failure to comply within this time period will result in suspension from use of all RVTV equipment and facilities until the lost or damaged item has been replaced or repaired, or may result in legal action. Producers will not be responsible for normal wear and tear of equipment.

M. Studio Producers are permitted to produce content of an adult or mature nature, intended for scheduling on RVTV Voices during “safe harbor” hours, in the RVTV Studio so long as the Program Restrictions in Article V, Section B are strictly adhered to.
1. Studio Producers with a secured production timeslot must notify RVTV Staff in writing (printed or electronic) no less than one week in advance of their production that they will be creating one or more programs with Mature Content in the studio.
2. Due to the sensitive nature of producing such programming at the Digital Media Center, producers should expect RVTV Staff to ask them for specific details via a Production Plan as to the nature of the content; RVTV reserves the right to reject this Production Plan, either outright or pending further amendment.
3. RVTV Staff shall be responsible (via the RVTV Newsletter or by other means) to notify prospective Studio Crew and other community members that the scheduled studio production timeslot in question will produce Mature Content programming.
4. No persons under 18 years of age shall be admitted under any circumstance to the studio proper or the studio production control room during a Mature Content production; it is the responsibility of the producer in question to ensure compliance with this restriction.
5. Throughout the studio production timeslot with adult or mature content, the following sign shall be posted at all studio doors: “WARNING: The current studio production has Limited Access due to Mature Content – Persons Age 18 & Over Only.”

V. Programming Guidelines

A. PROGRAM SUBMISSIONS: Television programming may be submitted for cablecast and streaming on RVTV Voices by any adult resident of Jackson County or Josephine County.
1. Programming must meet minimum technical requirements, i.e. clean audio & video and readable file formatting;
2. Programming generated by minors (under 18 years of age) must be submitted by their parent, guardian or educator if completed as part of their coursework at a local educational institution;
3. Local programming submitted electronically via the file format designated by RVTV Staff shall be free from any programming submission fee; non-local programming and programming submitted via non-electronic methods (DVD, VHS, etc.) shall be subject to processing fees as set out in the Public Access Fee Schedule;
4. First-run local programming is also eligible for submission to the Public Access Archive for on-line viewing and download, which may include the application of a Creative Commons license to facilitate sharing of content with other non-commercial television stations in general and regional PEG (public, education & government) access stations specifically.

B. PROGRAM RESTRICTIONS: Presentation of materials designed to promote the sale or exchange of a good or service is prohibited on RVTV. Presentation of the following materials on RVTV is specifically not authorized by RVTV, and may subject the producer or other responsible party (or parties) to criminal prosecution or civil liability:
1. Any advertising material designed to promote the sale of commercial products or services;
2. Any obscene or indecent material;
3. Use of unauthorized copyrighted material;
4. Material that defames any racial, ethnic, sexual, age or religious group;
5. Any advocating of violence or fighting words which are designed to invoke violence;
6. Noncompliance with applicable Federal, State and local laws and regulations;
7. Any slanderous or libelous materials;
8. Any deliberate misinformation which may result in harm to any Individuals;
9. Any advertisement of or information concerning any lottery, gift enterprise, or similar scheme offering prizes dependent in whole or in part on chance.

C. VIEWER COMPLAINTS: Viewers of RVTV Voices are welcome to bring any complaints to the attention of RVTV staff. If a viewer alleges that a public access program is in violation of this policy, RVTV staff will notify the producer of the complaint to attempt to resolve the matter. If a complaint cannot be resolved between the viewer and the producer and if the viewer wishes to proceed with requesting the removal of the program in question, the Public Access Advisory Council shall be the third-party review body to assess the validity of the complaint.

D. SERIES DEFINITION: A series is a program with sequential episodes which carry forward and develop a similar theme or idea. A series must be coherent in terms of length of time and also in terms of structure and content. The episodes must have a consistent connection with one another.

E. SERIES STATUS: Establishing a new series status requires the submission of three or more episodes for scheduling in a particular academic quarter (Winter beginning Jan. 1; Spring beginning Apr. 1; Summer beginning July 1; Fall beginning Oct. 1). The status of any series will be reviewed near or at the beginning of each new quarter and on other occasions as determined by RVTV staff.
For programs to be labeled a series, the producer must generate THREE NEW EPISODES submitted for scheduling for each 13-week programming season on RVTV Voices. Failure to submit three episodes in a particular season, or the submission of episodes which do not fit the series or are otherwise out of compliance with RVTV policies, will result in the cancellation of series status.

F. GAINING SERIES STATUS: Public Access Producers of series in current production may request a primary timeslot for their program. These timeslots shall be assigned by RVTV staff, who may or may not grant the requested timeslot dependent on community needs and interests and the coherence of the overall schedule on RVTV Voices.
These timeslots may also be assigned in accordance with programming blocs established by RVTV staff for the benefit of viewers.

G. TIMESLOT LENGTH: Programs must be at least FIFTEEN (15) minutes long to be eligible for a series timeslot. Typically producers will ask for either a half-hour or one-hour timeslot for their program, although 90 minute and 120 minute timeslots are also utilized on occasion. It is recommended, but not required, that producers submit programs which hit the 28:30 mark for a half-hour timeslot, or 58:30 for an hour timeslot, and so on. This enables RVTV staff to schedule station identifications and public service announcements in between programs.
Series producers are warned against turning in programs which exceed the timeslot they have been granted, as these episodes will likely be rejected or cut off early. Repeated failure to submit episodes which fit the series timeslot may result in the termination of series status.

H. PROGRAMMING PRIORITY: Programming priority is one set of factors which helps RVTV staff determine series timeslot placement, while recognizing that all residents of Jackson and Josephine Counties must be served equally. As a general principle, programming priority shall be recognized in the following order of importance:
1. New local productions generated at the RVTV studio or with RVTV equipment;
2. Continuing local productions generated at the RVTV studio or with RVTV equipment;
3. New local productions not utilizing the RVTV studio or RVTV equipment;
4. Continuing local productions not utilizing the RVTV studio or RVTV equipment;
5. New non-local productions;
6. Continuing non-local productions.

I. SAFE HARBOR: RVTV Voices will only show programs of an “adult” or mature nature between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., thus these are known as “safe harbor” hours. If your series contains one or more episodes with mature subject matter (examples would be programs which depict nudity, foul language, drug and alcohol use, sexual subject matter, extreme violence or other mature themes), you MUST schedule your series for 10 p.m. or later in the evening. If in doubt, err on the side of caution — and remember that the producer takes full responsibility for the programming they submit. Safe harbor programming must also present the following disclaimer at the beginning of the program:

J. NON-LOCAL RELIGIOUS PROGRAMMING: Due to the previously congested scheduling of weeknights on RVTV Voices, continuing religious and spiritual programs produced outside Jackson or Josephine Counties shall be restricted to ONE (1) timeslot per week, and only on Sunday between Noon and 10 p.m.

K. PROGRAMMING BLOCS: To provide a coherent and appealing viewing experience for everyone who watches RVTV Voices, RVTV Staff may establish programming blocs. A programming bloc provides for programs of a similar theme or subject matter to be scheduled in a group format for one or more hours on a particular programming day. Staff will attempt to work with producers to assign their shows “categories” or subject themes that are accurate and help to establish the programming bloc or blocs that work best.

L. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY TIMESLOTS: Public Access Producers who generate locally-produced programs MAY be granted a secondary timeslot in addition to their primary timeslot AT THE DISCRETION OF RVTV STAFF. This decision may be based upon available space and upon the record of compliance of a particular show’s producer with RVTV policies. Producers may request a secondary timeslot or one may be assigned to them, and they are subject to change without notice.
The secondary timeslot for a series may not fall on the same day as the primary timeslot for that series; additionally, efforts shall be made to put a secondary timeslot in a different “time period” than the primary timeslot for that series. For this purpose, a “time period” shall be defined as the following:
• Weekday morning: 5 am – 12 pm
• Weekday afternoon: 12 – 4 pm
• Weekday evening: 4 – 7 pm
• Weekday prime time: 7 – 10 pm
• Weekday late night: 10 pm – 12 am
• Weekday overnight: 12 – 5 am
• Weekend morning: 5 am – 12 pm
• Weekend afternoon: 12 – 4 pm
• Weekend evening: 4 – 7 pm
• Weekend prime time: 7 – 10 pm
• Weekend late night: 10 pm – 12 am
• Weekend overnight: 12 – 5 am

M. PREEMPTION: Any regularly scheduled Programming Bloc or particular series timeslot may be preempted at the discretion of RVTV staff. Preemption may be implemented due to conditions such as:
1. Special “live” programming from the RVTV studio or from a community event;
2. Programming related to informing viewers in a non-partisan manner about local, state or federal elections;
3. Programming intended to observe or celebrate cultural or secular holidays;
4. Emergency news and information services in the event of a disaster or other extraordinary event.

N. STUDIO, EQUIPMENT & FACILITY USE DISCLAIMER: Any use of RVTV field equipment, RVTV editing facilities, or the RVTV studio in the production of any program on RVTV Voices shall include the following disclaimer, displayed either at the beginning or the end of the specific program:
“The views and comments expressed on this program are those of the producers and not those of SOU, RVTV or their cablecast partners.
Thank you to the Cities of Ashland, Medford & Grants Pass, the County of Jackson as well as Southern Oregon University for their sponsorship of Rogue Valley Community Television.”
Any program using the RVTV studio for a live or recorded program shall, in addition, include the following disclaimer:
“Recorded in the RVTV studio at the Southern Oregon Digital Media Center on the campus of SOU in Ashland, Oregon on (insert date.)”

VI. Underwriting

A. Private Programs and Public Access Programs appearing on Rogue Valley Community Television are permitted to garner underwriting support to assist the production of their program, so long as they adhere to the criteria in this policy to ensure the non-commercial format of this support, whether this underwriting support is a specific product, service or financial in nature.

B. Underwriting credits may only be applied to programs which are 15 minutes or longer.

C. The total run-time of underwriting credits on any program between 15 and 60 minutes shall not exceed 60 seconds, and shall all appear either at the beginning or the end of the program. Programs longer than 1 hour may run the same sequence of underwriting credits, not exceeding 60 seconds, once every 30 minutes.

D. No individual, business or organization providing underwriting support shall exercise any editorial control over the program in question.

E. Underwriting credits may take the form of either pre-produced audio/visual packages or verbal acknowledgements by the host of a program, both forms following the same terms and conditions.

F. No single underwriting credit may exceed 15 seconds in length.

G. Underwriting credits are permitted to contain:
1. The individual, business or organizational underwriter’s name;
2. The underwriter’s logo;
3. The underwriter’s physical address;
4. The underwriter’s phone number;
5. The underwriter’s website address;
6. A photograph or video of a business or product, so long as this is presented in a “value-neutral manner” without depiction of satisfaction by the customer or consumer;
7. A description of a product or service, so long as it is not gratuitously or blatantly promotional in nature;
8. An expression of support for public access television as part of the acknowledgement (otherwise known as a “healthy ingredient”).

H. Underwriting credits are not permitted to contain:
1. Any call to action;
2. Any comparative language to any other purveyor of a product, service or viewpoint;
3. Any mention of price whatsoever;
4. Any inducement to buy, sell, rent or lease;
5. Any depiction of a client or celebrity who appear to be interacting with approbation or satisfaction so as to constitute an endorsement of a product or service.

I. The following shall be prohibited from providing any underwriting support or appearing in any underwriting credits:
1. Tobacco of any kind;
2. Weapons of any kind;
3. Illicit drugs;
4. Products made from the fur or hide of animals included on endangered species lists;
5. Radar detectors or other devices designed to enable motorists to evade traffic safety or anti-speed laws;
6. Pornography;
7. Human body parts for transplant purposes;
8. “Adult content” and “adult themes,” except for programs that are specifically labeled as containing mature content and presented during Safe Harbor hours;
9. Political parties, political candidates, PACs and other political committees advocating for the support/defeat of any candidate for public office or the support/defeat for any initiative, referendum or recall measure on any ballot;
10. Material promoting religious conversion or religious participation/non-participation;
11. Material that violates laws, rules or regulations (slander, libel, etc.);
12. Material that is disguised as editorial content;
13. Material promoting violence or advocating against any organization, person or animal (public, private or protected);
14. Material promoting pyramid or multi-level marketing schemes;
15. Material that directly advertises products to children.

J. Producers are specifically reminded that any cash, goods and/or services received may need to be reported as income, as producers are acting independently within the confines of this policy. No relationship of employer-employee or principal-agent exists between Producers and RVTV. Producers are considered independent contractors in terms of their relationships with underwriting entities and should report any income under this designation.

K. RVTV Staff may impose other restrictions not specifically annunciated in this policy to ensure compliance with applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations, and for any other purpose deemed necessary.

VII. Public Access Advisory Council

A. The mission of the Public Access Advisory Council is to be the active representation of the community that Rogue Valley Community Television serves, as it also brings awareness of RVTV to the community. The PAAC shall support and provide advocacy for community producers, encourage diversity in such areas as gender, ethnicity and opinion, and help assess the validity of viewer concerns. The members of the board are citizens of Southern Oregon and are actively involved in the maintenance of RVTV, its productions and programming.

B. The Public Access Advisory Council shall support in an advisory capacity the Community Access Policy and shall periodically assess and suggest amendments to it as needed.

C. The Public Access Advisory Council shall elect a Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary at the first meeting of every year and shall form committees as needed to accomplish its goals. Standing committees of the PAAC shall include the Events and Fundraising Committee, the Outreach Committee and the Executive & Policy Committee. With the exception of the Executive & Policy Committee (which shall consist of the officers of the Council), residents of the community that RVTV serves may be appointed by the PAAC to serve on a particular committee without their being a member of the full PAAC; such appointments may be renewed by the PAAC annually.

D. Members of the Public Access Advisory Council shall make a commitment to serve two-year terms, with seven members commencing their terms in January of every even-numbered year, and six members commencing their terms in January of every odd-numbered year; mid-term appointments may be made to serve out the terms of vacant seats. Members are appointed via applications submitted to the RVTV Public Access Coordinator, which are then reviewed by the Advisory Council for their recommendation and final review by RVTV Staff.

E. Attendance at the regular monthly meetings (the fourth Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. at the SOU Digital Media Center, unless otherwise designated by the Executive & Policy Committee) shall be considered mandatory for all members of the Council. Excused absences may be granted in the case of verified personal emergency (such as illness in the family, etc.). More than two consecutive unexcused absences to the regular monthly Council meetings, or more than three unexcused absences during a calendar year to any Council meeting, shall constitute an automatic resignation from the Council. By prior arrangement with RVTV Staff, members may attend by electronic device.

F. Special meetings of the Advisory Council may be called by the Chair, or by a majority of the Executive & Policy Committee, with at least three days notice. Such notice shall contain the time and place of the meeting, and the agenda items to be discussed.

G. Quorum to conduct the business of the PAAC shall consist of one-third plus one (33% + 1) of the current membership for a regular meeting, and one-half plus one (50% + 1) of the current membership for a special meeting. A quorum failure at a regular meeting not otherwise cancelled by the Executive & Policy Committee shall count as an unexcused absence where applicable.



RVTV Community Access Policy, version 1.00