To serve the people of Dennis by offering a high-quality source of direct, accurate information on the decisions and activities of local government to the residents of Dennis. The Government Access Channel will create a greater understanding of and promote involvement in government, raise awareness of government issues, and highlight government services.
- Make government more accessible to the people by providing gavel-to-gavel coverage of meetings of the Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee, Regulatory Boards, and other public meetings and hearings.
- Increase awareness and use of Town services through video programming and electronic bulletin boards.
- Be a source of information in emergency situations.
- Serve as a resource for Town departments and agencies in creating their own programming, both for internal use and for cablecasting on the Government Access Channel.
The fundamental purpose of the Government Access Channel is to promote the education of citizens concerning local government through cablecasting meetings and Town sponsored events, as Town Administration deems appropriate and beneficial to citizens. The General Policies are as follows:
- Selection and scheduling of programming shall be the responsibility of Town Administration.
- Use of Town-owned production equipment is restricted to Town employees and those authorized by Town Administration.
- Personal use of Town-owned equipment is prohibited.
- The Town of Dennis owns the copyright on all programming produced. TODTV will not telecast any outside programming without necessary written copyright clearances.
- Recordings of meeting coverage will be kept and not reused:
- For 90 days after the minutes of any meeting have been approved.
- If there is an appeal of a hearing.
- If anyone asks for the recording of a specific meeting be retained for future reference.
- Requests for duplication of recordings will be honored. Requests must be submitted in writing on a form provided by Town Administration and according to instructions included on that form.
Meeting Coverage Guidelines
- All public meetings of the Town of Dennis, whether recorded live or for recablecast, will be covered gavel-to-gavel with no interruptions. The only exception to uninterrupted coverage is a legally allowable executive session. There will be no editorial comment. The only editing allowed of recorded meetings will be to resolve technical problems, or to reduce the length of extended breaks in official proceedings.
- Superimposed electronic graphics will, when possible, identify the date and location of the meeting, and the issue under discussion.
- TODTV coverage is not the official record of the meeting. Should human or technical error result in incorrect information being telecast by TODTV, its offices and agents shall not be liable for the inaccuracy of the information.
Any programming produced by an outside source for telecast on TODTV must be sponsored by a Town agency and approved by Town Administration. The sponsor must provide an introduction and an closer to the outside source.
Political Use/Elections/Candidate Coverage
- Advertising on behalf of or opposing any political candidate or ballot measure is prohibited.
- Candidates for election may not use the Government Access Channel except in performance of their official duties at official meetings, or at legitimate news events.
- TODTV may air candidate forums or debates as long as all qualified candidates are invited to appear. An independent third party must moderate all debates.
- Scheduling the use of the Government Access Channel time shall be the responsibility of Town Administration.
- Scheduling will be in accordance with channel use priorities listed below and the availability of equipment and resources.
- Emergency Coverage - live coverage of emergency situations as determined by Town Administration and/or the Executive Director of Emergency Management, will take precedence over and pre-empt all other TODTV programming.
- Public Meetings - Board of Selectmen meetings and work sessions will be given first priority.
- Dependent upon available personnel and equipment, TODTV will produce programming for Town agencies with prior proper approval from Town Administration.
- Written requests should be made to Town Administration. Groups interested in creating programming are urged to contact the MIS Director informally to discuss the proposal prior to seeking approval.
- Project proposals need the following information for consideration:
- Description of the program and the topics to be covered.
- Format (i.e. one-time edited program, public forum, ceremony coverage, monthly or weekly program.
- Length (15-30 minutes is recommended).
- People who would participate, both on-camera and anyone who would have responsibility for supplying information to be used in the program.
- A key contact in the department who would essentially serve as producer - someone who can both answer questions and can ensure the program fits in with department/agency goals.
- Any suggestions the agency or department may have in how to develop the proposal into a program ready for telecast on TODTV.
- Town departments and agencies may use outside production sources to produce programming, but the necessary approvals, an introduction and an closer are still required before the finished program is scheduled for cablecast.
- TODTV may reject programming produced by outside sources if it does not meet technical standards or, if in the opinion of Town Administration, the programming does not meet the mission and content standards of TODTV.
- Any Town department or group using TODTV facilities and resources bears sole responsibility for the content and material used in all programs produced by or for them. This responsibility includes obtaining all necessary releases from program participants, obtaining any necessary copyright clearances, and complying with policies and procedures established by TODTV.
Electronic Bulletin Board (EBB)
- The EBB may publicize government meetings, services, events, town employment opportunities and other public announcements.
- Use of the EBB is restricted to Town agencies, departments, and other organizations that provide important service announcement to the community. Any announcement may be edited for space or clarity.
- The EBB is to be used to provide citizens with information and procedures in the event of emergency situations (severe weather, civil emergencies, failure of municipal service or systems, hazardous waste releases, etc.)
- Text and graphic information and messages in the form of an EBB shall be programmed to play at predetermined times and intervals.
- The objective of providing these EBB messages are identical to those stated in the Goals section of this policy.
- Programming aired on TODTV must be of generally accepted cablecast quality on professional recording media.
- All recording media must be labeled with the program date, title, producer's name, total run time (TRT) and number of segments on each type of recording media.
- Town Administration may reject any recording media on technical grounds.
- Programming aired on TODTV will be non-commercial in nature. No marketing or sales of any commercial product or service will be permitted.
- Fundraising, or any kind of direct solicitation of funds, except by Town agencies, departments, and officials for public purposes, is prohibited.
- TODTV will not air programming that violates any local, state or federal law.