In an effort to encourage the use of FCTV – Public Access Channel 13 by candidates for election and those who have filed petition articles for Town Meeting, I want to share with you the FCTV policy regarding the use of Channel 13.
You are also welcome to use FCTV-Channel 13 to air programming which specifically endorses your petition. You can either provide us a completed program on DVD or use FCTV facilities and equipment per our policies which I would be happy to discuss with you. Primarily you need one or more production-trained FCTV members who will serve as producer (unless you are an FCTV member in which case you may serve as producer) and volunteer crew to run the equipment. We can provide a list of such volunteers for you to choose from or if you would like, we can attempt to find a volunteer producer for you. Please let me know and we will publicize that a producer and/or crew is needed for a particular article.
All programs endorsing a specific candidate, petition article or ballot question must be received no later than 2:00 pm, fourteen days prior to the election in order to be scheduled for cablecast on Public Channel 13 the following week. Programs submitted after the deadline will not be scheduled for cablecast. All programs on Public Channel 13 are aired on a first-come, first-served basis.
All programming endorsing a specific candidate, petition article or ballot question will end 24 hours prior to an election. Forums to which all candidates have been invited do not apply to the 24 hour rule.
FCTV is non-partisan, therefore we do not produce programs endorsing specific candidates, petition articles or ballot questions. Our staff does provide technical support to all member producers to ensure the highest production quality of all programs.
As your local community channel we encourage you to use FCTV to express your views and enlighten our voters. Since all programs as they are cablecast on Channel 13 are also streamed on our website during playback, these programs are available to non-cable subscribers as well, thus increasing exposure.
From FCTV Operating Rules and Regulations
XXII. Access for Political Candidates
Political candidates are subject to the same rules and procedures as other users of the FCTV access channels in addition to the following:
A. The public access channel bulletin board will be made available (one page per week) for individual use by political candidates for office. Such use will begin forty-five (45) days prior to a primary or general election day.
B. Programming endorsing any particular candidate will end twenty-four (24) hours prior to Election Day.
C. Public Meetings such as Town Meeting, Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Planning Board, etc. are not considered Political Programming and are not subject to the "24 hour" rule.
FCTV-Government Channel 15
The Government Channel is a conduit of and voice for elected and appointed officials and departments of government to inform our citizenry. As the Public Access Channel is for the public and the Educational Access Channel is for the constituents of the Schools. We as an organization understand the magnitude of the responsibility of Government Access and furthermore understand that our role in managing the Government Access Channel is to provide information to the public and not to persuade.
There are many municipalities that are managing Government Access Channels around the country (not organizations such as FCTV) that may not necessarily hold these values in such high regard and report only their position. However, since FCTV is the management entity and holds high standards in parity and access to factual information, we strive for a more balanced approach in informing the public so that they may make the best decision for themselves upon entering the voting booth.
We look forward to working with all of our candidates as well as those endorsing the many diverse points of view in our community in utilizing public access television as our community’s electronic soap box and one of several avenues available in educating and informing our citizenry.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Debra Rogers, Executive Director/CEO
Falmouth Community Television (FCTV)