Purpose and Intent
The purpose of this document is to provide information concerning the general guidelines and policy direction of the City government channel, Greensboro Television Network (GTN). The Cable Communications Act of 1984, 47 USC Section 531 et seq. distinguishes between public access, educational access, and governmental access.
Authority for the Channel
Greensboro Television Network operates pursuant to a city-granted franchise through Spectrum (TWC) and the City of Greensboro. Management and programming of GTN is under the authority of the Communications and Marketing Department.
- To provide public service and emergency information to the residents of the City of Greensboro and Guilford County.
- To widen the dissemination of the activities of the legislative, administrative and advisory bodies of The City of Greensboro.
- To increase the knowledge of the residents of Greensboro and Guilford County about the various functions performed by their local government.
- To provide additional information to residents needing access to various departments.
- To provide information on functions performed by or sponsored or funded by the City of Greensboro, Guilford County, the state, or federal governments.
- To cablecast 24 hours a day.
Types of Programs
GTN is not a public access channel. Access to GTN is restricted to governmental entities. Appropriate programming may include:
- Live: Live coverage of selected meetings and events. This will consist of City Council meetings, Zoning meetings and other special program events.
- Replays: Meetings and events recorded in advance and cablecast at a later time. Some events (City Council and Zoning Commission) will be cablecast live and will also be recorded for later playback.
- Original Programming: Programs produced by the GTN facility, to include programs for City departments, issues related to City government or which use City tax dollars.
- Outside Program Sources: The Communications Manager and Station Manager will consider pre-recorded material for cablecast on a variety of topics regarding federal, state, local government, or economic development issues, subject to the constraints of this policy.
- Bulletin Board Information: Character generated messages related to City activities, programs, services and events.
- Election coverage of vote-counting only
- Emergency service operations for natural and man-made disasters, weather phenomena, poison prevention, first aid, etc.
All programming cablecast on GTN must be government related. Final approval of each request will be made by the Communications and Marketing Department or City Manager's Office. GTN is not to be used for anything other than City government or quasi-government functions. The City of Greensboro’s government channel shall provide non-editorial information to the residents of Greensboro and Guilford County. The cable channel is not intended as a mechanism for building support for particular policies, programs or issues. Requests for access to the cable channel by any individual or group for the purpose of advocating personal or political viewpoints shall be denied.
Utilization of the channel for personal gain will not be permitted. The following general priorities will apply to the Government Channel. The priorities may be altered on a case by case basis by the Communications and Marketing Department and GTN management.
- Programming of an emergency nature which would involve public safety or health matters.
- Programming on or about meetings of policy making bodies, City Council, Boards and Commissions and regulatory bodies of City government.
- Programming concerning various departments of City Government and their services.
- Programming may be locally produced or obtained from alternate sources. However, only those programs consistent with the overall operating policy of the City of Greensboro GTN, that have copyright clearance, shall be considered. Programs submitted from eligible applicants are evaluated on the following criteria (not necessarily in order of importance):
- Resident interest
- Governmental nature
- Broadcast quality
- Compliance with programming restrictions
- Public service / safety needs
- Programming produced by GTN or outside sources which is relevant to government services and the public interest.
The GTN Station Manager shall oversee the various phases of production for programming aired on GTN. GTN is responsible for televising local government meetings, government-sponsored activities and events. GTN shall operate 24 hours a day through Spectrum (TWC) and AT&T U-verse.
GTN 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:
- Meetings / programs containing obscene, offensive or defamatory material / language shall not be broadcast on GTN. Community standards of good taste will be adhered to at all times. It shall be the responsibility of each contributing entity to assure that speeches, video programs, PowerPoint presentations, and audio files submitted to GTN shall not contain such material / language.
- The City of Greensboro is not responsible for statements made during public meetings such as City Council and Zoning meetings and speakers from the floor.
- 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 GTN harmless in any case of copyright infringement.
- Copyright for creative properties (original scripts, music, artwork, etc.) shall accrue to the owner / creator of said property. Agreements between the owner / creator and GTN will contain the following assurance:
- Owner / creator shall grant GTN copyright clearance for the use of the property in an agreed-upon manner
- Each party agrees to notify the other of any distribution of the program
- Programs will not be sold, commercially distributed or loaned without prior approval of the Communications Manager and Station Manager
- Programs, which have as the primary purpose to promote commercial / profit-making services, political candidates, products, trade or business will not be broadcast on GTN
- GTN will not endorse any consumer products
- Programming on GTN shall adhere to the following restrictions and programming is prohibited that contains:
- any advertising of a commercial product or service nature
- any information concerning any lottery, gift enterprise, or similar promotion offering prizes based in whole or part upon lot or chance
- any direct solicitation of funds
- any material that would violate any federal, state, county or municipal statute or law
- any material that promotes religious beliefs or religious philosophies
- any obscene, indecent, defamatory material any political advertisement by or on behalf of legally declared candidates for public office; and endorsements of ballot issues.
- These Policies and Guidelines will be reviewed and revised on an as-needed basis.
Political programming will not be permitted on GTN with the exception of providing factual information on any ballot issue affecting City or County government service. Direct access to GTN for individual candidates or supporters of any candidate or issues will not be provided.
Upon declaration of official candidacy, City Council members will be shown on GTN only while serving in their official duties as duly elected City Council members. Any other use of their image during the official campaign period is prohibited.
- Any live City meetings cablecast shall not be edited or subjected to editorial comment. Live meeting coverage shall be gavel to gavel including any breaks or intermissions. Meetings will be recorded for later replay. The City of Greensboro reserves the right to edit meeting replays to conform to Federal Communications Commission regulations or other applicable federal, state or local laws, regulations or rulings.
- Any program recorded by GTN may be modified or edited as needed. Editing will be based on approved script, dictated by schedules and staffing requirements.
- Bulletin Board: Messages programmed into the bulletin board portion of GTN will be submitted by City of Greensboro departments. Editing by GTN staff to provide clarity and maximize utilization of pages available may be required.
- The City of Greensboro does not guarantee the accuracy of the information cablecast by GTN. No agents, employees or officials of the City of Greensboro, or the Communications and Marketing Department shall be held liable for the cablecast of inaccurate information through either human or mechanical error.
Promotional announcements for City-sponsored events will be permitted on GTN. Promotional announcements for events, charities or outside organizations in which the City has no official interest or sponsorship shall not be permitted.
Use of GTN equipment shall be restricted to GTN employees only. Loaning of equipment for personal or outside use shall not be permitted. Use of GTN media production facilities shall be limited to GTN employees and others trained and under direct supervision of the facility's qualified personnel.
Ownership of Recorded Material
All recordings shall be the property of GTN. It shall be a general policy that all staff produced programs, meetings or events shall be retained for a period of at least six months. The recordings shall not be considered an official record of any meeting, and there shall be no liability for inadvertent erasure or omissions.