[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Moorestown 12-19-1994 as Ord. No. 1731-94. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Cable television franchise — See Ch. A220.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- An entity which creates or presents a program for broadcast. The "producer" is solely responsible for the content of the program and for compliance with these programming standards. No program which fails to meet these standards in any regard shall be broadcast on the Moorestown Governmental/Educational Channel.
- The activities of the producer and its staff in connection with a Program.
- A sequence of television images with accompanying sound which is broadcast on the Moorestown Governmental/Educational Channel.
Only the executive branch of the Township of Moorestown or of the Moorestown Township Public Schools may serve as a producer. All activities relating to the production of a program shall be directly controlled and supervised by a full-time, permanent employee of the producer.
Nothing herein shall preclude the use of paid professionals or of unpaid volunteers in the production of a program, provided that all such persons are properly controlled and supervised by the producer. Individuals or organizations that wish to have a program considered for airing shall submit two copies of the program on VHS format videotape to either the Township Manager or Superintendent of Schools.
The purpose and content of every program shall be exclusively governmental or educational. The Moorestown Governmental/Educational Channel is not intended to be nor shall it be used as a public forum or public access channel. Governmental/educational purposes may include sports and cultural events.
No promotion or advocacy of any political or religious doctrine, philosophy, point of view or position shall be permitted, whether local, national or international in scope and whether direct or implied, overt or subtle. This constitutes an absolute prohibition and the doctrine of equal time is not sufficient to overcome it.
Nothing herein shall preclude balanced news reporting or balanced coverage of newsworthy events of all kinds, provided that such reporting or events are not for the principal purpose of stating, promoting, advancing or advocating a particular political or religious doctrine, philosophy, point of view or position to the exclusion of others and provided that any opposing points of view are fairly included.
No commercial message of any kind, whether paid or not, shall be permitted at any time. The names of contributors who have assisted with the cost of production may be displayed in block letters for an aggregate period for all such names not to exceed 15 seconds at the beginning and again at the end of each program. A simultaneous, verbatim oral announcement of said names may accompany each such display. No addresses, telephone numbers or other means to facilitate contact with such contributors and no mention of any products or services shall be permitted.
Nothing herein shall preclude the timely announcement (visual and/or oral) of bona fide civic or cultural events to be held within the community of Moorestown or reasonably expected to be of interest to Moorestown citizens or the presentation of programming schedules for the Governmental/Educational Channel. Such community service announcements may contain addresses and/or telephone numbers.
Prohibited at all times are images, language and themes which are pornographic, lewd, lascivious, obscene or vulgar or which are derogatory, demeaning or offensive to people of any race, creed or ethnic background.
A major objective of these standards and hence of every producer shall be to present programs of the highest possible quality. Considerations of program content, general community interest, aesthetics, artistic excellence, professionalism and technical quality are vitally important and should be rigorously evaluated when determining whether a program should be approved for broadcast.
All decisions of producers are final and not subject to appeal, except for the decision as to whether or not a completed program is approved for broadcast. Any person, 21 years of age or older, whose primary residence is in Moorestown may appeal a producer's decision to approve or disapprove a completed program for broadcast by submitting a written notice of appeal to the office of the Deputy Township Manager. To be deemed complete, such notice must be typewritten; must include the appellant's full name and residence address, with day and evening telephone numbers; must be signed by the appellant; must clearly identify, by name or otherwise, the single program which is the subject of the appeal (notices of appeal relating to more than one program will not be accepted); must state the entire reason and basis for the appeal, explicitly citing the section(s) of these programming standards the appellant believes are applicable to the appeal; and must be accompanied by six videotape copies, in VHS format, of the program which is the subject of the appeal. When the notice of appeal is complete, the producer will promptly be supplied with a copy of said notice and may respond, in writing, to the Deputy Township Manager within 14 days after the notice of appeal is complete.
The program, the notice of appeal and the producer's response, if any, will be reviewed by the Cable TV Committee, and the written ruling of a majority of said Committee will be delivered within 28 calendar days after the notice of appeal is complete. (Failure to deliver such ruling within the required time period shall be deemed a ruling in favor of the appellant.) If the ruling grants approval to broadcast, then it implicitly states the Committee's conclusion that the program meets these programming standards and no further reason for the ruling will be given. If the ruling denies approval to broadcast, then it will state only the section(s) of these programming standards that the Committee has determined are violated by the program. No elaboration, additional reasoning or specific programming guidance will be given as it is the responsibility of the producer to determine the corrective action required to cure any failure of the program to meet these standards.
Notices of appeal seeking to prevent the broadcast of a program must be received and complete not less than 30 calendar days prior to the scheduled broadcast date ("appeal deadline"). Appeals objecting to the broadcast of a program where the notice of appeal is completed after the appeal deadline will be heard nevertheless, and the ruling thereon will be used as a non-binding precedent by producers in approving future programs for broadcast and by the Cable TV Committee in ruling on future appeals. However, such late appeals will not be the basis for prohibiting or delaying the scheduled broadcast of an otherwise approved program. Conversely, once a complete notice of appeal is received, no acceleration of the broadcast schedule will be permitted.