How Can They Show THAT?
Dear CCTV Members and Friends,
Often, the staff and volunteers receive thanks and praise for our efforts to build Public-Education-Government (PEG) access television.
Sometimes, we hear, "How can you show THAT?"
Public access TV in Concord and Carlisle means it is programmed by the residents who choose to furnish programming. Most of the programming you will see will be produced by members of the community -- either private individuals and community-based organizations (Public: Channel 8), or the town governments (Channel 9). This public access station is an electronic forum for free expression by the residents.
Sometimes, viewers may say "There ought to be a law about what I saw last night!" There IS a law: the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and its guarantee that "Congress shall pass no law abridging the freedom of speech..." Basically, any resident is free to say or do anything he or she wants on their own access TV program, provided that they provide assurances that their program does nor contain any illegal content. This illegal content is defined, in part, by our cable television access agreement with the Town of Concord.
We have agreed to maintain a public forum for the free expression of ideas -- even ideas you or I might find offensive or worse -- as long as we prohibit all of the following types of content in programs:
1. Commercials or advertising
2. Libel or slander
3. Obscenity and pornography
4. Any violation of copyrights, publicity rights, or invasion of privacy
5. Any violation of FCC regulations
6. Any violation of any local, state, or federal law.
When a CCTV member submits a program for broadcast, the member must complete and sign a Request form, and in so doing assumes responsibility for the content. If you see something on our channel which does not fall into one of the above categories, but which upsets you anyway, you have the right to join us CCTV, and learn how to produce your own program or message on the channel, to counteract the programming that upset you. As Supreme Court Justice Brandeis said: "...avert the evil by the process of education... the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."
If you'd like to know how the FCC defines obscenity, and the very different type of content called "indecency," you may read their Consumer Fact Sheet at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/obscene.html While CCTV is not directly regulated by this FCC policy, which is applied to broadcasters like the local network stations, it will follow this policy, especially as concerns the scheduling of so-called adult programming after 10 PM. Some information contained in this letter has been adapted from NewTV in Newton, Mass., and we are grateful for their assistance. CCTV, Inc.