We’ve recently had a number of inquiries about programming on RCTV, so we wanted to “clear the air” of misperceptions.
RCTV-15 is an award-winning, non-profit public access station that serves the City of Rochester and local residents. Rochester Community Television is funded, in part, as a result of an agreement between the City of Rochester via its Time Warner Cable contract that allows cable lines to be run through the city and in part, through grants, sponsorships, membership, classes, donations and other services it provides to the community. RCTV-15 is not funded by the City of Rochester or Monroe County.
So what is public access TV? The institution of Public Access was created during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when cable programming had just taken off. A new type of cable channel was formed that focused on Public, Educational and Government Access (PEG Channels). Just as with network stations, PEG stations are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). These Public Access channels were created to ensure all community members had the rights, the access and the forum to share their points of view, vision and ideas.
Although we do carry some national programming, such as ARTS and Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, the majority of programming aired on RCTV is hyper-local. The shows have been created by members of our community. The content and points of view presented on these programs are not necessarily shared by RCTV’s Board of Directors, its staff, its partners and sponsors, its members or its other producers. In fact, RCTV staff is prohibited by law from exercising any editorial control over the programs that are submitted by independent producers. The point of public access is to give everyone a voice. RCTV does not censor or refuse to air programming because the producers’ views, content or the manner in which it is presented may run counter to the beliefs of those affiliated with the station. We do, however, make every attempt to vet the programming and make sure that content with explicit violence, language or sexually-oriented material is not run during prime time hours.
We recognize that viewership is a choice…that each individual who tunes in to RCTV-15 or any other channel has viewership options …to watch, to change the channel, or to turn off the TV and do something else entirely. Additionally, through public access TV, you have the option to produce your own show, featuring your own unique viewpoints, talents and vision. At RCTV, we offer media production training, TV studio space and even an equipment lending library!
When you choose to watch Rochester Community Television you are watching, primarily, shows produced independently by your fellow Rochestarians. These shows are diverse in opinion, style, look and content. In other words, they reflect Rochester. Adlai Stevenson once famously said, “The first principle of a free society is an untrammeled flow of words in an open forum.” At RCTV-15, we strive to provide such a forum.