Policies and Procedures


February 20, 2008

SECTION I – STATEMENTS OF PRINCIPLES AND PURPOSE

We believe that public access to the communication medium most influential in the marketplace of ideas, of public opinion and debate, of public entertainment and leisure, and of public education and information, is a right of all persons. The central purpose of the Media Center is to vigorously encourage and facilitate such access.

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

  1. All segments of the population are represented in programming, policies and procedures.
  2. All residents and workers in the service area will be given access to training, production equipment, channel time and programming services.
  3. Training in all aspects of production is made available and is planned to meet the needs and experience levels of all members of our communities.
  4. Every effort will be made to maintain sufficient funding to pursue all areas of interest to users and viewers.
  5. The Media Center will strive to maintain independence, public accountability, diversity, and advocacy for public access and programming for the non-commercial community telecommunications user.
  6. The Media Center will strive to always maintain an attitude of responsiveness to community needs and concerns.
  7. Above all else, the Media Center will maintain a sense of vision, of idealism, of duty and of public mission.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

Using communication technologies toward the goal of community building, the Media Center strives. . . . .
“to bring together the diverse socio-economic, educational and political groups in our service area for the purpose of establishing a healthy, vital, co-operative and collaborative community.”

GOALS:

  1. To have diverse programming of all the kinds of ideas, attitudes, and personas, that reflects the multi-cultural, multi-perspective, and multi-interest nature of our communities.
  2. To provide open, easy, widespread, and equal access to the Media Center services for all members of our communities, irrespective of creed, color, ethnic background, national origin, point of view, education, age, or economic means.
  3. To secure a central and visible place in community activity through outreach, publicity, programming, production, and training efforts that reflects the active and participatory relationship of the public to its communications media brought about by the existence of the Media Center.
  4. To assure fiscal and operational responsibility through sound professional management and energetic community volunteerism.
  5. To encourage intensive and sustained community use of our facilities, equipment and services.
  6. To encourage production and viewing of both a narrow and a broad kind.
  7. To build a reflective, responsive and diversely indigenous “over-the-air” community.

SECTION II – STATEMENT OF POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

ELIGIBILITY – ACCESS USER QUALIFICATIONS

1. Residency

All persons who live or work (at least 20 hours per week) in the Media Center service area, and/or those producing programs for organizations within the service area, are eligible to use the Media Center facilities. The sponsoring organization must provide a letter stating that it is within the Media Center service area, which includes Atherton, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Palo Alto and the unincorporated parts of San Mateo County and Santa Clara County within the local Comcast service area, and that it has entered into an agreement with the producer.
Persons who live outside the Media Center service area and/or those producing programs for organizations outside of our service area, are eligible to use the Media Center facilities as non-residents on a space- and equipment-available basis. Residents receive highest priority in facility use scheduling. Non-resident facility users will be given access after resident’s needs are filled.

2. Age

All persons 16 years or older satisfy the age requirement. A younger person may gain access if an adult parent or legal guardian assumes legal responsibility and supervises the minor when the Media Center equipment is used. A younger person may also gain access through a specially sponsored program.

3. Commercial Use

The Media Center may rent out the studio to commercial users for occasional daytime use on an as-requested, first-come, first-served basis. The studio is ordinarily empty during daytime business hours, since community members primarily use it in the evening. The Media Center may also rent out the studio in non-daytime hours to the extent that such use would not interfere with any community use, which shall always have priority. The commercial use of the studio by local independent producers and businesses during hours when it is otherwise fallow will not interfere with the community use of the facility for which it is intended.

4. Training

  1. All users must complete appropriate training before using any production equipment or facilities.
  2. To be eligible to use a camcorder, a novice must complete the Media Center camcorder class. A trained portapack or camcorder user must complete a Media Center abbreviated orientation on the Media Center camcorders.
  3. To be eligible to use editing facilities, a novice must complete the editing class.

GAINING ACCESS

Anyone wishing to use the system may do so by: fulfilling the following 6 points. However, it should be noted that abuse of the Media Center policies and procedures may lead to permanent loss of access privileges.

 

  1. Establishing their eligibility.
  2. Completing a Program Proposal.
  3. Completing the required training and basic orientation on the Media Center operations.
  4. Reading, abiding by, and signing a Media Center Producer Agreement outlining accountabilities, responsibilities, and liabilities while using the system. Minors must have a parent, guardian or responsible adult (if the minor is part of a group) sign for them.
  5. Paying the nominal class and equipment use fees (reduced fees available for low income persons) or volunteering time.
  6. Access to the Media Center facilities may be denied if the Media Center user, volunteer, or guest is physically threatening to anyone on the Media Center premises, or who is reckless or abusive with Media Center equipment.

ORIENTATION AND TRAINING

Orientation and Training is available to all eligible persons as a pre-requisite to gaining access to the Media Center system.
The purpose of requiring orientation and training is to enable potential users of the system to use the equipment correctly to produce, or crew, programs of at least minimal standards of technical and conceptual quality.
There are fees for the Media Center classes, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Those who cannot afford the fee may apply for a scholarship. Partial or full scholarships will be granted based on the information supplied on the application.

EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES

Studio facilities and equipment are entrusted to the Media Center in order that people in this community may gain access to and be trained for production of their own television. This creates a condition of mutual responsibility between the Media Center and its users.
Studio facilities, pre-production, production and post-production equipment are provided on a first come, first served basis, and solely for the purpose of the production of programming that may be cablecast, webcast and archived by the Media Center. The Media Center provides equipment in sound operating condition for Public Access use. It is the responsibility of the users to return the equipment in the condition in which it was loaned and to leave the studio and other production facilities undamaged and not adversely affected by their use.
Repairs occasioned by user abuse or negligence to equipment and facilities will be the financial responsibility of the user.

CAMCORDER USE

1. Reserving Equipment

  • Producers should call at least two days in advance. Camcorders can be booked as much as two months ahead.
  • Producers specify any extra accessories needed (i.e. wireless mic, camera light, extra cables).
  • The Media Center prefers that the certified equipment user returns the equipment, but someone else may be designated. The person who reserved the equipment should notify the equipment monitor when somebody else is to return the equipment. Any penalties arising from a late return by the designee, will be levied against the certified user who reserved the equipment.

2. How many checkouts per week? How many camcorders?

  • Normal use is one 24-hour checkout per week with one camcorder.
  • For special circumstances requiring multiple camcorders or more consecutive days, producers must speak to the Executive Director.

3. Cancellation Fee

  • If producers cancel less than 24 hours ahead of the reservation, or do not show up to pick up the equipment, they will be charged a five dollar fine. It prevents other people from getting access to this important resource.
  • If producers cancel less than 24 hours ahead of the reservation time, on three separate occasions within a three month period, then he/she will lose access to camcorders for a three month period.

4. Who may pick up, handle, and drop off equipment?

  • Certified camcorder class graduates or those who have passed a Media Center camcorder short course, and who are listed as Current Producers or who are working on a program listed as a Current Production may reserve and borrow the Media Center field production equipment. If such persons reserve the equipment, but are unable to pick it up, they may designate someone else to pick up the equipment by calling the equipment monitor or the Media Center staff at least a day ahead and provide the name of the person who will come for equipment. S/he will have to sign the liability form.
  • Only the Media Center-certified camcorder class graduates, or those who have passed a Media Center camcorder short course, may handle equipment during production of the program.
  • Only persons who are sixteen years or older may reserve and check out the Media Center remote equipment. Those who are between the ages of sixteen and eighteen must have a Media Center Equipment Liability Form for Minors, signed by their parent or guardian and on file at the Media Center.

5. Check-in and check-out times/procedures

  • Producers should arrive at least fifteen minutes before the end of check-out or check-in time to enable the equipment monitor to examine the equipment.
  • Equipment borrowers are encouraged to set up equipment before they leave and ask any video equipment questions of the equipment monitor.
  • All persons checking out equipment must provide a street address at which they can be reached. The address must identify a facility at which the Media Center equipment can and will be securely held while not in use.

6. Late fees and penalties

  • If producers bring in equipment late, they will be charged $10 for each hour or fraction thereof (with a maximum of $30 per day). Producers should assume that someone else is waiting for the camcorder.
  • If a producer is late in returning equipment on two occasions within a three month period, then he/she will lose their camcorder borrowing privileges for a three month period.
  • Producers may lose borrowing privileges for a period of one year if they allow uncertified people to set up or operate the Media Center camcorders. Producers may use audio and lighting assistants who have not been certified by the Media Center.
  • Producers may be denied borrowing privileges on a permanent basis if they accept payment for videotaping with the Media Center equipment.

7. Liabilities for equipment

  • The person who signs out equipment will be charged for any piece that is not returned. We usually assume any breakage is a result of wear and tear unless abuse or neglect is obvious (e.g., the camcorder is full of sand grains, or the camcorder was left unattended in a public place), in which case repair or replacement charges will be made to the borrower.

EDIT SUITE USE

1. Reserving editing time

  • Certified edit class graduates, who are listed as Current Producers or who are working on a program listed as a Current Production may reserve and use the Media Center edit suites. Edit class graduates are entitled to one practice session in Media Center edit suites before they have become Current Producers or before they have begun work on a Current Production.
  • Editors may reserve editing time as much as two months ahead.
  • Editors may reserve up to 2 three-hour editing sessions per week by calling the Media Center staff or by coming in and getting assistance from Media Center staff. For additional sessions or for six consecutive hours, they must have permission from a Media Center staff person. This is subject to change should an increase in the number of editors require a more equitable distribution.
  • An editor’s reserved time may be given away if they are over 30 minutes late and have not called Media Center staff to hold their time.
  • Editors may cancel their reservations up to 48 hours ahead of time with no penalty. Editors who cancel within 24 hours will be charged a $5.00 penalty.
  • Editors who reserve time but do not show up for their session will be warned on the first occasion. On successive occasions the editor will be charged for the entire session they missed.

STUDIO USE

1. Studio Crew Requirements

  • Producers must have a minimum crew of at least five trained persons. A full crew is actually eight to ten Media Center-trained persons, depending on the show.
  • At least three trained persons, including the producer, must arrive on time and all other persons must arrive within 30 minutes of the studio entrance time.
  • A majority of the crew must stay to clean up the studio after the show until the studio is restored to the condition it was in before the arrival of the crew, unless another producer follows who agrees to assume the responsibility.
  • The producer and crew must cooperate with the Media Center studio staff. The term “cooperate” includes, but is not limited to, obeying instructions of the studio staff, complying with Media Center’s Policies and Procedures, and treating the Media Center studio staff in a respectful manner.

2. Cancellation

  • If producers cancel within one week of the program, they will be charged for the studio use.
  • If the studio tech cancels the program because not enough crew members show up, or they don’t show up on time, it will count as a cancellation within a week of the show.
  • If producers cancel two consecutive studio sessions within one week of those dates, they will lose their studio privileges for one year.
  • Even if producers give a week or more cancellation notice, they may not cancel more than half of their studio times in a four month period. If they do so, they will lose the remainder of their scheduled studio slots to others who are waiting for studio access. In addition they will lose all seniority in the following scheduling period.
  • If producers cancel three out of nine previously assigned and accepted studio dates, then the producers will lose their studio privileges for a period of six months from the date of the infraction.
  • Likewise, if producers cancel two previously accepted, assigned studio dates within a six month period without giving at least 72 hours notice, then the producers will lose their studio privileges for a period of six months from the date of the infraction.

AUTO-PILOT STUDIO USE

1. Reservations

    • There are three Auto-Pilot Studio slots available every Tuesday afternoon (1 PM; 2:30 PM; and 4 PM). A slot must be reserved no later than 7 PM Thursday. Producers may reserve one (1) one-hour slot, and speak up to 28 minutes. Each slot can go out live (1:30PM, 3PM, and 4:30PM respectively), if the producer chooses.
    • Producers may not reserve more than one Auto-Pilot slot per month unless there is space available. If producers sign up for more than one slot per month, they may be bumped if someone else who has not had an Auto-Pilot usage for over a month, wants that slot. If they are bumped, the Media Center will call the phone number they provide us, no later than 7 PM on the preceding Monday in order to inform them.

2. What the producer gets

      • One camera, one mic, one speaker.
      • The Auto-Pilot Studio is designed for use by one speaker, with one fixed camera, one lavaliere mic, and the existing set. The technician will not change the panels. A banner or set decorations (like flowers) may be added by the speaker, but only if it can be done within five minutes.

3. Arrival Time

      • The producer must be seated on the set and ready to go at least thirty (30) minutes before taping so the tech can adjust lights, camera and mic levels.
      • If producers arrive late to an Auto-Pilot studio slot on two occasions within a three-month period, they will lose access to the Auto-Pilot Studio for a period of six months.

4. Titles

      • There will be several superimposed titles if the producer brings them pre-printed on a page when they arrive. These can include the following: (Producer must specify for each title whether it should appear in the lower third of the screen, or go across the whole page – like an opening title)
Program Title
Topic of the show
Producer name
Phone Number
Email
  • If a producer wishes to have additional graphics (for example, to promote an upcoming event), they must be provided in print to the tech by Monday at noon.

5. Music

  • Producers may bring in a CD or a cassette for the closing music, but there will be no opening music. If producers bring no closing music, the technician will put something on from our music library. This music is a signal to producers to wrap up their remarks within 30 seconds. All music selections must be made and cassettes cued up before producers arrive on the set.

6. VHS/DVD Copy

  • Producers can request a VHS/DVD dub at the time of taping. If they bring a VHS of their own, the tape must be cued before they arrive. Producers may also purchase a VHS/DVD from the Media Center.

7. Special Requests:

The following special options are available by request. The request, along with the appropriate information, must be submitted in writing by noon on Monday. Producers may fax information to the Media Center at 650 494-8386, mail it, or drop it off, but it must be received on time to grant special accommodations. Otherwise producers must expect only the basics: one speaker, one camera. For all of the following special requests, producers must arrive at least forty-five (45) minutes before their taping time (sometimes more, at the request of the tech), so that the tech can set up the extra elements. (The Media Center reserves the right to limit the number of special requests a producer can make in combination.)

  • Call-ins: If the show is going out live, then producers may choose to take phone calls from viewers.
  • Guests: Producers may bring up to two guests to their Auto-Pilot taping and must submit the correct spelling of their names and titles by Monday at noon.
  • Titles: Producers may submit additional titles for the tech to superimpose. These may include contact numbers, a web address, etc. (For some repeat users, we may have a titles template, in which case they do not need to submit the same titles each time.) Additional graphics must be submitted in print to the tech by Monday at noon.
  • Roll-ins: Producers may include a pre-produced segment of video in their program. It must be cued up before arriving. Producers must have a letter of clearance if it is copyright material that is not theirs. If there is sound on the tape, then the producer must arrive Forty-five (45) minutes before their taping so that the tech can set up the correct sound and video levels.
  • Second Camera: Producers may request two cameras if they are interviewing a guest, or if there is a single graphic (like a map) which they would like to include in their presentation. Cameras will be in a fixed position without an operator. Speaker and guest(s) must not move about.
  • Additional volunteer support: Producers may recruit up to two (2) certified Media Center studio volunteers to crew during their taping. The tech will not be responsible for finding additional crew. If more than two crew volunteers are needed, then the producer must sign up for a regular studio slot. If insufficient crew is present for the desired production, the producer must reschedule.
  • Monitor: A monitor will be set up in the studio, but only if the producer is showing a roll-in.

8. Cancellation / No-Shows

  • If producers cancel an Auto-Pilot studio slot within 48 hours or fail to show up for their Auto-Pilot studio use on two occasions within a three-month period, they will lose access to the Auto-Pilot Studio for a period of six months.

MEDIA CENTER BOARD PRIVILEGES WITH EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES BEYOND NORMAL PROCEDURES

1. Board Members may use edit suites during non-business hours within the following parameters:
  • No rewiring of editing equipment (except for patch bays).
  • Schedule the time in advance with the Media Center staff.
  • Log how much time the equipment was in use.
  • Programming should be for Channel 6.
  • No expectation of a regular time slot that cannot be preempted by staff.
2. Board Members may take out and return camcorders during non-check-out/check-in hours within the following parameters:
  • Equipment must be given out and taken back in by a staff person.
  • Appropriate forms must be filled out.
  • Board Member will try to pick up and return equipment during normal check-in / check-out period whenever possible.
3. Board Members may enter the Media Center facilities during non-business hours to conduct tours for outreach and publicity purposes within the following parameters:
  • Board Members will pick up a key from staff for temporary use, or arrange for a staff person to bring him/her a key.

TECHNICAL STANDARDS

The Media Center’s technical staff has the right to scrutinize each submitted tape to make sure that it is physically airable and meets a minimal standard of technical quality. Because many tapes will be produced by non-professional community producers, the tapes will not be expected to meet normal broadcast standards. For example, problems with chroma, contrast, etc. that may be cause for rejection by normal broadcast stations will not be rejected by the Media Center. However, those tapes which, in the staff’s or cablecaster’s opinion do not carry a stable signal over the cable system, or have several losses of control track of at least five seconds, will not be aired or may be pulled off the channel while in progress.

CONTENT STANDARDS

The following program content is prohibited by the Media Center:
1. Any advertising material designed to promote the sale of commercial products or services or businesses. The promotion of any specific product or service provider by someone who stands to benefit by that promotion (including a producer who will receive support for their show) is prohibited by the Media Center. This includes any details about prices, fees, or appointment times. It does not prevent any shows describing or promoting a type of product or service (e.g., backpacks, chiropractics etc.), nor does it prevent a consumer advocate from comparing products and prices on a program.

 

2a. Fund raising on Public Access Channels is allowed only by non-profit organizations registered pursuant to federal or state law, and that provide services to the communities served by the Media Center. Their use of the public access channel must fit within what they are permitted to do under the laws governing non-profits. The burden falls on the producer to be familiar with these laws as well as all other Media Center policies. Fund raising programs will be scheduled according to existing Media Center policies (see the Channel Time section on page 9) except that they will be limited to a maximum of one hour in length and one program per year. No fund raising is allowed which would result in financial gain for individuals or commercial enterprises.

 

2b. The Media Center may use public access channels to solicit funds for the Media Center without regard to the limitations listed in 2.a. but each Media Center fund raising project must be approved by the Media Center Board of Directors, and be defined by a specific time period during which the channels may be used for this purpose. The Media Center may also create and cablecast programming designed to solicit funds for any non-profit agency, non-government organization, or public school, so long as the Board of Directors, according to the Board’s established criteria, has approved the project and assigned a specific timeframe. In the case of a natural disaster or emergency, the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors may direct the Media Center staff to create programming which solicits funds for a non-profit agency or non-government organization which is providing relief efforts.

 

3. Material that constitutes libel, slander, invasion of privacy or publicity rights, unfair competition, violation of trademark or copyright, or which violates any local, state or federal law.

 

4. Material that constitutes or promotes any lottery or gambling enterprise.

 

5. Obscene material, as defined by law.

 

6. Material that may create an immediate danger to property or injury to persons in violation of law.

Acceptable credits for sponsors and underwriters:

  1. Acknowledgment of organizations or companies that provided funding for program development. Identify by name and city location with no advertising slogans or jingles.
  2. The use of product or organization names in the context of public discussion, education, news or entertainment.
  3. Reviews of products, prices or services, provided that the products or services of many different organizations are reviewed, and that all those associated with the program production have no financial interest in the items being reviewed.

COMPENSATION FOR PUBLIC ACCESS PRODUCTION ACTIVITIES

The Media Center equipment is not available to those who will be selling copies of their program for commercial gain. If a producer is employed by a non-profit agency and has been asked to produce a show as part of their work, they may use the Media Center equipment at the normal rate. The same applies to those who receive a grant to produce a show.

COPYRIGHTS

The copyright for any program produced using Media Center equipment, facilities or services is held by the Media Center and the community access producer. The Media Center reserves the following rights, for a period of 20 years following the date of production, regarding programs made with Media Center equipment:
  • Unlimited ability to cablecast the program on Media Center channels, webcast on the Internet and archive.
  • Keeping the master of the program or a copy on the same format as the master tape in the Media Center library, made at producer’s expense
  • Circulation (at no charge) of the program to other public access channels
  • Entry of the program in video competitions
A credit to the Media Center will appear on each program produced with the Media Center equipment, and must appear on all copies made for distribution elsewhere.

 

CHANNEL TIME

Channel time will be allocated by Media Center staff on a first come, first served, non-discriminatory basis to anyone who lives or works in the Media Center service area. The production must meet a minimal standard of technical quality.

A program producer who does not live or work in the Media Center service area must get a community sponsor to sign a Program Playback Producer Agreement Form. The sponsor statement indicates that s/he wishes to have the program cablecast on the Media Center’s channel and that s/he is a resident of our service area. Local sponsorship may take the form of a locally recorded acknowledgment of such sponsorship to be aired prior to and following airing of the pre-recorded tape.

The Media Center reserves the right to solicit, schedule, and air pre-recorded tape under its own sponsorship.

In accordance with these policies and procedures, the Executive Director, under the stewardship of the Board of Directors, may make decisions regarding which tapes will be aired when, or if at all.

The Media Center Executive Director, Executive Producer, or Director of Programming, may schedule programming with harsh language, or programming which describes or depicts sexual or excretory activities or organs in a patently offensive manner, at later hours (between 10 PM and the close of normal programming). The same personnel may also pull such programming in progress off a community channel, should it be playing before 10 PM.

A producer may request a specific cablecast time slot, but the Media Center staff is free to assign a different, reasonable time slot for the program. The producer will be notified as to the first playback dates and times assigned to the program.

 

GRIEVANCES

SUSPENSION OF ACCESS

If a producer cancels three out of nine previously assigned and accepted studio dates, then the producer will have no access to studio production for a period of six months from the date of the infraction.

Likewise, if a producer cancels two previously accepted, assigned studio dates within a six month period without giving at least 72 hours notice, then the producer will have no access for studio production for a period of six months from the date of the infraction.

In both cases, the producer will continue to have access to the community channels by using the Media Center camcorders, or the “Auto Pilot Studio”, so long as they have not broken any rules that would cause a suspension of access in these areas as well.

If a producer cancels an Auto-Pilot studio slot within 48 hours or fails to show up for his/her Auto-Pilot studio use on two occasions within a three-month period, then he/she will lose access to the Auto Pilot Studio for a period of six months.

If a producer arrives late to an Auto-Pilot studio slot on two occasions within a three-month period, then he/she will lose access to the Auto Pilot Studio for a period of six months.

These producers will still have access to other Media Center production avenues like camcorder or studio if they have taken the appropriate classes and have not broken rules that would jeopardize their access to those areas.

If a submission is rejected based on the previously stated technical and content standards, the producer has the right of appeal to the Board of Directors.

All other grievances should be brought to the attention of the Executive Director. If resolution is not found with the Executive Director, grievances should then be taken to the Board of Directors. If needed, a third level of resolution may be sought with either the franchise coordinator or the cable operator.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Youth Advisory Council Policies
Approved by Media Center Board of Directors: 10/22/07
What It Is

The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is made up of a diverse group of up to ten (10) high school students, including one to three 2nd Year Leaders, representing the Midpeninsula Community Media CenterÕs (Òthe Media CenterÓ) service area, which includes Atherton, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Stanford, and unincorporated areas of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The YAC meets on a weekly basis to learn skills in video production, critical thinking, and civic engagement through hands-on, real world experience. The program is designed to foster technical, creative, and critical thinking, and to build leadership skills. The objectives of the YAC are threefold: to create, advise, and learn.Create: Video Production

Members create video content that will air on the Media CenterÕs channels. To do so, students learn skills in studio and field production, editing on Final Cut Pro, as well as other useful skills. They also utilize the Internet to create blogs, upload and share their videos, conduct research, and communicate with the team.Advise: Youth Advisors

Members of the YAC act as youth advisors to the Media Center by attending Media Center Board meetings and providing a youth perspective on issues relevant to the Board. Each member must attend at least one (1) board meeting during their term and/or the meeting with the Board at the end of the term. They also act as advisors to the community by exploring current political and social issues and using their video projects to educate the public.Learn: Critical Consumption and Creation

Members learn to be critical consumers of media by participating in exercises and discussions that encourage more judicious thought about their media. They also learn leadership skills through activities such as producing shows, leading group games and discussions, giving presentations to the group, and more.

Supplemental activities may, but do not necessarily, include field trips to professional media production sites, retreats, community service projects, and additional training in other production areas.

The program is most rewarding for students who want to make positive changes in their communities through media, be advocates for youth, and to become more analytical, educated residents. YAC members qualify for work experience and/or community service credit if it is available at their school.Eligibility

High school students who live or attend school in the Media CenterÕs service area are eligible to participate in the YAC. Students must be attending high school in the fall when the program starts, and are expected to commit to a 10-month term.

Students are allowed to serve a maximum of two (2) terms. For the second term, students may only participate as a 2nd Year Leader.Expectations for all YAC Members

There are four main expectations of YAC members: teamwork, responsibility, punctuality, and ownership.Teamwork

Much of video production cannot be done alone, so teamwork is key to a successful project. Every member will likely have great ideas for production, but because of time constraints the group may not be able to get to them all. Program content will be voted on democratically by the team. An individualÕs efforts will be held accountable to their peers.Responsibility

The YAC is a primarily student-driven program. YAC members choose the content, the manner of delivery, the exercises and discussions, field trips, etc. Media Center staff will be guiding the program, providing training, advice, insight, and resources, and reserves the right to make an executive decision on any matter. But in the end, the program is what the students make it.Punctuality

Meetings will begin on time, and members are responsible for getting any missed materials and information from their peers or instructor. Members are expected to inform the Media Center staff and their teammates in advance if they anticipate being absent or tardy to a meeting.Ownership

Students should see this as an opportunity to own what they produce, voice their opinions, and challenge their creative capabilities. Projects will be as great as they can imagine, so YAC members are encouraged to push themselves and others to try new things and learn new skills. After all, it will be their name in the credits.Content

Members create video content that will air on the Media CenterÕs channels. To do so, students learn skills in studio and field production, editing on Final Cut Pro, as well as other useful skills. They also utilize the Internet to create blogs, upload and share their videos, conduct research, and communicate with the YAC.

Within the 10-month program, the YAC aims to produce roughly two (2) field-based programs, three (3) studio-based programs, as well as content for the Internet such as videos, blogs, vlogs, photos, and more. The nature of the content is aimed at that which provides a service or benefit to the community. Examples may include (but are not limited to) exploring current political topics, local events, teen issues, etc. Program content will be chosen through democratic vote by the YAC.

Through the production process, members of the YAC learn hands-on skills in the technical aspects of video production. They also learn more in-depth about their chosen topic(s) through research and first-hand accounts provided in interviews.Meetings

The YAC meets a minimum of once a week for three hours throughout the 10-month program, which generally coincides with the school year. Members may meet more frequently or for extended durations when necessary. Each member must attend at least one (1) Board meeting during their term and/or the meeting with the Board at the end of the term.Attendance Policy

Members are allowed to miss up to three (3) meetings per semester. Prior notice must be given to the YAC leader when possible. After the third unexcused absence within one semester or sixth unexcused absence within one term, a written warning will be issued. If a member misses more than three (3) meetings/semester or six (6) meetings/year, the member’s continued participation may be in jeopardy and will be decided by the Media Center staff.

Participation in the YAC is as an at-will volunteer and such contract may be terminated at any point by either the YAC member or Media Center staff at their own discretion.Where we meet

The YAC usually meets at the Media Center (900 San Antonio Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94303), unless otherwise arranged. The Media Center is located near VTA bus lines 35 and 88, and Caltrain station San Antonio. The nearest SamTrans bus stop is located at the University Ave/Palo Alto Caltrain station. When appropriate, every effort will be made for carpools to aid transportation issues.

Some assignments may require traveling within the local area, particularly field production assignments and field trips. Media Center staff or volunteers (e.g. YAC membersÕ parents) may provide transportation in such cases.General Application Process

Information and applications are available from the Media Center website ( (www.CommunityMediaCenter.net), at the Media Center, or via email upon request. Applications may also be available from the high school video production instructors. Only applications submitted before or on the stated due date will be accepted for consideration. Females and youth of color are especially encouraged to apply.

Applicants must submit a completed application form as well as their chosen essay response. Upon receipt of the application, the applicant will be contacted to schedule an interview time.

The interview may be conducted over the phone or in person, whichever is more convenient for both the interviewee and interviewer. Neither method of interview is considered more or less advantageous towards acceptance in the program. The interview will consist of a short question and answer session in which both parties will be able to ask each other questions relevant to the YAC program.2nd Year Leadership

After one full term in the YAC, members are eligible to become 2nd Year Leaders. These leaders have increased responsibilities and leadership roles in the YAC.

 

Responsibilities

To act as an example and role model for other Youth Advisory Council members
To assist YAC group leader in various roles:
  • Meet weekly to plan agenda/curriculum (in addition to regular meetings)
  • Moderate the regular meetings
  • Assist fellow YAC members as needed
  • Act as a Youth Advisor to the Media Center staff, Board, and community
  • Provide your opinion on the direction of the Media Center
  • Give feedback on courses and programs offered at the Media Center

Application Process

Interested members may request an application from Media Center Staff. The rest of the process is the same as first year members except that the interview will include questions relevant to 2nd Year Leadership.

Selection of Members

After eligible applications have been received and reviewed, and all interviews have been conducted, the Media Center Staff will select a maximum of 10 members to participate in the program, including no more than three (3) 2nd Year Leaders.

The Media Center strives to form a Council that represents the diversity of the population that the Media Center serves with respect to race, ethnicity, sex and geographical location. The Media Center reserves the right to save space in the YAC to allow for diversity, for example, to have at least one member from Palo Alto, Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. For 2nd Year Leaders, participation from the previous year, including attendance, effort, and leadership abilities will factor into the selection.

The selected members will be contacted by Media Center staff and the member will have the option to accept or decline participation.