SRTV Charter Reapproved

 

John Hanacek/Guardian

After being shut down on Feb. 18 by A.S. President Utsav Gupta in reaction to a controversial live broadcast of Koala TV, the Student-Run Television station has been reapproved with a new charter.

The A.S. Council voted on March 3 to reinstate the station with a new charter — one that prohibits live programming — as well as new name Triton Television.

Vice President of Finance and Resources Peter Benesch and co-station manager Thomas Dadourian said the name change will help to restore the station’s image.

“A lot of people were offended by what happened that Thursday some weeks ago, and keeping that same tag on the station would be like saying ‘Hey, this is more of the same,’” Dadourian said. “We really wanted to make sure that students knew that was not what the Associate Students’ television network is all about.”

Benesch said that, in light of the Feb. 18 broadcast, the ban on live content is necessary.

“We did have station managers in the past approving content that went on the air,” Benesch said. “There were a lot of problems with that, though. Basically, individuals could — one way or another — gain access to the facility by saying that they have the approval of the station managers.”

Dadourian agreed that the old system was ineffective.

“It was horribly defunct and contained positions that never really existed, like operations manager,” he said.

In addition to nixing live programming, TTV’s charter places heavier restrictions on students looking to broadcast new material. TTV hopefuls must first find a “producer” — an SRTV member trained to oversee content — to sponsor their show, then run the concept past station managers Dadourian and Ali Hadian for approval.

If future content is deemed questionable, it will be presented to the Program Review Panel — co-chaired by Dadourian and Hadian — which includes Gupta, Associate Vice President of Student Services Meredith Madnick, two TTV officers, one producer unaffiliated with the station and two A.S. senators.

The PRP reserves the right, along with the station managers, to reject a show’s proposal. However, anyone is welcome to appeal the PRP’s decision at the next A.S. Council meeting. Once the show is approved, producers are responsible for individually monitoring each episode’s content to prevent the airing of controversial material.

The station has a long history of controversy and censorship. In 2005, it was shut down after Koala TV creator Steve York made national headlines by airing a video of himself having sex with an adult-film actress.

Benesch said TTV’s new charter mandates far more A.S oversight.

“The [charter] was literally scrapped and started from scratch,” Benesch said. “In the past, we didn’t give the station editor much direction. The new system is explained in much better detail.”

The charter’s broadcast rules prohibit airing obscene material — defined as anything depicting or describing sexual content in an offensive manner and lacking in literary, artistic, political or scientific value. Indecent material — obscene, sexual or excretory — is also banned from airing between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Benesch considers these new restrictions practical, seeing as TTV is the A.S. Council’s official station.

“[The council] decides what it will say — this isn’t some venue where all students can come and say whatever it is they feel like they want to say on television,” he said. “Basically, it’s a venue where by Associated Students is communicating with the general students. Associated Students is censoring itself.”

As a result, Dadourian said he doubts that Koala TV will ever reappear.

“I’m sad that a media organization is banned, but based on our current history, it’s probably in TTV’s best interest,” Dadourian said.

Despite the restrictions, Dadourian said he hopes to bring delayed programming — which puts off a live stream for a small amount of time — to TTV.

“We still aren’t sure [if there will be delayed television] … We’re trying to do some creative financing and minimize costs as much as possible,” he said.

Dadourian said that TTV will launch during Week One of Spring Quarter. He said hopes to implement a new advertising campaign, logo and Web site along with the launch.

“I kind of feel sad SRTV’s gone, but at the same time, I’m excited to get a new opportunity,” he said. “Hopefully this new system will legitimize us.”

Readers can contact Neda Salamat at [email protected].

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