KOCT ELECTION POLICY

KOCT adheres to a policy of equal opportunity for candidates who are qualified by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters and appear on the ballot. KOCT can also accommodate all qualified write-in candidates up to six weeks (45 days) prior to the election by scheduling a special recording and airing their Candidate Statement. All qualified candidates may also submit professionally edited programming to be aired on KOCT’s Public Access Service. Your Community Channel has provided candidates with fair and equal program opportunities for decades. This year, KOCT will again inform the public by offering programming opportunities to candidates for elected office. Candidates will be notified of these opportunities but we also encourage them to contact KOCT periodically for the latest program updates.

CANDIDATE STATEMENTS
Each candidate on the ballot, and write-in candidates who are qualified six (6) weeks prior to the Election, will be offered a block of uninterrupted airtime to state their positions and introduce themselves to the public. The length of airtime will be determined by the KOCT Executive Director. These statements are recorded and aired numerous times before Election Day. Candidate Statements can also be viewed ondemand at www.KOCT.org.

CANDIDATE FORUMS
KOCT will televise candidate forums for candidates on the ballot running for local office. The forums are usually recorded in either the Oceanside City Council Chambers or in the KOCT television studio and are open to the public.

VOICE OF NORTH COUNTY
Candidates on the ballot seeking local office may be invited to appear on the Voice of North County.. Recorded in a relaxed and informal, talk-show format, the Voice of North County allows the public to get to know the candidates and their views.

PUBLIC ACCESS
Television programs about political issues, ballot measures, local, state and national propositions, and candidate programming can be submitted for airing under KOCT Public Access Guidelines. Applicants must read the KOCT Public Access Guidelines, and sign the Playback Application for Public Access Programming at least six (6) weeks prior to program air date. KOCT must receive the program at least six (6) weeks prior to air date. The applicant who submits a program for airing on KOCT Public Access must be an Oceanside resident and is solely responsible for the program content and assumes all liability for the program content. 

ELECTION FORUM POLICY
The purpose of these guidelines is to encourage political discussion, provide a fair and equal opportunity for all candidates on the ballot and allow voters the opportunity to evaluate all of the candidates. KOCT will do its best to accommodate write-in candidates who are qualified and request to appear before the regularly scheduled recording date. Forum coverage and replay opportunities are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. KOCT reserves the right to decline coverage of community sponsored forums due to prior scheduling conflicts. Live forum coverage can only originate from the Oceanside City Council Chamber or the KOCT studio and select other locations. Forums at other locations will be telecast on a delayed basis. Community groups that underwrite KOCT production costs and adhere to these KOCT Forum Guidelines can have their forums televised on KOCT.

 RATES: Please contact KOCT for current production rates. Rates are based upon live production methodology which does not include post-production editing.
 TERMS: Payment for KOCT production services must be received before the forum date.
 RESERVING COUNCIL CHAMBERS: The Oceanside City Manager’s Office may be contacted at (760) 435-3065 for City Council Chamber facility reservations. The City of Oceanside may charge a fee for use of the facilities.  ACKNOWLEDGING UNDERWRITERS: Sponsorship credit may open and close videotaped forums. Acknowledgements will state “Television coverage of this political forum was made possible by KOCT – Your Community Channel and [name(s) of contributing sponsor(s)].”
 UNDERWRITING PAYMENTS: All underwriting payments must be paid to KOCT by the sponsor whose name is acknowledged on the screen. Any sponsorship acknowledgement beyond character graphics will incur additional costs. Underwriters must adhere to KOCT Local Underwriting and Sponsorship Guidelines.
 PRE-PRODUCTION: A single, one-hour pre-production meeting is included in the cost.
KOCT WILL NOT DOCUMENT FORUMS IN WHICH THE SPONSORING GROUP HAS ENDORSED SPECIFIC CANDIDATES PRIOR TO THE FORUM.

PLEASE NOTE THAT KOCT MAY REVISE ITS ELECTION POLICY WITHOUT NOTICE. WE URGE CANDIDATES TO STAY IN CONTACT WITH KOCT DURING ELECTION SEASON FOR CURRENT INFORMATION AND OPPORTUNITIES. 

Forum Guidelines

Forums documented by KOCT must adhere to this list of general principles. Any major deviation from these elements as determined at the sole discretion of the Executive Director will limit replay to one Public Access time slot. The sponsoring group will sign documentation agreeing to abide by the following guidelines:
1. All candidates on the ballot (as certified by the City Clerk in accordance with California State Election Code Regulations) will be invited to appear at the forum. KOCT will do its best to accommodate write-in candidates who are qualified and request to appear before the scheduled recording date.
2. Format should be such that candidates are given equal opportunity to express their viewpoint and are not “ambushed” or “favored” by being given prejudicial questions. Questions from the public may be reviewed and screened.
3. The format for audience participation and opportunities to question candidates must also be designed to insure a fair and equitable means of participation.
4. No editing of forums will occur, except to correct gross technical problems and to edit statements that are libelous, slanderous or obscene.
5. Call-ins and live programming are subject to KOCT Board approval.

TELEVISION & WEB REPLAY OPPORTUNITIES FOR FORUMS: If these Forum Guidelines are adhered to, KOCT will provide numerous replay opportunities on KOCT prior to the election. If the KOCT Executive Director determines that the Guidelines have been violated, KOCT will not provide multiple replay opportunities, but is only obligated to provide the standard single replay in a Public Access time slot. Public Access time is available to all Oceanside residents who adhere to Public Access Guidelines. KOCT can produce a web-friendly video of the forum for a fee (per the KOCT Professional Rate Card) and the forum may be posted at www.KOCT.org.

SUBMISSION OF PROGRAMING: Any election forum documented in Oceanside by any production company that adheres to KOCT technical standards can be submitted for airplay on KOCT Public Access. Refer to KOCT’s Public Access guidelines for additional details at: http://koct.org/pa

VIDEO PRODUCTION SERVICES: KOCT video production services are also available for forum or candidate coverage in other communities per staff availability. Production costs are based on the KOCT Professional Rate Card. PROHIBITIONS Advertising by or on behalf of candidates for public office. Political candidates may appear on a program, but they may not appear within 60 days of an election unless they appear in the capacity of carrying out their legitimate, official duties, in a bona fide news event, or in forums in which all candidates have been invited and which are conducted in a fair and equitable manner. —from KOCT Public Access Guidelines QUESTIONS,

COMMENTS OR CONCERNS? Please contact KOCT | KOCT@KOCT.ORG | PHONE 760 722-4433 | FAX 760 722-5849. Online at WWW.KOCT.ORG, friend us on FACEBOOK and follow us on TWITTER.