- 1 Definitions
- 2 "Access to Airwaves"
- 3 Balance of Opinion
- 4 Warnings (profanity, explicit content, etc.) and Disclaimers
- 5 Controversial Material and Sexually Explicit Material
- 6 Respect/Avoid defamation
- 7 Content Requirements for Programmers
- 8 Documentation
- 9 Revision History
CJMP: The radio station CJMP 90.1 FM in Powell River.
CRTC: The Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission, an independent public organization that regulates and supervises the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications systems. Their mandate is to ensure that both the broadcasting and telecommunications systems serve the Canadian public.
PRCRS: The Powell River Community Radio Society.
"Access to Airwaves"
CJMP is committed to diversity in its programming and encourages a variety of local viewpoints and culture on the airwaves, in particular those voices that are traditionally under-represented in mainstream media.
Balance of Opinion
Balance in Programming
CJMP and its programmers will attempt to provide a balance in programming when dealing with controversial issues.
The station and its programmers must ensure that information is presented in a way that allows the listening public to form its own opinions, especially regarding topics where there are clearly differing opinions.
This can be accomplished in a number of ways:
- Acknowledging opposing viewpoints before beginning the discussion
- Introducing another guest who supports a different view
- Addressing other viewpoints in another program, and announcing that program during the discussion
The method of balancing will depend on the situation and the degree of controversy.
It is up to the programmer to identify when an issue is controversial.
One such topic, for example, is abortion. There are at least two clearly divergent opinions on the subject, one which favours the right to access abortions, and one which opposes access. The CRTC states that providing balance on controversial issues, such as abortion, is the responsibility of the broadcaster, and that the need to provide balance is greatest when the controversial issues are being address. If you plan to air only one side of a controversial subject, you must let the appropriate director know. Programmers are encouraged to seek guidance from the spoken word or music director before airing controversial topics.
Programmers must inform the Spoken Word Director when they intend to broadcast a controversial subject so that we can ensure that our legal requirements are met. This is serious. If you aren't sure whether the topic you want to discuss is a matter of public controversy, talk to the spoken word or music director, who will advise you or take it to the committee for a decision.
CJMP will provide opportunity for listeners to air their opinions, and encourages discourse through e-mail, telephone messages or regular mail. A representative portion of viewpoints will be aired.
CJMP does not have to dedicate equal time to all opinions, but we need to let our audience know about differing points of view.
Warnings (profanity, explicit content, etc.) and Disclaimers
CJMP does not have a rule forbidding the airing of works that contain profanity (or swear words), but there is a policy about how to do it:
- Warn for profanity on air between 6am and 9pm
- Avoid works with gratuitous profanity
- Use common sense when deciding whether or not it is an appropriate time of day to play music with a lot of profanity.
Some examples of words unacceptable to part of our audience are: fuck, bitch, shit, asshole, etc. If you want to play material with profanity, you must:
- Warn for strong content
- Give the length of the selection
As a Programmer, you cannot swear on the air. You are allowed to announce the title of a work which contains profane language. Also, you can quote a piece which uses profanity. But swear words should not crop up accidentally or deliberately in your patter or commentary, even if the mixer isn't working properly.
NB: there is a distinction to be made between profanity and sexually explicit description. That difference? Fuck and Fucking. Or Fuck and “I want to fuck you.”
Controversial Material and Sexually Explicit Material
There are five things expected of you, the programmer, when you choose to air controversial, sexually explicit material, or material that listeners may find disturbing (for example material containing hatred, racism, homophobia, sexism, etc.).
- Consider why you want to air the piece.
- Talk to the spoken word or music director about it.
- Contextualize the material on air.
- Warn for controversial content by saying something like: “The following selection contains material of a sexual/ controversial nature and may disturb some listeners”
- Give the length of the selection (e.g. “This piece is 3 and a half minutes long.”)
Consider how the piece fits into the greater context of your show and explain that to the audience. You can include factors surrounding why it was created, why you respect the piece, or how you think it contributes to musical style, societal reality or artistic growth, and so on. Your contextualizing does not have to be long, and it does not have to be a learned and researched speech. Nor does it have to contain a weighty argument in order to convince someone that you are right to play it. Be specific and give details to illustrate your opinion. It is a good idea to prepare what you will say ahead of time.
A warning should be given prior to the playing of the piece. Do not tell listeners to turn off or turn down their radio. Do not tell listeners that the song is “offensive” or “profane.” Do not apologize for the piece. You do not need to give suggestions or definitions as listeners will come to their own conclusions. N.B.: never play a song that you haven't listened to (or read the lyric sheet) before you air it. This applies to requests, too.
The station can broadcast, at least twice each day, a disclaimer explaining that the opinions expressed on the station are those of the presenters and not necessarily those of the station or its members or sponsors.
CJMP will not broadcast any material that promotes hatred, discrimination or contempt against an individual or a group or class of individuals on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical ability, sexual orientation, etc.
Programmers must speak respectfully on air. This is particularly important when talking about opposing opinions or the people who hold them. Programmers or their guests may forcefully argue their opinions or their disagreement with opposing opinions or the people who hold them, but they may not ridicule or belittle them.
Defamation involves attacking the good name or reputation of someone. In order to defame someone, you must publish the criticism to a third party. “Publication” includes broadcasting defamatory matter on the radio. There is no single definition of “defamatory” used by the courts. Instead, they have created and used several tests over the centuries. These tests include: • exposing a person to ridicule, contempt or hatred • causing a person to be shunned
Some examples of defamation: • A criticism which adversely reflects upon a person's business, trade, profession or calling, • Words that discredit a person's performance or their capacity to perform the duties of their job. (e.g. saying that Joe Builder builds “firetraps”) • Allegations that a person committed a crime • Implying that someone has misused their position in public office • Saying someone has an infectious disease that might cause them to be avoided, like AIDS, VD, etc.
If someone consents to your description then they can't sue you for defamation. For example, if someone has admitted publicly that she has AIDS, it is OK for you to say it on the air.
Points to remember
• If you are quoting an article written by someone else that defames an individual, CJMP and you are just as responsible as the author. •Believing that what you said is true is not an absolute legal defence. •A person can be defamed even if they are not identified by name if anyone listening is able to figure out who you are talking about. •A person can be defamed by implication or innuendo. •A group of people can be defamed. (e.g. an association, a corporation, a local government body)
You must be careful to identify the person you are talking about clearly enough not to mistakenly defame someone else. If you say Bob Smith was arrested for sexual improprieties, you should make it clear which Bob Smith, in case there is another one who could be defamed. That is why newspapers usually identify people by name and address or name and profession.
Defamation can be a civil or criminal offence. In Canada, it is usually prosecuted as a civil offence or tort. Under tort law, the victim (or plaintiff) is entitled to compensation (money) for the damage caused by the attack. What happens if you aren't careful? Then we face a potential court case and the possibility of fines for CJMP and the following persons being sued individually: • The programmer • The Chair of the Board of Directors
Important! If you are doing an opinion piece, identify it as such. Make sure opinions are identified as yours and not those of CJMP in general. Presenting opinions as facts is a serious offence.
Content Requirements for Programmers
CJMP is required to broadcast a minimum of 25% spoken word each broadcast week. All spoken word airtime must be recorded in the Program Logs provided.
- CJMP is required to play minimum of 20% of music that is not pop, rock, or dance. 35% of this must be Canadian Content.
- CJMP is required to play a minimum of 5% of special interest music: concert, folk, world beat and international, jazz and blues, non-classical religious.
- 12% of this must be Canadian Content.
Canadian Content Requirements
Music is Canadian Content if it has 2 of the following: Music written by a Canadian
- Artist performing the song is Canadian
- Producer of the song is Canadian
- Lyrics are written by a Canadian Albums will have the MAPL logo:
Program Logs are legal documents required by the CRTC (Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission). They are a written record of what was broadcast (music and spoken word programming) while the station is on-air. Because we are on- air 24 hours a day, we must fill out Logs 24 hours a day.
Program Logs cannot leave the station, and will be kept for one year.
It is your responsibility as a programmer to fill out your Log completely and accurately every time you are on-air. Fill out your Log during your show and then double-check your Log to make sure it is complete before you leave the station. Detailed instructions on filling out the Log are on the Log itself.
For music selections, you must fill out the following information:
- Song Title
- Album Title
- Canadian Content (check mark)
- New Release Number (if applicable)
- CRTC Code (a guide to CRTC Codes is found on the bottom right-hand corner of the log) (Radio Regulations SOR86-982)
For spoken word selections, you must fill out the following information:
- Speaking start time and end time (e.g. 12:57 – 1:06pm or 12:57--13:06) Origin (“live” if you are talking live, and “taped” if it is pre-recorded)
- CRTC Code (a guide to CRTC Codes is found on the bottom right-hand corner of the log)
Ratified: June 28, 2011
Programming Policy will be reviewed regularly by the Policy Team and as deemed necessary by the Board of Directors. This policy will be reviewed no later than January 31, 2012.