College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Mass Communications
RAM TV21 Handbook Spring 2008
Mr. Douglas Osman, Faculty Adviser
RAM –TV21 Handbook

Updated October 10, 2007

Table of Contents

  1. Ram-TV21 Statement of Purpose
  2. Targeted Organizational Values
  3. Background and Activities
  4. Governance
  5. Participation
  6. How to Participate
  7. Freedom of Expression
  8. Copyrights
  9. Programming
  10. Program Proposal Guidelines
  11. RAM-TV21 Staff and Facilities
  12. Operations Information
  13. Photocopying
  14. Studio Policies
  15. Budget and Underwriting
  16. Format for Underwriting Acknowledgements
  17. Videotapes
  18. Travel
  19. Program Schedule
  20. ACEJMC Professional Values and Competencies

1. RAM-TV21 Statement of Purpose

The mission of RAM-TV21 is to provide Winston-Salem State University with noncommercial information, news, educational, and entertainment programming. The target audience includes all persons on the campus of the University.

The station also provides the opportunity for Winston-Salem State University students, particularly those in the Department of Mass Communications, to participate in television production operations. Also, to create television/video programming that encourages the creation of ideas and free expression that address local, regional, national, and international issues and concerns. An objective of RAM-TV21 is to produce quality television programs that generate successful television operations and production experiences for the students.

2. Targeted Organizational Values

  • Learning and practicing quality broadcast concepts
  • Understanding and exhibiting the tenets of teamwork
  • Academic and professional growth of the individual
  • University and community service
  • Responsibility and accountability toward becoming self-directed in performing production assignments

3. Background and Activities

  • RAM-TV21 operates under the auspices of the Department of Mass Communications at Winston-Salem State University.
  • Programming typically constitutes two twelve week seasons, fall and spring, Monday through Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
  • The level of production activity includes 100 mass communications students who act as crew on the various productions, plus more than 200 university guests including students, faculty and staff. Students develop programs content and have access to the studio, ENG and editing facilities, professional engineering and staff assistance, materials, videotapes, and a diverse audience. Each semester, on average:

* 100 Mass Communications students participate
* 200 hours of studio time per semester are booked to produce studio programs
* 1,500 hours of editing time per semester are booked to edit RAM-TV21 shows
* 30 half-hour programs of ongoing programming per semester are produced

4. Governance

RAM-TV21 is governed by:

  • Its own policies, as explained in this handbook.
  • The policies of the Department of Mass Communications, Winston-Salem State University and the University of North Carolina System.
  • Local, North Carolina, and federal laws pertaining to educational access cable.

The RAM-TV21 Student Executive Staff is comprised of the Station Manager, Assistant Station Manager, Manager of TV Operations, Production Manager, Program Manager, and Promotion Manager. The Executive Staff members are expected to hold their positions for two consecutive semesters. The Student Station Manager’s position is always held for a calendar year. The General Manager of TV Operations is a faculty adviser assigned to RAM-TV21 who is responsible for the overall operation of RAM-TV21. The General Manager of TV Operations reports to the Chair of the Department of Mass Communications. The Station Manager is selected by the General Manager of TV Operations. The Executive Staff members are selected by application to the Student Station Manager. To assist in the selection of the TV Student Station Manager, an ad hoc group of faculty, staff and students may interview the candidates in a session open to the public. Afterwards, recommendations are made to the General Manager of TV Operations.

Producers, who head the program production units, report daily to the Student Station Manager and the General Manager of TV Operations. Producers may serve one or two semesters and beyond. Each semester a new program proposal is required from the producer.

Participating students are eligible to receive some academic credit. Professional experience and creativity of expression are the major attractions for their participation.

RAM-TV21 is considered as a student media, along with WSNC Radio Station and The News Argus Newspaper.

5. Participation

Preference of participation is first given the students of the Department via the following requirements:

  1. RAM-TV21 volunteers must be enrolled for a minimum 6 credits as undergraduate or graduate students of Winston-Salem State University.
  2. A participant must be in good judicial and academic standing.
  3. Executive staff and producers must have the background and expertise to fulfill their responsibilities, and at least one semester of prior RAM-TV21 participation, as well as, current participation for which the responsibilities are assumed.
  4. Access to field cameras and editing consoles may require passing a test or attending a workshop. Equipment policies are implemented and monitored by the Department of Mass Communications.

6. How to Participate

Volunteers apply directly to the producers. Producers determine crew, reporters, and talent at the start of the production season. Volunteers are welcome any time to apply. All positions are competitive.

  1. A recruitment night is held at the beginning of each semester. Producers hold auditions for writing and talent positions after the recruitment night.
  2. Producers may need to replace individuals during the semester for reason of a participant’s failure to attend rehearsals and performances, or to adequately fulfill the duties of their position. Discussion and an opportunity to improve must precede a dismissal.
  3. Participation in student media activities is a privilege. In order to be eligible, a student must first fulfill his or her departmental obligations. This includes attending all mandatory departmental meetings and seminars, the annual Mass Communications Conference, and actively participating in the Mass Communications Club. Depending upon the severity of an infraction, a student may be removed from all or part of their RAM-TV21 duties. Other reasons include the following:
    1. · Failure to fulfill the duties of a given position.
    2. · Violation of College security and conduct codes.
    3. · Unauthorized possession or improper handling of University equipment.
    4. · Behavior on RAM-TV21 or in the field that is disruptive, or causes viewer, RAM-TV21, or University any type of embarrassment.
    5. · Actions detrimental to the organization and violation of any RAM-TV21 policies.

7. Freedom of Expression

If students are uncertain how to deal with program content or treatment, discussion with the General Manager of TV Operations should be sought. RAM-TV21 strives to establish and maintain professional standards appropriate to a college student, organization in program production and content, and suitable to an educational access channel general audience. Producers are expected to insure that the program content remain within the accepted parameters for quality media presentations, of good taste, and fair play.

News and public affairs on RAM-TV21 are free of censorship and advance approval of copy, and the editors and managers are free to develop editorial policies and news coverage that are consistent with station goals and policies. However, the necessary research to obtain full information in order to provide balanced reporting is required before any news story is reported.

Lewd, defamatory or shock materials are not permitted. Producers are responsible for the contents of their programming. They are entrusted to have the judgment and maturity to recognize when material is questionable. RAM-TV21 does not telecast:

  • Obscene or indecent material – That which is patently offensive applying contemporary community standards for family viewing
  • Defamatory content – A malicious falsehood intended to ridicule or degrade individuals or groups of people for any reason(s)
Prior permission to videotape is necessary in circumstances such as:
  • Parental permission for minors to appear
  • Permission of speakers at sponsored events
  • Where an individual’s privacy may be violated
  • On private property or other off campus property.

Plagiarism is not permitted.

8. Copyrights

RAM-TV21 retains copyright on all programming produced for RAM-TV21. Final video credit should be: “This is a production of RAM-TV21 Student Television Station Copyright 2008. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Department of Mass Communications, Winston-Salem State University, community, or its stakeholders.”

Students are free to copy RAM-TV21 programming for their personal portfolio use. RAM-TV21 entries to competitions will be selected by the Chair of the Department of Mass Communications and the General Manager of TV Operations and are submitted as station entries. No copyrighted materials may be used within RAM-TV21 shows without prior permission of owner of the materials except for review or commentary. Included in this area are:

  • Music - ASCAP, BMI License, and WSNC 90.5 Radio Station.
  • News – RAM-TV21 has permission to use FOX8 and CNN news sources via WSNC 90.5 FM Radio Station.
  • Sports – Permission from WSSU Athletic Department.
  • WSNC locally produced programs.

Commercial Content – By NC regulation, RAM-TV21 may not include commercial or promotional content on the educational access channel. Producers, reporters and interviewers should exercise care not to promote or endorse a business, such as giving a business’ hours and prices. A story about a type of business should include a sampling of at least one other establishment to avoid the appearance of an infomercial.

Fundraising – Fundraising on cable access channels is prohibited by NC regulation.

Public service announcements on RAM-TV21 should represent reasonable standards of integrity, public acceptance and appropriateness. The project should be noncommercial, nondenominational, politically nonpartisan and not designed to influence legislation.

9. Programming

Most programming on RAM-TV21 is student initiated and produced. RAM-TV21 program offerings include sports, news, public affairs, comedies, children’s shows, variety, quiz, performance and drama. Some programs may be initiated by the Department of Mass Communications, such as special events or issues coverage. RAM-TV21 may, at the discretion of the General Manager of TV Operations, televise acquired programs.

A program proposal is made to the General Manager of TV Operations and the Student Station Manager. Sometimes there are competing applications for producing an existing series. The General Manager of TV Operations may accept, reject or suggest modification of the proposal on the basis of:

  1. The experience and qualifications of the person who proposes to produce.
  2. Creative, artistic, educational, social or informational value of the concept to the greater Winston-Salem community.
  3. Feasibility, including technical considerations
  4. Uniqueness of the idea – non-duplication with other programming.
  5. Availability of facility time and student volunteers.
  6. Potential for good experience by the volunteers.

10. Program Proposal Guidelines

Prospective producers should pick up sample proposal and producer description from the General Manager of Television Operations. A successful proposal includes:

  1. The producer’s background and qualifications.
  2. An in-depth description of program content and treatment.
  3. Rationale for the program and the intended audience.
  4. Estimated number of programs, their length, projected air availabilities.
  5. List of tentative program subjects (if applicable).
  6. A detailed sample format sheet for one program.
  7. Estimated program development time and production time, including editing and studio requirements.
  8. Any special costs beyond videotapes.
  9. There will be no commitments, purchases, production, or selection of volunteers prior to acceptance of a proposal by the Manager of Television Operations. A sample series proposal is available from the Manager of TV Operations.

11. RAM-TV21 Staff and Facilities

Production managers are in charge of facilities usage weekdays and evenings (the times when RAM-TV21 is most active). They are charged with maintaining order and insuring a safe working environment. A show’s producer, director and lighting director should meet with the production manager at the start of the semester to go over procedures. The below facilities are reserved through scheduling with the General Manager of TV Operations.

  • Television Production Studio
  • Editing Lab
  • Location Camera Kits

12. Operations Information

During semesters, facility hours of operation are:

  • Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday – 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • No Weekends

Students are not permitted access to the facilities or equipment during vacation times. Due to limited resources, alumni are not permitted access to facilities or equipment. However, they are welcomed to assist with the production efforts of RAM-TV21.

Scheduling hours are weekdays 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Reservations must be made in person. Cancellations may be made by phone.

Mailboxes: Memos, telephone messages and mail for producers will be placed in producers’ mailboxes in Hall-Patterson, Room 314. Office telephones are official RAM-TV21 use only. They are coded for local area use.

  • RAM-TV21 - Master Control Room: 336-750-2303.
  • General Manager of Television Operations & Director of Student Television – Doug Osman: 336-750-2784.
  • Engineer - Mr. Baxter Griffin: 336-750-2305.
  • Mass Communications Chairperson - Dr. Brian Blount: 336 750-2320.

Letterhead for RAM-TV21 use may be obtained, with envelopes, from the General Manager of TV Operations. The Producers are only eligible to use the channel’s letterhead to confirm interviews/tape times, thank guests, and other relevant business activities. All correspondences must be presented to the General Manager of TV Operations for processing.

Faxes for RAM-TV21 may be sent to the main office fax machine: 336-750-2100 or 336-750-2718. They will be placed in the producer’s mailbox.

E-mail – important internal communications medium. Producers should check their e-mail daily and use e-mail to communicate with their crew members both individually and through e-mail distribution list.

13. Photocopying

  • All promotion material copying for public display must be reviewed in advance by the General Manager of TV Operations before posting. It should contain the RAM-TV21 logo.
  • For under 15 copies, the Mass Communications departmental copier may be used.
  • Larger copying jobs will be sent to the Campus Xerox Center.

14. Studio Policies

  • All volunteers are expected to keep spaces neat, clean up after themselves, and to use trash bins as appropriate.
  • No food or drinks in studios. No smoking or alcohol anywhere in building.

Safety: Studio light grids present a potential hazard. Individuals must exercise care when moving, tightening, and focusing lights. A person should be positioned at the bottom of lighting ladder.

Because RAM-TV21 is considered as a laboratory, the operating budget from the Department of Mass Communications is provided to RAM-TV21 for the materials basic to production.

Volunteers cannot expect reimbursement for purchases made without prior authorization from the department. Some items the budget may not be used for:

  1. Wearing apparel and personal items.
  2. Food for meetings, parties, or as a general rule, during local production, except for remotes. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Prizes and gifts.
  4. Parking fines.
  5. Volunteers are not permitted to make any contractual arrangements.

15. Budget and Underwriting

Winston-Salem State University funds the basic operation of RAM-TV21. Students are NOT expected to put in their own money, or to find outside funding for their basic RAM-TV21 production. Where additional money is necessary to offset large travel costs for sports programs, the General Manager of TV Operations will conduct or direct the solicitation.

Donations are a way for producers to obtain extras like special set materials, costuming, rental fees or food for crew. These are contributions, not advertising. The General Manager must coordinate these activities. The General Manager of TV Operations must be clear with vendors that they are providing underwriting, not buying time. A copy of each donor agreement should be filed with the General Manager of TV Operations.

16. Format for Underwriting Acknowledgments

The acknowledgment may be made at the beginning and must be made at the end of the program as the very first and/or very last elements of a program. For Ram Football games, an additional sponsor credit may be given at halftime. Standard acknowledgments include:

Audio: “Additional support for RAM-TV21 provided by _____________.

Video: The business logo, or character-generated name of the sponsor.

17. Videotapes

Below are the various types of videotapes and categories used in the channel’s operations:

Tape Stock

  • Standard tape sizes used by RAM-TV21 are VHS T-120, S-VHS T-120 and miniDV T-60.
  • Students must purchase their own videotapes and are responsible for their tape inventory and should immediately label the tapes with program name, producer name and running time.
Tape Library
  • Access to the tape library is by ID number and is available only to current producers, Executive Staff and Master Control operators.
  • Program tapes not picked up at the end of the semester may be thrown away. Programs that are evergreen, such as music performances and comedy, may be kept indefinitely.
Tape Duplications
  • By crew members – Crew members should arrange with producers to borrow master tapes for dubbing. Master tapes should never leave the building.
  • Requests for dubs from guests – The producer may suggest the guest arrange a home VCR recording off cable or DVD, or can provide a thank-you copy.
18. Travel
  • RAM-TV21 does not compensate drivers using their own autos on RAM-TV21 business.

19. Program Schedule

The weekly program schedule is determined by the general manager, station manager and program manager. Below is a sample program schedule for RAM-TV21:

We've Got Issues We've Got Issues We've Got Issues We've Got Issues We've Got Issues We've Got Issues We've Got Issues
Friends of the Library Friends of the Library Friends of the Library Friends of the Library Ram Games Ram Games Ram Games
Ram Jams Ram Jams Ram Jams Ram Jams Remix Remix Remix
Limelite Limelite Limelite Limelite Limelite Limelite Limelite
Ram Talk Ram Talk Ram Talk Ram Talk Ram Pride Ram Pride Ram Pride
Night Life Night Life Night Life Night Life Night Life Night Life Night Life
We've Got Issues We've Got Issues We've Got Issues We've Got Issues We've Got Issues We've Got Issues We've Got Issues
Friends of the Library Friends of the Library Friends of the Library Friends of the Library Ram Games Ram Games Ram Games
Ram Jams Ram Jams Ram Jams Ram Jams Remix Remix Remix
Limelite Limelite Limelite Limelite Limelite Limelite Limelite
Ram Talk Ram Talk Ram Talk Ram Talk Ram Pride Ram Pride Ram Pride

Winston-Salem State University

601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Winston-Salem, NC 27110

Phone: (336) 750-2000

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