HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR PROGRAM:
- Purchase a Submit Kit in the MiND Store, and you will receive a link via e-mail to download a submission packet.
- Follow checklists, rules, and submission guidelines in the packet (see below for all the details).
- We also recommend purchasing the MiND TV Made Easy handbook located in the MiND Gear Store for tips on producing your program(s) from start to finish.
- If your 5-minute program is accepted, it will air a minimum of 24 times. Higher quality programs air many more times.
- Your program will air on MiND TV and be available on MiND’s You Tube channel.
- If the program submitted needs work, MiND will let you know what needs to be fixed and you can re-submit twice at no extra charge.
MiND and its community members demand a high standard when it comes to video programs. We’ve established some basic rules in accordance with:
- MiND’s non-profit status (Independence Media is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization).
- Our non-commercial broadcast license.
- Standards established by and with members of our local community.
MiND reserves the right to reject any submission, and will determine, in its sole discretion, if any refund is due.
Briefly, here’s a rundown on the rules:
- Program Review & Approval: We use these rules to decide which programs are accepted for MiND.
- Community Standards: All MiND producers are required to work within these rules. They are a combination of FCC rules and standards set by real people who live and work in our community.
- Editorial Guidelines: MiND producers are also required to follow these rules pertaining to non-commercial television distribution.
Please play by the rules…
- Keep your program to exactly 5 minutes. MiND accepts only 5-minute video programs. If your program is not 5 minutes long, we can not accept it.
- Keep it non-commercial. MiND is a non-commercial TV broadcaster (similar to PBS) so we must follow rules regarding commercial intent and community standards.
- Be honest and forthcoming. Disclose your funding sources and your sponsors.
- Don’t attempt to work around the rules. Thank You.
Program Review & Approval
Every MiND program is screened and reviewed by community members and by staff members. Programs are reviewed in accordance with administrative, technical, and subjective guidelines. Each review is based upon the items below.
I. The first review is administrative and technical.
- Is a complete submission form and DVD, or similar included, in the package.
- Does the DVD contain the correct video program, which is exactly five minutes long?
- Does the file play properly, with good quality audio and video?
II. The second review evaluates for Federal law and community standards.
- Is the program free from:
- explicit depictions of sexual activity or bodily functions?
- gratuitous profanity, nudity, and acts of violence?
- glorification of substance abuse, hatred and illegal acts?
- commercial and promotional messages
- Does the program contain less than 20 seconds total of credits?
- Is the program consistent with community standards?
III. The third review is subjective. Final decisions are made by MiND, in its sole discretion.
- Does the program provide a meaningful learning experience?
- Is the program consistent with current quality standards associated with MiND?
In general, if you follow these guidelines, your program will be considered for distribution by MiND. If your video program is not accepted, you will be notified via email.
Our goal is to approve as many video programs as possible– please follow the rules so MiND can approve your program!
According to the FCC, “Obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution…” The Supreme Court has determined that, to be obscene, material must meet a three-pronged test: “An average person, applying contemporary community standards, must find that the material, as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest;” and “the material must depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable law;” and “the material, taken as a whole, must lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”
The FCC defines “indecency as language or material that, in context, depicts, or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory organs or activities.” Indecency: The FCC defines “indecency as language or material that, in context, depicts, or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory organs or activities.” We prefer the more “bodily functions” instead of “excretory.”
From time to time, the staff of MiND conducts a formal session in the Philadelphia region to discuss community standards with community members. Also, we meet regularly with our Community Advisory Board (CAB) to discuss community standards. For information about these community meetings, click here. Based upon feedback from the community, and advice from our legal counsel, and based upon current broadcast industry practices, our staff determines, in its sole discretion, appropriate criteria for “prurient interest,” “patently offensive,” “sexual conduct,” and “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”
In general, the rules regarding obscenity and indecency apply to nudity, sexuality, and other bodily functions. MiND is not to be used for pornography or sexually explicit content.
We define nudity as the exposure of bare skin that is typically covered by undergarments. The FCC may rule that certain instances involving nudity are acceptable, and that certain instances are not. There are no firm rules, so we tend to operate on the conservative side. Our community has told us that tasteful, content-appropriate nudity is acceptable, particularly if the appearances are brief.As a rule, nudity is discouraged, but in certain instances, some limited nudity may be permitted. These instances may include artistic expression (which is interpreted narrowly), medical instruction, and journalism (that is, the nudity is central to the story, and the story cannot be told without the nudity). Nudity involving minors is not acceptable under any circumstances. Additional guidance: if nudity is required in your program, keep it tasteful, keep it brief, and make certain that the story cannot be told effectively without the nudity. We’ll use the same criteria in deciding whether to accept or reject the program.
Bearing in mind that the above rules regarding nudity are likely to apply, community standards regarding sex on television are generally quite conservative. Once again, our guidance: if sexual relations are required in your program, keep the scene(s) tasteful, brief, and make certain that the story cannot be told effectively without the visualization of sexual relations. We’ll use the same criteria in deciding whether to accept or reject the program.
Our rules generally prohibit programs which show or depict excrement.
In general, programs containing language or material implying derogatory reference to any ethnicity, race, creed, sexuality or gender will be rejected. MiND is uninterested in material which promotes malicious use of stereotypes, hate speech, slurs, etc. If a program containing such language is determined to be of superior journalistic or artistic value, then it may be considered, but few programs are likely be judged in this manner.
In general, programs containing the use, promotion, and/or presentation of substances or paraphernalia considered illegal by the U.S. Government will be rejected. These include alcohol, cigarettes and any illegal substance used to alter mind or body. If a program containing substance abuse is judged to be of superior journalistic value, then it may be considered, but few programs are likely be determined by us to be acceptable.
In general, we define violent acts are defined as “any act of aggression” that harms any person, animal or other entity emotionally, psychologically or physically. In general, programs containing acts of violence, or the promotion of acts of violence, will be rejected. If a program containing such language is judged to be of superior journalistic value, then it may be considered, but few programs are likely be judged in this manner. MiND is uninterested in shock video, such as programs which show people getting hurt, accidents, or intentionally graphic war footage.
In general, we define hatred as “a feeling of dislike so strong that it demands action.” In general, we will reject any program that includes hateful language or the presentation of actions that imply or that depict hatred or acts of hatred toward any individual, group, animal or other entity, or the promotion of such acts. If a program containing acts of hatred is judged to be of superior journalistic or artistic value, then it may be considered, but few programs are likely be judged in this manner.
In general, we define an illegal act as any act that is prohibited by local, state, or Federal law. We do not permit the promotion, education, or encouragement of such acts, and will reject any program that includes this material.
For-profit companies are encouraged to become members of MIND, and to submit programs for review. Several specific restrictions apply. Programs must not:Directly promote a specific product or service, but may instead provide consumer education or another learning benefit.Promote one specific consumer or commercial product or service, but may include multiple product or service names, demonstrations, or illustrations.Include any specific call to action, nor specific information about product or service availability, nor pricing, nor other promotions.Be funded by the same entity that controls its editorial content.Programs must include a full and truthful disclosure of funding source.
MiND encourages articulate, well-researched political and social commentary and debate, but strongly discourages negative campaigning. As a rule, MiND encourages candidates to voice their opinions and points of view as citizens and leaders, while refraining from attacks of other candidates, political parties or organizations.
In order to maintain a broadcast operation in a legal manner that is also consistent with community standards, we tend to apply rules very broadly. Don’t look for loopholes—our intention is to provide the community with a service that which involves a high level of personal respect and integrity.We certainly encourage a broad interpretation of free speech, and we actively pursue content from diverse sources, and we always encourage our producers to present a wide range of creative, progressive ideas. But we must all work within the rules.
MiND is a non-profit organization whose programs are distributed on a non-commercial broadcast television station, the internet and through other media outlets in the future. Many of MiND’s rules regarding program content and underwriting are based upon rules followed by PBS and its member stations. MiND is not a PBS station but the following rules apply to MiND’s programs:
- In general, the overall appearance and presentation of MiND shall be non-commercial.
- In all cases, editorial control and final content decisions shall be made by MiND or the producer, and not by the funder.
- The principal purpose of MiND’s presentation of a program may not be the promotion of a product or a service provided by a for-profit company.
- The principal purpose of MiND’s presentation of a program may not be membership solicitation or fund-raising for a product or service provided by a non-profit company. However, the purpose of a program may be the promotion of a service provided by a non-profit company if the service has clearly beneficial arts, cultural, educational, consumer awareness, or public safety information.
- Each program’s funding sources shall be briefly disclosed as part of the program credits, and more fully disclosed in the web alongside the presentation of the program.
- The sources of products and services provided for production of the program shall be briefly disclosed as part of the program credits, and more fully disclosed in the web metadata associated with the program.
- A program with clearly beneficial arts, cultural, educational, consumer awareness, or public safety information may mention a specific company, product, or service provided there is no call to action or solicitation message.
- The exchange of cash or goods or services for placement of products within the program is not permitted. However, subject to MiND’s editorial control, products may be provided for review or illustration purposes.
- Production credits may include a website and a company logo, but may not promote any product or service, nor make any marketing claim.
- Issues and interpretations not specifically addressed in these rules, nor the Membership Agreements nor the content guidelines published on www.mindtv.org shall be resolved by MiND in its sole discretion.