RTNA Camera Pool Co-ordination

Rules of the Co-operative

  1. RTNA coordination normally requires notification from stations at least by 4 p.m. one day before a news event to be pooled. At non-RTNA pools (e.g., those that occur ad hoc on the day of a breaking story or for which no commitment has been obtained in advance), stations are not bound by these rules. If they agree to be pool, however, especially for court proceedings, they must provide service, including possible dubs, to other stations in the LA pool that are on scene to cover that event.
  2. Pool coordination is offered for courts in numerous counties in the State of California. RTNA may also coordinate pools for selected news events unrelated to the courts, assuming significant interest by stations throughout the area and a need to pool exists.
  3. The stations should notify the coordinator; the coordinator does not proactively tip the stations (intended to encourage normal journalistic enterprise and protect exclusives). However the coordinator may proactively seek a pool camera for ongoing cases in which pools have been requested or required in the past.
  4. Stations interested in covering court proceedings are required to submit a Media Request under California Rules of Court Rule 1.150, or RTNA may submit a request in anticipation of possible pool situations.
  5. RTNA notifies the stations of who will be pool by way of a news advisory on the City News Service or via direct e-mail to newsroom personnel.
  6. Stations cannot get video or feeds coordinated by RTNA without being paid members of the pool.
  7. Stations and bureaus serving as pool should be prepared to distribute video on-site as well as send it back to their station for distribution via the Switch or AT&T hub as soon as possible after an event. The designated transmission station must also inform pool members of the planned feed times for that video (typically two feeds should be sent). Notification should be by City News Service and direct e-mails to assignment desks that do not receive CNS advisories.
  8. Note: RTNA will provide station/bureau TOCs the current list of LA pool members, so the TOC feeding video can restrict transmission via the Switch exclusively to pool members (station-controlled system). Likewise RTNA will provide the AT&T hub with a list of current pool members to prevent AT&T from feeding to non-pool members without special permission (AT&T-hub controlled).
  9. Stations agreeing to be camera or transmission pool at an event must provide a clean feed or video dub to pool members (broadcast quality, HDTV 1080 preferred). There is to be no talent, commentary or reporting by said station(s) from the pool position at anytime. By agreeing to be pool, the station acknowledges its feed may be used on traditional television broadcast signals, digital cable channels, websites and other means of communication owned by the other stations.
  10. Fees for pool membership equal $150 per month, paid annually ($1,800 per year), for stations with daily news operations and $300 per month for production companies and outlets without daily newscasts. Additional fees may be negotiated and assessed for co-ordination of camera pools at extraordinary court cases or events (police/government functions, celebratory parades for sports teams, etc.)
  11. For stations or outlets that are not normally members of the LA pool, pool feeds may be permitted, but appropriate charges will be assessed on them in advance of granting them permission to receive feeds.
  12. RTNA attempts to ensure fair and equal participation among stations serving as pool by maintaining a record of the number of times each station has served as pool over the previous 12 months.
  13. After 24 hours, the pool footage can be sold or given away by a pool member. It is no longer considered RTNA pool footage.
  14. In the event there is a violation of the pool rules, a station’s status as a pool member will be reviewed by the pool committee and the station may be subject to penalty by the RTNA Board of Directors.

These rules are subject to revision by the RTNA pool committee which includes technical, legal and news assignment personnel.

RTNA: July 2011

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