Revised May 2019
Valley FM presenters are the public face of the station. As such, presenters must be mindful of how they present both their programs and themselves to the listening audience, their fellow members and the general public and to consider how their words, actions and activities reflect upon Valley FM as a whole.
With this in mind, each presenter is reminded that, upon joining Valley FM 89.5 and signing the station’s membership application, they agreed to read, understand and abide with all broadcasting rules, Valley FM policies and procedures, Codes of Practice and any other reasonable direction determined by the Valley FM Board.
Presenters are expected to always:
- Treat the general public and each other with courtesy, respect and honesty and to behave ethically and professionally when interacting with others in their role, both on and off-air
- Comply with the requirements of the Community Broadcasting Codes of Practice – Radio and all other related federal and Territory legislation obligations as articulated in current Valley FM governance policies, procedures and guidelines, and
- Adhere to, and comply with, all Valley FM policies, procedures and directives.
Listener Interaction (Listener Complaints and Feedback)
When receiving a phone call from a listener providing feedback or a complaint, presenters are expected to remain polite at all times. Actively listen to what the caller is complaining about or providing feedback on and where possible take notes. Presenters should ask clarifying questions in order to obtain as much information as possible. The phone system will allow the presenter to see and write down the telephone number of the complainant if it is deemed necessary or it becomes serious.
Regardless of the call’s content presenters should:
- Thank the caller for listening to the station and for raising awareness of the issue/problem, and
- Advise the caller that their feedback is appreciated and ask that the person put their feedback in writing via postal mail to the President of Valley FM at PO Box 112, Erindale ACT 2903 or in writing via email to [email protected].
At no time are presenters required to address complaints as this responsibility sits with the Valley FM Board. For further information please refer to the 2018 Valley FM Policy Complaints Management.
Occasionally listeners might call Valley FM to request a particular song. If a presenter handles such requests for their program they are welcome to do so but it is suggested that they consider not putting them to air immediately. This affords the presenter the opportunity to play other content to the listener who is waiting to hear their request. Presenters may acknowledge the listener making the request on-air but must not disclose that person’s surname, address or phone number.
If the presenter does not wish to play a request during their program the listener is to be:
- Thanked for their call
- Provided with a brief explanation of why their request will not be played
- Asked for an alternative request if the song is unavailable or unsuitable
- Advised of which programs usually feature requests, and/or
- Advised that their request has been passed on to the appropriate program or presenter of that genre of music.
Competitions, Prizes and Giveaways
Valley FM would prefer presenters attract an audience through creative and original program content, word-of-mouth, using social media and other Valley FM promotional activities to listeners from sponsors rather than prizes for competitions or giveaways. The reasons for this stance relate to the:
Potential conflict with Valley FM sponsorship agreements and policy
Logistics and costs associated with getting items to winners, and
Connotations of participating in promotional activities that are commonly used in the commercial radio sector.
Individual presenters are asked to not approach sponsors for prizes/giveaways but forward the information onto the Valley FM Board to negotiate correct terms, conditions and promotion of such prizes/giveaways with a lead time of at least four (4) weeks. Presenters, not Valley FM, are to assume responsible for how a winner receives their prize/giveaway.
However, presenters may seek approval from the Valley FM Board to run on-air competitions with prizes. The Board will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis. The Board will then decide whether a competition is to proceed based on associated policies.
Individual presenters are asked to not approach sponsors for prizes but to forward the information onto the Director Sponsorship and Promotion and Valley FM Board to negotiate correct terms, conditions and promotion of such prizes/giveaways.
The Valley FM Board encourages the use of social media by presenters to interact with listeners. However, when using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, presenters are asked to be mindful of who will be reading their posts/tweets. Consideration needs to be given to the differences between a public page/forum and one set up for private use e.g. for Valley FM presenters solely.
Although the Community Broadcasting Codes of Practice – Radio do not apply to the use of social media, the Board prefers to send a consistent message with regard to the promotion of commercial enterprises. Therefore, it is preferred that presenters do not share, post links to, or in any way promote any commercial business.
If a presenter decides to have a Facebook page to promote their program then the Board prefers it to be titled Valley FM 89.5 – followed by the program’s name. It is also preferred that a Valley FM Board member be made an administrator of the page.
The Valley FM Board will decide on the number of sponsorship announcements per sponsor in accordance with their contract with Valley FM. Also, there are ACMA mandatory limits on how many sponsorship announcements can be played each hour (five minutes).
Sponsorship announcements are to:
- Be played according to pre-established Valley FM requirements, and
- Be spaced throughout the hour.
In accordance with Valley FM’s contractual arrangements with a sponsor and the 2018 Valley FM Sponsorship Policy, presenters are advised to not make additional comments or add their personal recommendations concerning any sponsor at any time.
All sponsorship announcements must be pre-recorded.
Community Service Announcements
Community service announcements are to be:
- Played according to the requirements of the 2018 Valley FM Programming Policy, and
- Evenly spaced throughout each hour.
Presenters are advised to not make additional comments or add their personal recommendations concerning any community content scripted at any time.
Valley FM encourages presenters to invite community announcements from community groups with the aim of promoting their group, services or upcoming events a minimum lead time of three (3) weeks is required for all live read community announcements.
Local weather forecasts/CSAs are encouraged on a regular basis e.g. after each news bulletin. The Board asks that presenters regularly advise listeners of any current weather alerts and to not broadcast outdated weather forecasts. Weather forecasts/alerts can be found at www.bom.gov.au.
Valley FM Announcement, Program Promotions and Station Identifications
Valley FM announcements/station identifications are to be:
- Played from CSAs or live reads, according to Valley FM programming requirements, and
- Spaced throughout each hour.
Offensive Language and Inappropriate Content
The Community Broadcasting Codes of Practice require broadcasters to consider their audience at all times and in particular when broadcasting material that contains language that some people may consider offensive. As such Valley FM requires that:
- Presenters not use offensive language themselves at any time, and
- No content containing offensive language can be broadcast between 5.30am and 9pm. For further information please refer to the Valley FM Policy Use of Offensive Language.
If a presenter inadvertently plays content containing offensive language between 5.00am and 9pm, then the:
- Song/track should be stopped, and
- Error acknowledged and an apology given on-air.
Presenters are reminded that they should not broadcast material that is likely to stereotype, incite, vilify, perpetuate hatred or attempt to demean any person or group on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, race, language, gender, sexuality, religion, age, physical or mental ability, occupation, cultural belief or political affiliation.
Material must not be broadcast that may incite or encourage violence, mislead or alarm listeners, present illegal drug use or the misuse of tobacco or alcohol as desirable or present suicide as a solution to life problems/issues. For further information please refer to the 2018 Valley FM Policy Community Broadcasting Codes of Practice and the 2018 Valley FM Policy on Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying.
Australian and Local Music Content
Presenters are to be mindful of the ACMA license requirements that community radio stations’ music programming must broadcast a minimum of 25% Australian music. When presenters complete their program playlists each week they are required to archive them at home for a minimum period of six (6) months. For further information please refer to the Valley FM Policy Australian Music Content.
Valley FM encourages all presenters to familiarise themselves with the Valley FM music database to select music for their programs. Interested presenters are also encouraged to promote local music and local musicians and invite them to include their broadcast-ready tracks for a local music playlist.
The Valley FM Board accepts that presenters may be unable to present their programs from time to time. In such instances it is the responsibility of the presenter to inform Valley FM’s Program Coordinator with as much notice as possible. Presenters are asked to make every effort to find their own substitute presenter before contacting the Station Manager if the presenter has been unsuccessful in finding an alternate presenter. If unable to contact the Program Coordinator then the presenter is asked to contact another Valley FM Board Member. Although presenters may have made arrangements for another presenter to fill in, final approval of such arrangements rests with Valley FM’s Station Manager or delegate.
Also, if you feel you can no longer meet your program commitment let the Station Manager know well in advance, so that someone else can be given an opportunity to broadcast.
Infringing on Another Presenter’s Timeslot
Presenters are expected to be at the station at least ten minutes prior to their allocated timeslot. If for any reason a presenter wishes to change their program timeslot or infringe on any other presenter’s program timeslot this can only be done with the approval of the Valley FM Program Coordinator and the agreement of the presenter whose program time is affected. This must only be done with at least 72 hours’ notice.
Presenters are expected to allow sufficient time to handover to the presenter/s of the next program. It is preferred that presenters say their on-air goodbye before their last song/track, press play then vacate the presenter chair as soon as possible thereafter.
Press or Political Interviews
Under no circumstances are presenters to engage in interviews with the press or political entities that involve specific party political information. Nor are they to be involved with other promotional activities without the prior approval of the Valley FM Program Coordinator or a Board delegate.
If any presenter is contacted by the press or other organisation in relation to this activity they are to be advised that they must contact the Valley FM Program Coordinator or a Board delegate to seek approval. This applies to any CSA, flyer, newsletter or other promotional material related to any political group.
Visitors to Valley FM premises are welcome. Visitors on a regular basis (i.e. more than three occasions) are to be encouraged to become Valley FM members. Presenters are responsible for ensuring that visitors comply with all Valley FM policies and procedures especially those relating to safety and security. Presenters must assume total responsibility during their broadcasting shift for any other person/visitor with them therefore must know where the visitor is at any given time.
Visitors must not answer the phone or use any studio equiipment e.g. computers, broadcasting equipment. Presenters must not train visitors in the use of any equipment. Each visitor is to sign in, and out, the signing register adjacent to the kitchenette.
Presenters are reminded that food and drink should not be consumed in studios. This is to protect valuable equipment assets that are critical to broadcasting.
Smoking is not tolerated except outside a ten (10) metre exclusion zone around the station building.
As Valley FM leases the station premises from the ACT Government the Valley FM Board expects presenters and visitors to be mindful of the lease arrangement and keep all internal areas clean and tidy at all times.
Security and Safety
Always be security conscious. Ensure that doors are locked when leaving the station and don’t leave any external doorway ajar.
- Be a current financial (paid-up) Valley FM member before presenting any program
- have read and signed their membership form (thereby indicating agreement to abide by all rules, regulations and directives issued by the Valley FM Board)
- Purchase and bring their own headphones which must be worn at all times during live-to-air communication, Complete the sign-in sheet as they enter the premises and
- Not do their program if they have a cold, flu, or other contagious disease, thereby not spreading microbes to other presenters. Instead notify the Program Coordinator of the situation or try to find a substitute presenter.
The Board is responsible for the development, implementation and review of this policy. Compliance with the policy is the responsibility of every presenter.
Broadcasting Services Act (Cwth 1992)
Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice (2016)