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SENTE COMMITTEE RULES FOR THE 93RD CONGRESS

REGARDING BROADCAST OF HEARINGS

RULE NUMBER

DATE ADOPTED

RULE

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OMMITTEE

Post Office

and Civil Service

Meetings of the Committee shall be open to the press except (1) executive meetings to consider nominations for public office, or (2) when otherwise directed by the Chairman or majority vote of members present. The Chairman may grant or deny the privilege of broadcasting meetings of the full Committee. The Chairman of any subcommittee shall have the same power with respect to such subcommittee.

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Public hearings of the Committee, or any Subcommittee thereof, shall be televised or broadcast, or recorded for television or broadcast, only when authorized by the Chairman, acting through the Chief Clerk. During public hearings, photographers and other reporters using mechanical recording or filming devices shall position and use their equipment in such fashion as will not interfere with the seating, vision, or hearing of Committee Members or Staff on the dais, nor with the orderly process of the hearing.

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SENTE COMITTEE RULES FOR THL 93RD CONGUESS

REGARDING BROADCAST OF HEARINGS

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34. Whenever the chairman so permits, any committee
hearing that is open to the public may be covered, in
whole or in part, by television broadcast, radio
broadcast, and still photography or by any other media ?
coverage, provided that such coverage 18 orderly and
unobtrusive,

35. The coverage of any hearing of the committee
by television, radio, or still photography shall be
under the direct supervision of the chairman, who
may for good cause terminate such media coverage
in whole or in part, or take such other action as
the circumstances may warrant.

36. A witness may request, on grounds of distraction,
harassment, or physical discomfort, that during his
testimony, television, motion picture, and other
cameras and lights shall not be directed at him, such
requests to be ruled on by the committee members present
at the hearing

37, No witness served a subpena by the committee
shall be required against his will to be photographed
at any hearing or to give evidence or testimony while
the broadcasting of that hearing, by radio or television,
is being conducted. At the request of such witness who
does not wish to be subjected to radio, television,
or still photography coverage, all lenses shall be

CRS-10

SENATE COMMITTEE RULES FOR THE 93RD CONGRESS

REGARDING BROADCAST OF HEARINGS

COMMITTEE

RULE NABER

DATE ADOPTED

RULE

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Presidential
Campaign
Activities
(cont.)

covered and all microphones used for coverage turned off. So far as is practicable, a witness desiring to make such a request shall so inform the chief counsel of the committee at least 24 hours prior to the time that witness is scheduled to testify.

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Small

Business
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Standards and
Conduct
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Rule 15

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15. PROHIBITION OF CAMERAS Television, motion picture and other cameras and

s and vio lights will not be permitted to operate during a hearing.

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CRS-11

Provisions of P.L, 91-510 Authorizing House Committee Broadcast of Hearings

Section 116(b) of the 1970 Legislative Reorganization Act

authorizes broadcasting by committees of the House.

It reads as

follows:

(b) Rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new clause:

"33. (a) It is the purpose of this clause to provide a means, in conformity with acceptable standards of dignity, propriety, and decorum, by which committee hearings which are open to the public may be covered, by television broadcast, radio broadcast, and still photography, or by any of such methods of coverage -

"(1) for the education, enlightenment, and information of the general public, on the basis of accurate and impartial news coverage, regarding the operations, procedures, and practices of the House as a legislative and representative body and regarding the measures, public issues, and other matters before the House and its committees, the consideration thereof, and the action taken thereon; and

"(2) for the development of the perspective and understanding of the general public with respect to the role and function of the House under the Constitution of

the United States as an organ of the Federal Government. "(b) In addition, it is the intent of this clause that radio and television film of any coverage under this clause shall not be used, or made available for use, as partisan political campaign material to promote or oppose the candidacy of any person for elective public office.

"(c) It is, further, the intent of this clause that the general conduct of each meeting of any hearing or hearings covered, under authority of this clause, by television broadcast, radio broadcast, and still photography, or by any of such methods of coverage, and the personal behavior of the committee members and staff, other Government officials and personnel, witnesses, television, radio, and press media personnel, and the general public at the hearing shall be in strict conformity with and observance of the acceptable standards of dignity, propriety, courtesy, and decorum traditionally observed by the House in its operations and shall not be such as to -

CRS-12

"(A) distort the objects and purposes of the hearing or the activities of committee members in connection with that hearing or in connection with the general work of the committee or of the House; or

"(B) cast discredit or dishonor on the House, the committee, or any Member or bring the House, the committee, or any Member

into disrepute.

"(d) The coverage of committee hearings by television broadcast, radio broadcast, or still photography is a privilege made available by the House and shall be permitted and conducted only in strict conformity with the purposes, provisions, and requirements of this clause.

"(e) Whenever any hearing conducted by any committee of the House is open to the public, that committee may permit, by majority vote of the committee, that hearing to be covered, in whole or in part, by television broadcast, radio broadcast, and still photography, or by any of such methods of coverage, but only under such written rules as the committee may adopt in accordance with the purposes, provisions, and requirements of this clause.

"(f) The written rules which may be adopted by a committee under paragraph (e) of this clause shall contain provisions to the following effect:

"(1) If the television or radio coverage of the hearing is to be presented to the public as live coverage, that coverage shall be conducted and presented without commercial sponsorship.

"(2) No witness served with a subpena by the committee shall be required against his will to be photographed at any hearing or to give evidence or testimony while the broadcasting of that hearing, by radio or television, is being conducted. At the request of any such witness who does not wish to be subjected to radio, television, or still photography coverage, all lenses shall be covered and all microphones used for coverage turned off. This sub paragraph is supplementary to paragraph (m) of clause 27 of this rule, relating to the protection of the rights of witnesses.

"(3) Not more than four television cameras, operating from fixed positions, shall be permitted in a hearing room. The allocation among the television media of the positions of the number of television cameras permitted in a hearing room shall be in accordance with fair and equitable procedures devised by the Executive Committee of the Radio and Television Correspondents' Galleries.

"(4) Television cameras shall be placed so as not to obstruct in any way the space between any witness giving evidence or testimony and any member of the committee or the visibility of that witness and that member to each other.

"(5) Television cameras shall not be placed in positions which obstruct unnecessarily the coverage of the hearing by the other media.

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