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"(6) Equipment necessary for coverage by the television and radio media shall not be installed in, or removed from, the hearing room while the committee is in session.
"(7) Floodlights, spotlights, strobelights, and flashguns shall not be used in providing any method of coverage of the hearing, except that the television media may install additional lighting in the hearing room, without cost to the Government, in order to raise the ambient lighting level in the hearing room to the lowest level necessary to provide adequate television coverage of the hearing at the then current state of the art of television coverage.
"(8) Not more than five press photographers shall be permitted to cover a hearing by still photography. In the selection of these photographers, preference shall be given to photographers from Associated Press Photos and United Press International Newspictures. If request is made by more than five of the media for coverage of the hearing by still photography, that coverage shall be made on the basis of a fair and equitable pool arrangement devised by the Standing Committee of Press Photographers.
"(9) Photographers shall not position themselves, at any time during the course of the hearing, between the witness table and the members of the committee.
"(10) Photographers shall not place themselves in positions which obstruct unnecessarily the coverage of the hearing by the other media.
"(11) Personnel providing coverage by the television and radio media shall be then currently accredited to the Radio and Television Correspondents' Galleries.
"(12) Personnel providing coverage by still photography shall be then currently accredited to the Press Photographers
"(13) Personnel providing coverage by the television and radio media and by still photography shall conduct themselves
and their coverage activities in an orderly and unobtrusive
In summary, section 116(b) provides that by majority vote,
any committee may permit any of its public hearings to be televised, broadcast by radio, or photographed by still photographers, provided that the conduct of the hearings conforms to acceptable standards of
Furthermore, no committee may permit the broadcasting or
photographing of any of its hearings unless it has adopted written rules to the effect that:
(a) live coverage is to be broadcast without commercial
broadcast against his will;
(c) television coverage shall be limited to four fixed
cameras not obstructing committee proceedings or the
(a) equipment must be installed prior to the hearing;
hearing; (8) the still photographers shall not come between the witness
and committee members or obstruct the other media during
the hearing; and
The intent of this new clause 33 of Rule XI is to give each
committee of the House authority to have its public hearings televised, broadcast, or photographed, subject to certain basic regulations to which every committee must adhere.
A committee may permit all its public hearings to be covered
by the broadcast and photography media, or it may limit such coverage
to specific hearings or parts of hearings, or it may refuse to
open any of its hearings to those media.
Before a committee may permit the broadcasting of one or
more of its hearings, it must comply with two requirements: first,
it must make the decision by a majority vote of the committee;
second, it must adopt written rules to provide for such broadcast
coverage, those rules to include the specific regulations described
in the summary above. The committee may adopt additional rules consistent with the purposes and intent of Rule XI, clause 33, but it must at the very least adopt those set forth in that clause.
The language emphasizes that media coverage of House committee hearings is a privilege, not a right, and that a committee may
revoke that privilege as circumstances warrant.
The stated purpose of permitting the broadcasting and photo graphing of House committee hearings is to provide education, perspective, and enlightenment to the public.
The language emphasizes that broadcast hearings shall be conducted in conformity with "acceptable standards of dignity, propriety
the and decorum." Moreover, it is declared to be intent of the clause that broadcast tapes and film of hearings "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."
House Committee Rules Governing the Broadcast of Hearings, 93d Congress
For the 93rd Congress the published rules of eighteen House
committees contain provisions relating to the broadcasting of their
hearings: Agriculture, Appropriations, Banking and Currency, District of Columbia, Education and Labor, Foreign Affairs, Government Operations, Interior and Insular Affairs, Internal Security, Inter
state and Foreign Commerce, Judiciary, Merchant Marine and Fisheries,
Post Office and Civil Service, Public Works, Rules, Veterans' Affairs,
Select Committee on Committees and Select Small Business,
The Committees on Armed Services, House Administration, Science
and Astronautics, Standards of Official Conduct, and Ways and Means
have no such provisions in their written rules.
Excluded from this
count are the other housekeeping committees (Committee on the House
Restaurant, House Recording Studio, Select Committee on the House
The following are the rules of House committees for the 93rd
Congress regarding broadcast of hearings:
HOUSE COMITTEE RULES FOR THE 93RD CONGRESS
REGARDING BROADCAST OF HEARINGS
Broadcasting and still photography of any
(1) If the television or radio coverage
(2) No witness served with a subpoena by
(3) Not more than four television cameras,