Public radio (unofficially) asks CPB to serve as political firewall, May 2005

Public radio station representatives endorsed this resolution by voice vote during NPR's annual Members Meeting of stations, May 3, 2005. The meeting lacked the quorum necessary to adopt a proposed official resolution. The proposal, offered by Tim Emmons, g.m. of Northern Public Radio in DeKalb, Ill., responded to recent news coverage about CPB activities promoting conservative programming on public TV. Whereas it is the statutory and historical role of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to serve as a firewall between partisan politics and public broadcasting; and

Whereas the Public Broadcasting Act specifically directs CPB to act “in ways that will most effectively assure the maximum freedom of the public telecommunications entities and systems from interference with, or control of, program content or other activities”; and

Whereas CPB has in the past respected the First Amendment rights of broadcasters and deferred to the professional judgments of journalists; and

Whereas the Public Broadcasting Act requires CPB to distribute program funds by grant rather than by contract specifically to limit CPB interference in the editorial decision-making process of public broadcasting program producers and stations; and

Whereas the Public Broadcasting Act requires CPB to create and annually update a plan for the development of public telecommunications services and consult with interested parties when so doing; and

Whereas CPB has recently dismissed its President and CEO under uncertain conditions; and

Whereas the CPB board recently appointed two ombudsmen without consulting with the public broadcasting system, raising legitimate concerns of an institutionalized process for potential interference in content, and

Whereas, such a process within a funding agency is fundamentally inconsistent with the principles of ombudsmen in reference to news organizations;

It is therefore resolved that:

CPB should follow statutory requirements and do nothing to diminish the firewall between the Federal funds appropriated by the Congress and the public broadcast programming it funds; and
CPB should follow statutory requirements and refrain from interfering in constitutionally protected content decisions; and
CPB should follow statutory requirements and, before making changes in funding priorities, should engage in a system-wide consultation about the priorities of public radio and defer to the reasonable and legitimate choices of broadcast professionals to build services of value within the local communities they serve.

University Licensee Association, Charter of Association, amended May 2005

The association includes public broadcasting stations licensed to colleges and universities — largely public TV or TV/radio joint licensees. It is one of several "affinity groups" within public TV that are consulted by national organizations making policy decisions. It is a member of the Affinity Group Coalition. The association also adopted a set of Core Principles, below. Mission

The mission of the University Licensee Association (ULA) is to assist public broadcasting stations licensed to colleges and universities in efforts to fulfill individual missions and goals through the sharing of ideas within the association and to speak for the special needs and interests of the licensees during times of national planning and decision-making.

Secretary of Education objects to Postcards from Buster ‘two moms’ episode, 2005

Margaret Spellings, secretary of education in George W. Bush's administration, complained to PBS in 2005 about an episode of the animated Postcards from Buster children's series with funding from her department. In the episode, Buster visits a Vermont family that has two moms. See also Current story. January 25, 2005
Ms. Pat Mitchell
President and Chief Executive Officer
Public Broadcasting Service
1320 Braddock Place
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Dear Ms. Mitchell:

The Department of Education has strong and very serious concerns about a specific Ready-To-Learn television episode, yet to be aired, that has been developed under a cooperative agreement between the Department and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). The episode -- “Sugartime!” -- is part of the “Postcards from Buster” series, and would feature throughout the show families headed by gay couples. As you know, the cooperative agreement that PBS is using to support these programs is designed to prepare preschool and elementary age children for school.

National Educational Telecommunications Association Bylaws

NETA, a successor of Southern Educational Communications Association, provides a range of services to public TV professionals and stations, including program distribution, specialized councils for the various disciplines in stations, and an annual conference. It is based in Columbia, S.C.
The purpose of the Corporation is exclusively educational: to develop, exchange, and share on a nonprofit basis the educational, instructional, and cultural resources of and with participating members of the Corporation so as to assist the development of instructional, educational, and cultural activities of educational television and radio stations: to produce, distribute, or otherwise exploit, or any combination thereof, for broadcast by radio, television, or otherwise, or any combination thereof, material which is instructional to the public on subjects useful to the individual and beneficial to the community; to further the utilization of other forms of electronic communications of educational material; to aid in developing and implementing interstate exchange of instructional, educational, or cultural material designed or intended for broadcast by radio, television, or otherwise, or any combination thereof; and to aid in developing and implementing interstate exchange of materials and information relating to the educational use of electronic communications. In the event of dissolution of the Corporation, the residual assets thereof will be conveyed or transferred to one or more organizations which are exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, or any successor section thereto; or to the Federal Government or to a state or local government, for public purposes exclusively. ARTICLE II: Membership
Section 1. The Corporation may accept for membership any eligible organization, agency, or individual, if such membership is consistent with the basic purposes of the Corporation.

Why public television?: Public TV’s mission statement, 2004

Public TV stations adopted this statement of mission at the PBS Members Meeting, Feb. 23, 2004. For more information. See also Current's coverage, published March 8, 2004. Public television is the only universally accessible national resource that uses the power and accessibility of television to educate, enlighten, engage and inform.

Did CPB reallocate money illegally to create the Future Funds?

Under the spending formula imposed on CPB by Congress in 1981, does the corporation have the authority to spend some of the portion reserved for stations by selectively giving out Future Fund R&D grants? When CPB created the TV Future Fund in 1995, it took half of the money from the 6 percent of its appropriation that the formula allocates to "system support" (see yellow portion of graphic at right). There is no dispute about that. The dispute is about the half that CPB spent from the 73 percent of 75 percent of 89 percent (no kidding!) that is allocated to grants for stations (the pale blue portion at right). The latter is often called the CSG pool because the station grants are called Community Service Grants.

Pacifica Foundation Bylaws, 2003

After an all-out legal and public-relations war for control of the five-station Pacifica Radio chain and its national network, the winning activists established one of the most complex and democratic governance systems in broadcasting. AMENDED AND RESTATED BYLAWS OF PACIFICA FOUNDATION
A California Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation

The name of this corporation is the PACIFICA FOUNDATION, and it shall be referred to in these Bylaws as the "Foundation". SECTION 2.

CPB Goals and Objectives for fiscal year 2004

The CPB Board of Directors adopted these goals as part of the corporation's fiscal year 2004 budget, July 22, 2003. I. LOCAL SERVICES AND CONTENT

Strengthen the value and viability of local stations as essential community institutions by improving their operational effectiveness and fiscal stability, and increasing their capacity to invest in and create sustainable services and content that will advance their local mission. To achieve this Goal, CPB will pursue the following objectives:

Measure the value of local service as perceived by the intended beneficiaries – Conduct research to understand how various media are used by the audiences that stations serve or hope to serve in the future, and how the pattern of use is changing as new platforms and media emerge. Create mechanisms that can be used to evaluate the success of local content and services, and inform the local/national conversation. Improve station practices and institutional effectiveness – Assess the performance of individual stations and station cohort groups within public broadcasting to identify opportunities to increase stations’ income earning capabilities and reduce the cost of current operations, through improved practices and new operating and service models.

PRNDI Statement of Ethics, 2003

This revised statement was adopted in July 2003 by Public Radio News Directors Inc., the association of journalists working in public radio. Public Radio News Directors Inc. is committed to the highest standards of journalistic ethics and excellence. We must stand apart from pressures of politics and commerce as we inform and engage our listeners. We seek truth, and report with fairness and integrity. Independence and integrity are the foundations of our service, which we maintain through these principles:

Journalism is the rigorous pursuit of truth.