David Fanning’s Loper Lecture, 2009

David Fanning, the founding executive producer of PBS's Frontline series, gave this talk in 2009 as the annual James L. Loper Lecture in Public Service Broadcasting sponsored by the University of Southern California's Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy. Thank you, Geoff Cowan and Dean Wilson, for your kind words, and especially for your invitation to come here to the Annenberg School to give the annual Loper Lecture. This also gives me a chance publicly to thank Jim Loper, for the years of work he gave not just to KCET but as a leader in public broadcasting. It’s an honor to be invited in his name. I would also like to thank Mr. Russell Smith for his sponsorship of this lecture. Continue Reading

Latino producers object: PBS diversity data ‘incomplete and often anecdotal’

The Diversity Committee of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers sent this letter to PBS about its November 2008 Report on the PBS Diversity Initiative on Content. The letter was released by Defend the Honor, a Latino civil rights group that led the protests against Ken Burns' series 2008 The War. March 4, 2009

Ms. Paula Kerger, Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Haydee M. Rodriguez, Director, Diversity Initiative
Public Broadcasting Service
2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202-3785

Dear Ms. Kerger and Ms. Rodriguez:

We would like to thank you for the PBS Diversity Initiative on Content (November, 2008). As you know, NALIP strongly supports and encourages PBS in its efforts to accurately reflect the diversity of American life in its programming and staffing. While we applaud the effort to generate an assessment of the system's diversity practices, we are concerned by the report's statement that PBS "cannot paint the full picture of its 'diverse' content or the diversity of its staff." Continue Reading

Latino producers to PBS: Diversity data ‘incomplete and often anecdotal’

The Diversity Committee of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers sent this letter to PBS about its November 2008 Report on the PBS Diversity Initiative on Content.  The letter was released by Defend the Honor, a Latino civil rights group that led the protests against Ken Burns' series 2008 The War. March 4, 2009

Ms. Paula Kerger, Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Haydee M. Rodriguez, Director, Diversity Initiative
Public Broadcasting Service
2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202-3785

Dear Ms. Kerger and Ms. Rodriguez:

We would like to thank you for the PBS Diversity Initiative on Content (November, 2008). As you know, NALIP strongly supports and encourages PBS in its efforts to accurately reflect the diversity of American life in its programming and staffing. While we applaud the effort to generate an assessment of the system's diversity practices, we are concerned by the report's statement that PBS "cannot paint the full picture of its 'diverse' content or the diversity of its staff." Continue Reading

Field guide to CPB’s conflicting mandates

When Congress adopted the Public Broadcasting Act 40 years go, it put its contribution to public TV and radio into the hands of the nonprofit Corporation for Public Broadcasting with a structural characteristic and two mandates that have caused conflict and inertia ever since. The law has the President nominate the CPB Board and the Senate confirm the CPB Board. Rather than keeping political appointees off the board, it splits them almost equally. The majority are chosen by the White House from its own party and the minority of board members named, in practice, by Senate leaders of the other party. The appointment has become a mid-level plum for political appointees. Continue Reading

Florida, Minnesota donors question sale of favorite stations

Fans of two now-defunct college stations are pursuing legal actions against the sale of the stations to Minnesota-based American Public Media Group.Two supporters of Florida’s Christian Family Coalition filed suit Oct. 18 [2007] in a state court in Miami to overturn Trinity International University’s September sale of former Christian music station WMCU to APMG, which aims to start a classical music station in Miami. In the Twin Cities area, where a classical station was on the losing side, a group of former listeners to St. Olaf College’s bygone WCAL has questioned its sale to APMG’s Minnesota Public Radio, which converted it to The Current, a contemporary music station. On. Continue Reading

Latino critics of The War seek assurance from PBS, WETA

Advocacy groups protesting Ken Burns’ upcoming World War II doc asked PBS and WETA in Washington, D.C., Aug. 20 [2007] for assurance that the producers would work harder to include Latinos in “current and future programming. The statement about Burns’ The War bore the signatures of 53 individuals, ten media, policy and educational organizations and Defend the Honor, the coalition that first challenged Burns. In a response, PBS said it “continues to build upon our track record of inclusion in programming, in front of and behind the camera.” WETA has issued no response. The full statements from Defend the Honor and PBS are below. Continue Reading