Purposeful Loni Ding

Loni Ding, 78, a filmmaker who brought issues of Asian American identity to the surface, and to PBS, and helped win legislation backing independent producers, died Feb. 20 in a hospital in Oakland, Calif. Continue Reading

What’s the job for the Public Media Corps?

Modeled on programs like Americorps and Teach for America, the Public Media Corps will hire local residents as “fellows” for yearlong residencies at public broadcasting institutions. Their job there will be to identify local issues and use multiple media platforms to spark vigorous community engagement on the issues. Continue Reading

Dyson to try again for pubradio stardom

Two daily public radio programs for African American audiences have risen from the ashes of News and Notes, a talk show that NPR cancelled in March. But acrimony over plans, funding and personalities involved in the midday programs has split the African American Public Radio Consortium, a key station constituency for any broadcast aimed at black listeners. Continue Reading

Diversity: More than good intentions?

For public TV, the dialogue about its minority representation is going public again. It’s about how Latinos, African Americans and other ethnic groups are represented on the screen — and the related matter of how well they’re represented in decision-making. On Friday, PBS President Paula Kerger will meet with leaders of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers and answer questions at their conference in Newport Beach, Calif. In the next few weeks, public broadcasting’s minority consortia will assess the situation in an open letter to the system, says Stephen Gong, chair of public TV’s National Minority Consortia and executive director of the Center for Asian American Media. [Open letter from minority consortia, May 2009.]

At the PBS Showcase Conference in mid-May, the chiefs of PBS’s major series will meet with minority producers to scout the way ahead. 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

Minority consortia to PBS: PubTV’s ‘stunning lack of diversity’ allowed the Burns flap to occur

Public broadcasting's five CPB-funded minority consortia sent this letter to PBS President Paula Kerger on April 9, 2007. Dear Paula:

I’m writing to you on behalf of my colleagues of the National Minority Consortia (NMC), which, along with the National Black Programming Consortium, includes the Center for Asian American Media, Latino Public Broadcasting, Native American Public Telecommunications and Pacific Islanders in Communications. We would like to offer our support to you in helping to address in a positive manner what we view as legitimate community concerns over the omission of Latino voices from Ken Burns’ The War. It is not the idea of an intentional exclusion that raises the flag of indignation from the American public – and not only, as has been suggested, Hispanic Americans. It is the idea that the perspective of those within the public broadcasting system empowered to make decisions about what is and is not appropriate for a public television event of this magnitude do not fundamentally represent the diversity of this society. Continue Reading