PBS version of ‘reality TV’ distills drama from real life

As provocatively staged “reality TV” series explode on the commercial networks, PBS is expanding its own slate of what it calls “observational documentaries” in the network’s reinvention under President Pat Mitchell. In April [2001], American High, a fast-paced docusoap series dropped by Fox last summer, will lead off a new weekly PBS strand targeted to teens and young adults. Then, in the fall, Senior Year, a 13-part series that PBS execs promoted to television critics during the January press tour, will take over the same Wednesday 10 p.m. timeslot. This summer P.O.V. also will present Fred Wiseman’s 1968 film High School, a national broadcast debut that was also promoted at the press tour. With American High and Senior Year, PBS aims to create a new strand, “so the audience can find it and know it’s going to be there,” and keep tuning in, said John Wilson, senior programming v.p. PBS has scheduled repeats of American High through the summer, and is considering a second run of Senior Year after its debut.

AIR Code Of Fair Practices for Working with Freelance Radio Producers

Issued by the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) and the Producers’ Advocacy Group, June 1999, and revised Jan. 23, 2001. PDF. INTRODUCTION: The Association of Independents in Radio* (AIR) and the Producers Advocacy Group** (PAG) present the following code in an effort to clarify and standardize rates and practices for working with freelancers in the public radio industry. In recognition of the central role freelancers and independent radio producers play in enriching the content of almost all the important programs on public radio, AIR and PAG recommend the following guidelines when public radio networks, stations or shows use the work of freelance radio producers:

LIVING WAGE: Freelance producers should be paid at a rate which allows a decent living.

Intervention by Congress slashes LPFM licensing 80 percent

Low-power FM? Try nearly no-power. The scope of the controversial noncommercial service shrunk abruptly last month when Congress effectively cut the number of possible LPFM stations by an estimated 80 percent. NPR and other opponents of the service who had worried about LPFM interfering with their stations celebrated their victory, while media activists, former pirates and other microradio supporters accused lawmakers of bowing to pressure from the powerful broadcasting lobby. “We are disappointed that Congress chose to ignore the will of the people,” said Cheryl Leanza, deputy director of the pro-LPFM Media Access Project.