Facing the first major station struggle of her 16 months as PBS president — over the perennial public TV issue of common carriage — Pat Mitchell introduced a “Declaration of Interdependence” at the network’s annual meeting June 14, 2001. The document summarizes major public TV objectives, gives a deep bow to stations’ local role and refers to a recent refinement: the aim to build “social capital” in American communities. See also Current coverage of the 2001 meeting. There comes a time in the history of public television, when the people we serve demand of us something more;
Because, they hold these truths to be self-evident:
Americans are first and foremost citizens, not consumers. Americans have an unalienable right to free access to content that challenges their minds, lifts their spirits, and stirs their souls.
An educational experience 4.6 billion years in the making,” says the clever tagline for WGBH’s big September series Evolution. The way the Boston producers have been preparing for the reaction from creationists, you’d think they expect the controversy surrounding it will last almost that long. “Evolution is two steps away from abortion,” said Anne Zeiser, director of national strategic marketing for WGBH, placing the flash point at which evolution ignites fundamentalist outrage. Recent polls show that 45 percent of Americans say they believe in creationism, and many Christians view Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection as an assault on their faith. Evolution, a seven-part, eight-hour co-production of WGBH’s Nova science unit and billionaire Paul G. Allen’s Clear Blue Sky Productions, will kick off the PBS fall season Sept.
On Jan. 22, 2000, NPR President Kevin Klose asked me to become NPR’s
first ombudsman for the listeners. I remember the date because Kevin’s
idea was — to me — shocking at first. I had been a news manager for 17 years and for the last three, v.p.
of news at NPR. Give up the cut and thrust of management?
Can you remember when you first heard the word “paradigm”? All of sudden everything was “paradigms” — shifting, evolving or disappearing . . . paradigms. Well, “social capital” is in much the same state these days.
The 100 hours that made Glen Jones famous started and ended with a dream. To be precise, they started with “Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha and ended with a wistful ballad, Tom Waits’ “Innocent When You Dream.” In between, Jones, who hosts a weekly show on WFMU in Jersey City, N.J., weathered extreme fatigue and, if his feat is verified, broke the Guinness world’s record for most continuous hours of deejaying. Actually, “broke” is not strong enough — he spun records and interviewed guests for a whole extra day longer than the former record of 73 hours and 33 minutes, set last September by a British deejay. [The publishers of The Guinness Book of World Records verified the record later in the year, according to WFMU.]
His marathon featured a comprehensive mix of American pop music, everything from classic rock to big band to show tunes.