Affinity Group Coalition, Mission and Principles, 2004

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The Public Television Affinity Group Coalition adopted its statement of Mission and Principles in February 2004.

RESOLUTION Whereas, representatives and staff of the Major Market Group, The National Educational Telecommunications Association, the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives, the Program Resource Group and the Small Station Association have been working in cooperation with staff of the Association of Public Television Stations, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Public Broadcasting Service; and,

Whereas, these licensee representatives have drafted and recommended for acceptance by all public television entities a statement of our shared vision; now therefore be it Resolved, that we, the licensee members of the Public Broadcasting Service, do hereby request that the PBS Board of Directors consider acceptance of this statement as a representation of member interests and as a guide for strategic planning and operations.

Why Public Television?

Public television is the only universally accessible national resource that uses the power and accessibility of television to educate, enlighten, and inform. Because of its public service mission, public television is more essential than ever in the cluttered media landscape.

In a world of commercial media conglomerates, public television is the only locally owned television provider in most communities. Its array of education and outreach services, combined with local ownership, means that public television stations are actively engaged in their communities, creating content and providing services that respond to local needs.

Because the goal of commercial television is to maximize profits by attracting as many viewers as possible to expose them to advertising, its programming philosophy is driven by ratings as a key measure of its success. Public television, on the other hand, strives for impact and measures its success by the extent of its ability to educate and inform, to enlighten and entertain. In short, public television strives to:

  • ┬áChallenge the American mind.
  • Inspire the American spirit.
  • Preserve the American memory.
  • Promote global understanding.

Mission Statement for Digital PTV

Digital technology offers new opportunities to support a public service mission that serves the American people. Public television will use digital technology over multiple platforms to:

  • Extend its traditional mission of public service and noncommercial, educational broadcasting for all Americans.
  • Combine public service national programming with universal service to make a positive difference in the lives of all Americans.
  • Partner with community institutions to enrich and expand learning in public affairs, science, arts and culture.
  • Ensure that diverse local voices have access to the media.


Digital public television will be an essential part of our national and community life. Rooted in and deeply engaged with local communities, it will achieve the financial stability required to provide services to all Americans. Its programming and other digital services will be a unifying force in American culture, a lens through which we can view and understand our diverse nation and the world.

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