Panel gets more specific about new services

A well-connected panel of business leaders, broadcasters and policy wonks last week got specific about what public broadcasting could do in the future to use its digital signals for the greatest public benefit—and to justify the increased funding that would make it possible. ¶ The Digital Future Initiative panel, convened by PBS President Pat Mitchell a year ago, released its report Dec. 15…

Carnegie I: Membership, preface of report, 1967

The Carnegie Commission on Educaational Television, a 15-member panel created in 1965 by a major foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, released its report, Public Television: A Program for Action, on Jan. 26, 1967. Carnegie I popularized the phrase “public television” and assisted a legislative campaign for federal aid to the field. (Public radio was added later by Congress.) See also the the Summary of recommendations. Members of the Commission
James B. Conant, Former President, Harvard University
Lee A. DuBridge, President, California Institute of Technology
Ralph Ellison, Author
John S. Hayes, United States Ambassador to Switzerland
David D. Henry, President, University of Illinois
Oveta Culp Hobby, Chairman of the Board, Houston Post Company
J.C. Kellam, President, Texas Broadcasting Corporation
Edwin H. Land, President, Polaroid Corporation
Joseph H. McConnell, President, Reynolds Metals Company
Franklin Patterson, President, Hampshire College
Terry Sanford, Former Governor of North Carolina
Robert Saudek, Robert Saudek Associates, Inc.
Rudolph Serkin, Concert Pianist
Leonard Woodstock, Vice President, United Automobile Workers of America
James R. Killian, Jr., Chairman [of the Commission and] Chairman of the Corporation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
This Report of the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television is addressed to the American people.

A Public Trust: Report of the second Carnegie Commission (Carnegie II), 1979

In 1977, a decade after the first Carnegie Commission boosted the idea of federal funding for noncommercial broadcasting, the Carnegie Corporation of New York created a second panel to study noncommercial broadcasting. In 1979, the Carnegie Commission on the Future of Public Broadcasting published its report, A Public Trust. Its recommendations for increased federal aid and a Public Telecommunications Trust to replace CPB, had little effect. See also the preface to the report and the list of commission members, below at right. Summary of Findings and Recommendations
The Public Telecommunications Trust | The Endowment | Funding | Television Programs and Services | Public Radio | Technology| Education and Learning | Public Accountability

Members of Carnegie II*
William J. McGill, Chairman
President, Columbia University

Stephen K. Bailey
President, National Academy of Education

Red Burns
Executive Director, Alternate Media Center, School of the Arts
New York University

Henry J. Cauthen
Director, South Carolina Educational Television Network

Peggy Charren
President, Action for Children’s Television

Wilbur B. Davenport, Jr.
Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Virginia B. Duncan
Board Member, Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Eli N. Evans
Charles H. Revson Foundation

John W. Gardner
Common Cause

Alex P. Haley, Author

Walter W. Heller Professor, University of Minnesota

Josie R. Johnson
Board Member, National Public Radio

Kenneth Mason
President, Quaker Oats Company

Bill Moyers, WNET/13

Kathleen Nolan
President, Screen Actors Guild

J. Leonard Reinsch Chairman, Cox Broadcasting Corporation

Tomas Rivera
Executive Vice-President, University of Texas at El Paso

*Bill Cosby, actor; Carla Hills, a former secretary of housing and urban development; and Beverly Sills, opera singer; voluntarily resigned from the Commission during the course of this study as their participation became limited by other professional commitments.

Carnegie II’s preface to ‘A Public Trust’

In 1977, 10 years after the original Carnegie Commission recommended federal aid to public television, the Carnegie Corporation of New York created a second blue-ribbon panel to ponder policies on noncommercial broadcasting. Its report was released in January 1979. See also the Carnegie II report’s recommendations and membership. Twelve years have elapsed since the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television recommended a strengthened system of television stations, to be called public television. In the intervening years public radio and television have become established as major American institutions.

President Johnson asks Congress to aid public television, 1967

A month after the release of the first Carnegie Commission report, LBJ announced legislation to help pay for operations of public TV for the first time. These remarks appear in his health/education proposals to Congress, between the sections on adult illiteracy and computers in the classroom, leading off a section titled “Building for Tomorrow.” Before the end of the year, Congress had expanded the bill to include public radio and Johnson was signing the Public Broadcasting Act into law. BUILDING FOR TOMORROW
Public television

In 1951, the Federal Communications Commission set aside the first 242 television channels for noncommercial broadcasting, declaring:
The public interest will be clearly served if these stations contribute significantly to the educational process of the Nation. The first educational television station went on the air in May 1953.

Carnegie I: Members, Preface and Introductory Note, 1967

A 15-member commission created in 1965 by a major foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, released its report, Public Television: A Program for Action, on Jan. 26, 1967, popularizing the phrase “public television” and assisting the legislative campaign for federal aid to the field. (Public radio was added later by Congress.) See also Summary of the report’s recommendations. The commission chair, James R. Killian Jr. (1904-88) had already played a prominent public role as the first White House science advisor, 1955-57, advocating emphasis on science education, the creation of NASA and greater funding for the National Science Foundation as the Eisenhower administration responded to Washington’s post-Sputnik panic. At MIT, Killian was a former Technology Review editor and wartime R&D leader who became the school’s president, 1948-59, and chair, 1959-71.

Carnegie I: E.B. White’s letter to the first Carnegie Commission

In this letter to the first Carnegie Commission, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker magazine essayist (1899-1985) gives one of the most compact and eloquent descriptions of what advocates hoped public television would become. (White’s books included Charlotte’s Web, and he co-authored The Elements of Style, familiar to many English students.)

On stationery of the magazine where he worked for years, White addressed Stephen White, assistant to the Carnegie Commission chair, James R. Killian Jr.

Chapter 1 of the commission’s report begins with an excerpt from the letter shown in color below. The New Yorker
No. 23 West 43rd Street
New York, N.Y. 10036

September 26, 1966

Dear Steve:

I have a grandson now named Steven White, and I’ll bet he can swim faster and stay under longer than you can. As for television, I doubt that I have any ideas or suggestions that would be worth putting on paper.