PubTV multicaster V-me faulted for airing ‘ordinary commercials’

V-me, the Spanish-language multicast channel carried by 42 public TV stations, pulled underwriting spots from its schedule last month amid complaints about potential violations of FCC standards for noncommercial sponsorship. V-me Media, a for-profit venture in which New York’s WNET has a minority ownership stake, is in the process of reviewing all sponsorship spots under tightened underwriting guidelines. RoseLynn Marra, director of station relations for V-me Media in New York, told Current that V-me has heard from “three to five” stations about its underwriting credits since January, and is working to address their concerns. She declined to identify the stations or the specific problems they raised. But V-me’s leadership moved abruptly last month to ensure the channel was in compliance with FCC underwriting rules.

Public television, 50, dies of apprehensive innocuity

Whenever public broadcasting is threatened by hostile politicians, the conventional wisdom is to circle the wagons and fire back. As a member of the public television community for almost 50 years, I would rather see today’s challenge as an opportunity to reassess public television’s goals and achievements. Perhaps we should do this every few years to make sure we haven’t gone astray in our aims and practices. In many ways I think NPR has surpassed its original goals and promises, but public television is another matter. We have accomplished many things.

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.”

Producer’s own mentor: first in a series

Lindsey is embarking on a vast project to collect elders’ knowledge from around the world — their methods of predicting future events, reconciling people in conflict, and understanding causes and effects of climate change.