What is Current?

Current is the newspaper and website about public and nonprofit media in the U.S. The paper comes out 23 times a year, usually biweekly, every other Monday.

We’re read by people involved in public TV and public radio — station employees, independent producers, local volunteers and board members, viewers and listeners, state and national policymakers and others.

In a field of autonomous stations and independent producers, split between TV and radio and spread around a very large country, the most widely read periodical serves as one of the few shared resources — public broadcasting’s meeting place.

As of Jan. 1, 2011, Current became an editorially independent journalistic service of American University School of Communication, Washington, D.C. Current reported on the planned transfer in December 2010.

For most of the previous 30 years, Current had been managed financially by WNET, operator of New York pubTV stations WNET and WLIW.

Assistance from the Wyncote Foundation, based in Philadelphia, made it possible to make the transition to the university.

Current was founded in 1980 by the National Association of Educational Broadcasters, the historic forerunner and a parent of both PBS and NPR. NAEB was to last only two years longer, however, and a publishing committee of public stations put up funds to resume publication under the aegis of WNET.

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In photos: Geneva Collins; Dru Sefton and Kathleen Unwin; Jeremy Egner and Ken Tomlinson; 1998 staff; ink drying.