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Future of Public Media

And Now It's Your Turn: Documentary Mondays on PBS!

PBS stations need to know whether viewers actually want to watch high-quality documentaries, and now there’s an easy way to tell them. ITVS, the creator of premiere documentary series Independent Lens (“a festival in your living room”), has launched the #standwithme campaign.Patricia Aufderheide with "Stand with Me" posterRead more...

PBS Decides to Showcase Indie Work

PBSNeedsIndiesResponding to an outpouring of filmmaker and viewer enthusiasm for Independent Lens and POV, PBS has reinstated the two programs on its core schedule. The two programs will now take the 10pm EST spot on Monday nights, prime TV programming real estate. Read more...

New Research on Public Television Viewers and Public-Purpose Programming

pbs needs indiesThe Center for Social Media’s latest research report, Public Television Viewers and Public-Purpose Programming, provides new hope for public media’s future.

The study, authored by Center director Pat Aufderheide and graduate fellow Echo Xie, analyzes the responses of hundreds of public television viewers who answered an open letter  published by Kartemquin Films. Kartemquin had been alerted by a Current article on the consequences of a scheduling switch when PBS kicked two series featuring independent documentary work off the core prime-time schedule.  The article showed that Independent Lens had drastically lost viewership when its time slot was shifted to a no-man’s land on Thursday nights (when public TV stations usually program non-PBS material). Read more...

PBS Finds a Spot for Independent Lens and POV—but Where?

#PBSNeedsIndiesAfter hundreds of independent producers flocked to sign an open letter to PBS by Kartemquin Films, and the Independent Documentary Association endorsed the campaign, the public TV programmer has agreed to find a home on the core schedule for Independent Lens and POV. These are the two series that showcase the work of independent producers who raise issues typically under-reported in the media, reach audiences underserved by commercial media, and who experiment, innovate and take leadership in the digital transformation. Read more...

#PBSNeedsIndies Catches Fire

Kartemquin FilmsHundreds of documentary filmmakers have signed on to the open letter to PBS that Kartemquin Films posted only a week ago.  Among the signatories: Barbara Kopple, Bill Moyers, Alex Gibney, Michael Moore, Joan Churchill, Jennifer Fox, Chuck Workman and other major award-winners. (Signatures still are being accepted.) Filmmakers are, in the technical language that IndieWIRE employed, pissed. Read more...