Empowering Media That Matters
Home >> Blog >> Future of Public Media

Future of Public Media

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...

Antiques or Independents? Why it Matters Where PBS Puts Independent Lens and POV

ITVSPBS, the biggest of the programming services for public TV, has reschedPOVuled two programs that showcase independent producers’ work from across the nationIndependent Lens and POV. The results could put the future of those programs at risk, because of declining viewership. Read more...

Public Media Puts Civic Mission in Center Stage

What standards do public broadcasters hold themselves to, in the era of foreclosure news beats, the Arab spring, and #DowntonAbbey? Or, to ask the question another way, what is public broadcasting's mission? Read more...