On December 2nd and 3rd, a major conference entitled "The Future of Public Television" was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Sponsored by the University of Chicago's Harris graduate school of cultural policy and hosted by veteran journalist John Callaway, the conference featured numerous national and Chicago panelists from the upper echelons of public TV and radio, and some of their key critics as well. The event's program link can be found here: http://culturalpolicy.uchicago.edu/pbs/
A 12/10/04 "Chicago Reader" article highlights comments by conference panelist, CMA organizer and diversity consultant Karen Bond. The article, "Public Television's Digital Dreams: How the obsolescence of your TV set could mean a new nest egg for PBS" can be found at http://www.chicagomediaaction.org/news.php?id=262
Conference panelist, CMA board member and longtime public broadcasting reform activist Scott Sanders is quoted in an article about the conference in the 10/13/04 edition of public broadcasting's leading trade paper "Current". The article is titled "Trust fund possible only with new unity and broad support" and can be found at http://www.current.org/funding/funding0423trustfund.shtml
Happily, C-SPAN has aired key parts of the Chicago conference a few times. (Conflict of interest admission: the author of this posting -- Scott Sanders -- was credited with obtaining C-SPAN's involvement in the conference.)
More such high calibre media coverage of public broadcasting reform is needed.
The central question is: Do PBS and company understand that permanent funding reform will only be possible if it comes in tandem with democratic structural reform?
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