PBS to Review Editorial Standards for On-Air and Online Content
Committee of National Experts to Hold First Meeting February 14
ALEXANDRIA, VA - February 10, 2005 - As part of its continuing commitment to programming quality, integrity and independence, the PBS Board of Directors has authorized a review of PBS program and other content policies. Recommended by PBS President and CEO Pat Mitchell, the process will include a review of the editorial standards that guide PBS in its programming and content development decisions. To conduct this formal review, a committee of experts has been formed that includes award-winning journalists and PBS member station leaders from across the nation. The first meeting of the Editorial Standards Review Committee will be held on Monday, February 14, 2005 in Washington, DC and will be open to the public. A final report and recommendations to the PBS Board of Directors is scheduled to be presented in June 2005.
"PBS's current editorial policies have been very reliable and have served PBS well," Ms. Mitchell said. "However, the media environment has changed significantly since the last comprehensive review of our policies, most notably with the explosive growth of the Internet as a media outlet unto itself. Our goal in this process is to ensure that PBS' editorial policies and practices remain up-to-date and effective, and this review is designed to achieve that."
"We are fortunate that this exceptional panel of experts has agreed to take on this important task," said Alberto Ibarguen, Publisher of the Miami Herald and Chairman of the PBS Board of Directors, who is chairing the review efforts. "PBS will benefit greatly from their knowledge and insight as we set the parameters for editorial standards as technology makes globalization a communications reality."
The Editorial Standards Review Committee will hold its first meeting on Monday, February 14 from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm in the Plaza Ballroom at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, 1150 22nd Street, N.W., Washington, DC. The entire proceeding is open to the public.
PBS began the review effort in Spring 2004. The staff's work will now be augmented by a special commission of distinguished individuals to undertake the review. Chaired by Alberto Ibarguen, the team of experts includes Howard Finberg, Interactive Learning Faculty member at The Poynter Institute of Media Studies; Marvin Kalb, Senior Fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, and Lecturer in Public Policy and Faculty Chair, Washington Programs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Charles Overby, Chairman, President and CEO of the Freedom Forum, and Chairman and CEO of The Newseum; Geneva Overholser, Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Reporting, Missouri School of Journalism; John Seigenthaler, founder and Senior Advisory Trustee of the First Amendment Center, Vanderbilt University, and Chairman Emeritus of The Tennessean; Bernard Shaw, former reporter and Principal Anchor for CNN; and Carl Stern, J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University. The committee also includes PBS Board Members Mary Ann Alhadeff, President and CEO of Maine Public Broadcasting; Elizabeth Christopherson, Executive Director and CEO of the New Jersey Network; and Jennifer Lawson, General Manager of WHUT/Washington, DC. Tom Rosenstiel, Director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, will serve as Professional Advisor to the Committee.
It is anticipated that the review committee will conduct its work between February and May 2005, culminating in a final report and recommendations to the PBS Board of Directors in June 2005.
PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 349 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (pbskids.org), continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.