The threat of reduced federal funding looms. Conventional wisdom says public television has lost sight of its mission and mandate. Competing political interests, economic challenges and a static, aging pool of viewers have pushed the public broadcasting industry to a crossroads.
The Future of Public Television, published this week by the Cultural Policy Center at The University of Chicago, details analyses and perspectives from national public broadcasting and communications professionals who convened at a two-day conference in Chicago to examine the industry's challenges and prospective reform.
Moderated by veteran WTTW-Chicago journalist John Callaway, the panel discussions summarized in The Future of Public Television feature insights from former and current chief executives with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Public Broadcasting System, Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting, National Public Radio and the Association of Public Television Stations, as well as officials with local public broadcasting affiliates in Chicago, Washington DC, St. Paul, Philadelphia, and Daytona Beach. Additional insights are offered by Newton Minow, former Federal Communications Commission chairman; Ken Auletta, author and media critic for the The New Yorker; independent communications experts and media consultants; and researchers from The University of Chicago, Columbia University, University of Arizona and University of Pennsylvania.
Also see the full conference agenda and transcripts