Viewers Like Who

Several public interest groups have proposed a series of hearings across the country to bring together local officials, PBS affiliates and viewers like you.

The groups--Free Press, Consumers Union, Common Cause and the Consumer Federation of America--issued a report that boldly suggests that there's a disconnect between PBS and its member stations, and one between the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the public.

While "A New Standard: Building a Public Broadcasting System that Deserves Public Support," contains no specifics, the report charges that "viewers from across the political spectrum are dissatisfied with recent PBS programming decisions, the increase in advertising posing as commercial underwriting, and partnerships with commercial networks. Worse still, viewers are largely unaware of PBS plans to expand its public offerings--including online material for children, parents and educators--via its new digital channels."

It then goes on to say that "public broadcasting stations have recently inked a deal with cable companies to carry four digital channels of public media; PBS has the most highly trafficked dot-org website on the Internet; ...compared to commercial broadcasting or cable networks, Americans are more satisfied with programming on PBS and consider PBS news and public affairs programs as the most trustworthy;" and "recent polls ranked PBS as the No. 1 source for teachers using video in the classroom."

The full text of the report is available at the Free Press Web site.