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Public Service Broadcasting Monitoring and Assessment

Public Service Broadcasting Monitoring and Assessment

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Public Service Broadcasting Monitoring and Assessment

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  1. Public Service BroadcastingMonitoring and Assessment Vincent Curren Senior Vice President, Radio Corporation for Public Broadcasting, U.S.A.

  2. Public Broadcasting in USCPB • Private, not-for-profit company formed by U.S. Congress in 1967. • Board of Directors appointed by President, confirmed by Senate. • Functions: • Facilitate production of programs of “high quality, diversity, creativity, excellence, and innovation….” • Ensure programming is balanced and objective. • Assure maximum freedom from “…interference with, or control of, program content or other activities….”

  3. Public Broadcasting in USNetworks • Public Broadcasting System (PBS) • distributes television programming. • $333 million in revenue, 24% from government. • National Public Radio (NPR) • creates and distributes radio programming • $160 million in revenue • Both are independent non-profit companies, each with its own management and Board of Directors

  4. Public Broadcasting in USStations • Radio - 380 stations operating 700 transmitters • Television - 180 stations operating 300 transmitters • Stations are autonomous, independent of CPB and networks. • They are owned by universities, private non-profit companies, local governments.

  5. Stations: Foundations Business U.S. Public Broadcasting Economics Congress$400 Mil. Total Station Revenue:$2.6 Bil CPB 15% 5% 50% 20% Listeners

  6. Public Service BroadcastingMonitoring and Assessment Vincent Curren Senior Vice President, Radio Corporation for Public Broadcasting 401 Ninth Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20004 (202) 879-9733 vcurren@cpb.org

  7. One Model of Station Health

  8. Available at: www.aranet.com

  9. Public Service BroadcastingMonitoring and Assessment Vincent Curren Senior Vice President, Radio Corporation for Public Broadcasting 401 Ninth Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20004 (202) 879-9733 vcurren@cpb.org

  10. Thank the Committee on Review of Public Service Broadcasting • Flattered to address International Conference on Public Service Broadcasting • Been meeting w/ Committee and other International broadcasters. • Topic: Monitoring and Assessment of a PSB service. • Unique structure of PSB in US may make me least qualified to comment – but thanks to my colleagues from other countries whom I’ve liberally stolen from. • US is different than most PSBs. Here’s brief background. • SLIDES!

  11. Governance • #1 Priority: Get the Board right. • Composed of influential community leaders who can articulate a public service broadcasting mission and generate support for its activities. • No obvious selection method. • Board roles: • Set priorities for service – pgmming & secondary.. • Demand measurable performance goals. • Maintain relations with legislature and government executives. • US Model: isolate funding from content – 2 boards?

  12. Performance Monitoring • Audience service. • Usage: who, how much, to what? Basic ratings information. De-emphasize personal opinion. • Audience perceptions • Quality • Fairness • Value • Requires ongoing program of custom research. • But not just programming • System financial health (e.g. NPR bankruptcy) • Technology • Board role: openness and accountability. Pperiodic report to legislature and the public.

  13. Controversial Content • Pre-broadcast: • See that editorial standards are in place. • Convene meetings, provide training and resources to journalists. • Post broadcast: • Invite and compile audience feedback • Establish peer review system: “ombudsman” or alternative method.

  14. Summarize • Effective monitoring and assessment requires regular, recurring, planned research program. • Personal opinions are prevalent, and often wrong. It’s rare to meet a producer who thinks his or service is lousy. But there are plenty of lousy programs. • Finally, this is a brave experiment to review and possibly remake PSB in HK. Hippocrates: “Life is short, the art long, opportunity fleeting, experiment treacherous, judgment difficult.” I wish you and PSB in HK a long, artistic life, filled with sound judgment, exciting opportunity and wild success. • Thank you.

  15. Public Service BroadcastingMonitoring and Assessment Vincent Curren Senior Vice President, Radio Corporation for Public Broadcasting 401 Ninth Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20004 (202) 879-9733 vcurren@cpb.org

  16. Limits on Monitoring and Assessment of Programming • CPB Board may not consider individual programming decisions • Funding for producers takes form of grants, not contractual agreements • CPB management may not exercise content editorial role.

  17. Monitoring & Performance Assessment • Qualifications: -- stations certify • They retain non-commercial status • Offer general audience programming • They meet various technical criteria • Provide audited financial statements • Office of Inspector General • Reports to Board Chair and Congressional Committee • Responds to inquiries from internal sources, public, Congress • Audits sample of stations for compliance.

  18. Content Review • Ombudsmen – post-broadcast. • PBS • CPB • NPR • “Open to the Public” – comment line.