thumbnail of Public Television Hearings; Testimony from NET and NAEB Representatives
Hide -
This transcript was received from a third party and/or generated by a computer. Its accuracy has not been verified. If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+.
Operations. The third walk would authorize a study of instructional television and its relation to educational television. Sen. John Pastorius has just entered the hearing room here Senator Pat story of course is chairman of this subcommittee. He is the gentleman who will be presiding over the hearings throughout the eight days. Staff members are taking their seats now we expect the hearings to be called to order within just a few moments. Other members of the subcommittee we might mention are Democratic senators Mike Quinn Roni Vance Hartke fell apart. Russell Long and Frank Moss and Republican senators he was Scott James Pearson and Robert Griffin. Yesterday about six of the committee members appear that was the largest number of members of the subcommittee who have been here at any one given occasion. Today Senator Pastorius the only man in the room at this time but we do expect other members of the subcommittee to enter the proceedings get underway. Senator Bennett story is now reviewing his notes in advance of testimony from witnesses
today will appear members of the National Educational Television establishment representing in iti will be board chairman Everett case the president of NE T John F. white. Other witnesses scheduled for today include the public director of the National Association of educational broadcasters and former FCC chairman William Henry. The meeting is being called water here is SENATOR PASTORE. This hearing will please come to water. We have a little bit of a problem today. We have quite a long and imposing list of witnesses. I will have to leave about 25 minutes to 12. We have a new congressman from my state that's been sworn in and I have to be there at 12 o'clock and then I've received a telegram together with all of the Senate is from the majority leader admonishing us
to be on the floor this afternoon because of the pending legislation. I would hope that the witnesses ill will here to testify they being professionals and understanding the predicament that we're in and that they would submit their statement in its entirety in the record and then discuss the salient point. And in that way we can avoid a lot of repetition. In other words if a lawyer there for the bill they can say I'm for the bill or I'm against the bill and then state your reasons for it then let's Nobby it as much as possible repetition because your statements will be in the record and I hope that that's satisfactory to your office witness today's Mr. John F. white. Mr White is president of the National Educational Television Network.
He's taking the witness stand this morning. Mr White obviously is now going over his prepared testimony. It's about a 40 page document and as you just heard the chairman ask him to cut it down considerably. What remarks he will delete from it I don't know but it will have to be a massive deletion judging from the prepared text which I've now been handed. Senator Pastorius confirming with the conferring rather with aides at this moment he is not I take it when I see may proceed to pastoring.
I'm John White president of the National Educational Television. I shall attempt to do as you request and there are certain parts that you would like to emphasize just rated R. your statement is a matter of fact will put your statement now in the record in its entirety. Thank you sir so that there will be no interruptions. Thanks Ian it will run with full continuity. Then you can pick out any part of it that you would like to in order to emphasize your point and you knowing your subject as well as you do then you can ad lib. I just as an important part. The first thing I would like to place into the record sir and I shall not repeat for the sake of brevity is a letter from Dr Everett case who is chairman of our Board President Sloan Foundation who due to illness in his family was not able to be here and I like that objection so ordered. I speak for the board of directors and the staff of any t. When I say that we regard this bill s 11 60 as a most enlightened forward looking and important piece of legislation whose anatman
will ultimately furnish means to improve the quality of life for virtually every citizen of the United States. I know that the affiliated stations of any t share this belief. We are so squarely in favor of it's an act meant and we wish to commend those who work and study whose whose work and study and creative imagination have shaped this bill and brought it up for consideration of Title 1 of this bill the appropriation of funds for facilities. I wish to say that the educational television facilities Act of 1962 has provided essential assistance for the construction of new E. TV stations and the improvement of existing stations at a critical time in the history of noncommercial television. Title 1 permits this important act activity to continue and it's absolutely necessary of Title 3. The authorization and appropriation for a study of the creative use of instructional television. I wish also to say that such a study is long overdue.
I would only hope that this study will not be concerned with that which has been done and has been meticulously studied already but that it will focus on what needs to be done if instructional television is truly to be used to achieve the potential it holds for educational service in this nation. Neither title 1 nor Title 3 are new nor controversial title 2 which provides for the establishment of a nonprofit Broadcasting Corporation and the allocation of federal funds for this purpose is new. We endorse the central purpose of this legislation the use of federal funds as well as additional state local government and private funds for educational television and for the purposes of program production distribution and general operations as well as for its facilities. We also welcome the emphasis in this last legislation on support for local stations local stations are the foundation stones upon which all of ATV must stand if they are inadequate. Technically deficient or out of touch with the communities and the
people they serve. Not even a first class national or regional service can make them fully effective. And the truth is that very few of our local station stations have had access to the kind of financing that permits them to produce the quantity and quality of local programs that are needed. This help they require. We also recall we applaud the recognition implicit in this bill that federally supported educational or public television should be free of political or bureaucratic influence. We believe that any legislation in this area should be uncompromising with respect to this principle and we raise the question whether a statement of principle in this bill might be made more explicit. We believe that the proposed Corporation for Public Television as the trustee of the funds committed by the United States government and involved in questions of high policy should be free of direct involvement in the operations of the system for which it must provide financial support guidance review and appraisal.
We accept that this legislation is intended to divorce the proposed corporation from the operational activities of networking scheduling and programming. We have been advised however that there is doubt as to whether this legislation will inevitably result construe. And we recommend that the point be clarified beyond doubt. We share your despair determination Senator passed already that this bill contains and I quote you every possible safeguard against federal interference. Incidentally we have examined the statement by Secretary Gardner around Tuesday for clarification on this point. We find it an excellent statement that and I quote him. The corporation would not and should not in my opinion be an operating organization but would provide support to operations carried out by others. In the end of his quote We are aware that some persons have felt that this bill is not sufficiently clear on this point and we welcome the reassurance provided by yourself and by Secretary Gardner. In the absence of any such
reassurance the any keyboard and I would remain dubious about this title but given such reassurances by this committee and by this the secretary we can be enthusiastic to Waikato your attention. Have you a copy of the bill before you. Not with me but I know well some of you know the bill yes. And the purposes and activities of the corporation which appear on page 14 of the bill and now I'm directing your attention to subsection capital D D D A B C D get tan line 22. It reads as follows. Carry out its purposes and functions and engage in its activities in ways that will most effectively assure the maximum freedom of the noncommercial educational television or radio broadcast systems and local stations from interference with or control of programme content or other activity. Now how much farther can
you go in legislative writing. Apart from this question of how you shall fund it that would give you the assurance that you're talking about. I think that the that the record of the legislative history of this committee will take care of itself. In other words you don't you don't carry any great apprehension that this is going to be a vehicle of propaganda to indoctrinate the minds of America. No I do not think that it needs to be this way nor that it will be with the legislative history that's been created here. However if one simply read the text it could be and it could have been construed either way. But as I indicated in my testimony we are enthusiastic given that records are well of course this bill was written at the behest of the administration and the administration has been very very careful in my view in making sure that no part with
that this vehicle will not be used for political motives and has been written in the bill it's been said in the president's message. And what strikes me is there that this language is comparable to the language that we have employed time and time again as language of art in all of our federally supported educational programs. And that's far even under the legislation that we have passed in educational help to our secondary schools. We have said many many times over and over again and written of in the law that this is not to interfere in any way with the curriculum of the institution. And I think all of us are interested in that. That's been the pattern of of our government and that's been the concern and the responsibility of the Congress and I I would hope I would hope that the country at large understand that
there is no when they go in intending here intended here on the part of the Congress or the administration to pull the wool over anybody's eyes I should say so SENATOR PASTORE either that the language of this bill is the strongest and best statement of this principle that we've seen in this entire dialogue that's gone on the past year and a half. I for one and I think I speak for all of my colleagues on this committee and especially my colleagues in the Senate. I wouldn't subscribe. I wouldn't support I wouldn't advocate any legislation which would in any way be construed as a vehicle to impose upon the freedom of man's mind to think as he likes and to say what he thinks. I know that you wouldn't and that's why we're enthusiastic about this bill. I might add that the greatest strength of International Educational Television in my opinion in the 15 years of existence has been its independence from from that kind of political control and
influence. The only limits placed upon the producers of our programmes have been those of good taste and common sense and these have been self imposed no outside source has been able to tell us what position to take on a controversial issue. Our programmes have been far from perfect. Many times we lack funds to do the kind of a job we wanted to do. On occasion I've disagreed with the judgment of the producer of a documentary and we've had many internal arguments over these matters but no one at the Ford Foundation has ever told us how to approach a subject or even what subject to approach and we must continue to be equally free from any kind of such interference. We have sought the advice from many sources but programme decisions right or wrong must be our own decision or the decision of any producing agency for public television. This probably wouldn't do it would not be possible however if we were responsible directly to the Congress or to the to any other branch of
government and here in lies the importance of the Corporation for Public Television. Our feeling is however that as the agency which makes the grant for the producing agent companies as the agency which must review those grants and that performance and at the end of the Year at the end as the agency which must set high policy and serve as the buffer between these producing agencies be they stations are national production agencies. They should not be placed in the position of both judge and jury of their own activities and therefore should not be doing the controlling the the interconnection the operations of this network. That that that that ought to be subcontracted to one to three places with Coronation below them and that then the stations the public unhappy with the performance of that service have the public corporation as a source of appeal.
But if a public corporation does that and you're unhappy to once does one appeal to two words one in other words now you are on this point and I don't mean this. AS. Any criticism of the members of the Carnegie Commission. As I understand you now. You disagree with Dr. Killian on this question. Yes is that correct. The ne t board and I do disagree with Dr. Killian on this play in other words you would leave it exactly as it is written in this bill exactly as it is written in this bill. I give you this independence that you're speaking about. That's right. And you think that his method would be more or less. Cohost save on the part of the local broadcasting station if you had to become a party to that to that program. That's right. Because you see if they are doing it they are also the stations serving the instrument which is giving the local station money for their own local programming. And.
The local stations have no appeal it's frankly when Dr. Killian's spoke about his method it was very appealing to me until I heard you this morning and I think under the circumstances I I admonished the staff to go into this in more depth. I think we want to be very careful about this. It appealed to me I must say very honestly it appealed to me when he spoke it. And now of course you raise a question from the very local level that you don't feel that this would grant you that kind of freedom. That's right. That you would that you would want to permit an analogy serve as any tea exist today. We receive our our financial support from the Ford Foundation. Any given year that we have not performed the task to that satisfaction. They have been in a position to say all right you haven't done the job no more money. This that corporation always has. But if a corporation is doing that if they decide what
programs can be released on the network at what time how often. Who is to say no more money for this next year. In other words we believe that the corporation can be most effective in us if in a sense it serves as a foundation service on behalf of the American public. Responsible for high policy responsible for determination of who and how much money should or should be granted as to why doesn't this fundamentally come back to the human element. I mean sometimes we we we demonstrate and manifest so much fright. Over language that we use in writing legislation. But fundamentally doesn't much of this depend upon the character the integrity in the leadership and quality of the people who administer a law. Exactly sir. But why now don't you say don't you think for a moment that doesn't
this all depend on the caliber of the 15 men who will constitute this corporation. I mean after all they are being charged with the responsibility to promote and to develop an educational system in this country and I would assume that. No matter who is the president of the United States he will call upon the best minds in the best experience in the best background in order to carry out this responsibility. Now how could they actually put themselves in a position of walking their responsibility and yet carrying out the effect of this whole crusade that we're talking about today. I mean fundamentally and then the ultimate. Doesn't the depend upon the people who are going to administer this. Absolutely but I think that even they are in a stronger position to resist the pressures that are bound to come not just from government but from publics it etc.. If they are defending principles and if they are defend defending grantees and the system
rather than if they are having to defend their own performance but people of integrity and strength in leadership and quality do not succumb to pressures. That's right. Well I think you've made your point yet so why don't we and I'm just reading this thing now I understand you have sort of a. Different point of view on a very important subject and I think we have to study it and I believe that I am more in support of the bill as it is written. While I would hope that you fellows would get together now I maybe I'm a little too pragmatic on some of these matters but I gotta come out of here with a bill. I'm supporting your bill. That's right as it's written. I know but a suggestion has been made here that in one particular we change it and you say that's quite important. I would hope that whatever needs to be refined here we can get together and do it. Because we're all on the same ball team. We're all striving for the same objective. And let's get the job done. In other
words let's come out here with legislation and not with a debate. Couldn't agree more. I want to mention one other aspect of the future of educational television. I think that it's important that we keep open our consideration of the Ford Foundation satellite proposal. And I was glad that the present president saw fit to include the mention of it in his message. I was also happy to hear you say at the end he be conference last month that you had not lost your interest in the satellite proposal. The reason we believe that this is important is not just the financial one. Indeed it's clear that it will not yield funds adequate for the total needs of the TV. Nevertheless the allocation to educational television of whatever funds it would yield would help to provide the insulation we seek. That is important of course and is a loan sufficient job sufficient justification for an act of such a plan. There is however another good argument for that proposal in my judgment it would make possible the achievement of a major
goal of the Carnegie Commission and the president the attainment of diversified programming by independent stations to a degree not previously contemplated. The first essential for this plan is the availability of at least two channels for distribution of information on cultural programs by an educational network under the Ford Foundation's proposal. Two channels could be devoted to this purpose. I do not believe that it would be practical under a system of landlines with two channels. The following method of operation becomes possible. The first channel on the satellite could be reserved or would at least be give first priority to national and international programs of importance. The second channel could be used for regional or state programs in the off hours both channels would be available for optional programs such as those supplied by the NE T flexible library or the NE ABC service. Among others the virtue of this system is that it gives both network and station the utmost in
flexibility at any given moment in the broadcast day. Two streams of programming would be flowing into each station which could in turn choose to play it as it comes off the line recorded for later play or reject either or both streams. One would be a set of programs public affairs cultural live or taped that were deemed by the scheduling organization to be of national or general interest and importance. The other channel might be carrying alternative programs with a different emphasis on instructional materials for classroom use. How to do it. Hobbies. Children's programs adult education of a specialized type with an emphasis upon regional programs and local programs. Many special interest programs will be produced by regional networks and local stations. Thus with two channels available we would in my opinion provide a great deal more Station independence and diversity than anyone has suggested so far. The availability of two channels might in time have other interesting effects. It might stimulate some existing ie TV
stations to Achab activate the second channels which have already been assigned but not used or to broadcast the whole second programme much as the BBC does with its parallel programmes in those areas where there are competing TV stations a situation which is growing incidentally. It would be possible to offer a service to both without excessive duplication. But this is for the future and not the issue of the moment. The basis of satellite use for Educational Television is only one of many important issues. There will have to be decided by your committee the Congress and perhaps by the corporation. Meanwhile any team and its affiliates have devised a plan to utilize diverse programme sources through landlines during the previous satellite period for the present. I think that the president and that the sponsors of this legislation were why is postponing the debate over such matters as the eventual financing of noncommercial television passage of this much now that is before us will constitute a significant
step forward for our society and we hope that it can be accomplished with the wife as the next wednesday. If I'm honest I have no questions I regret that I was a little party and haven't hadn't heard all of your statements divide although I have had an opportunity now to read through it and I do congratulate you on a very excellent statement and it adds a great deal to the material that we have before us and I'm with women like it to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU MS do I. Bill Henry here. The next morning what is he William Henry director. Of the National Association of educational broadcasters and former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. And now connect with
onno then partner. In the city of Washington D.C.. Thank you Mr. Henry it's always a. Pleasure to have you before this committee. Thank you I hope that you're doing well a lot. Thank you it's nice to be back. We miss you we miss you on the. Communications Commission. Thank you very much Mr. Chairman Mr. Edwin G Barros who is chairman of the board of directors of the National Association of educational broadcasters is with me and with your permission we will just be at the witness table here at the same time and perhaps get into some of the questions together. All right but if Mr. Barak would like to read a statement about four pages long would you rather read it. I can. Cut it even still further I write Sarah will insert the statement in its entirety in the record and Mr. Barrows will proceed in his own style. Thank you very much. I am Edwin G Burroughs chairman of the board of the National Association of educational
broadcasters known as the end I believe. I am manager of the University of Michigan Radio stations WUOM in Ann Arbor and PGR Grand Rapids as associate director of broadcasting for the University of Michigan and for several years of served as a member of the radio board of the National Association of educational broadcasters. On behalf of the NEA be a distinguished roster of nationally known individuals will testify in support of the public television act of 1067. The National Association of educational broadcasters gives enthusiastic approval to the intent and purpose of the proposed legislation and urges. It's an act meant the M A B is the organized professional association of institutions and individuals engaged in areas of educational radio and television in the United States. Its membership consists of universities colleges public and private schools a nonprofit community corporations which operate or hold construction permits for one hundred fifty educational radio stations. One hundred fifty two television stations and one hundred
three closed circuit television systems and program production centers. Its membership also includes two thousand two hundred seventy eight individuals who are classroom and studio teachers producers directors technicians and researchers involved in educational applications of radio and television. Throughout its 40 year history the n AB has stimulated the growth and public awareness of educational broadcasting in this country recognizing that the strength of educational communications resides in the commitment of each local station to the changing needs of its own community. The NASB has served to coordinate these efforts on a national scale. In the area of television the n abs endorsed the research and published findings of the Carnegie Commission on educational television recently held its second national conference on the long range financing of educational television stations. The composition and conclusions of that conference will be reviewed shortly by Mr Scott Fletcher. In the area of radio and AB was co-sponsor of the Wingspread conference on educational radio as a national resource and has issued a
significant research study called The Hidden medium. A status report on educational radio and this will be dealt with in detail by Mr Gerald Sandler later. The main point which I wish to make in these introductory remarks is that the NEA be strongly endorses the purposes principals and processes outlined in this bill. We feel that it deals with the three major conditions that affect the future development of educational radio and television as instruments of social and educational advancement in this country. We feel that the three aspects of this bill are given special significance because they are together as a single unit. They provide a comprehensive basis for helping to realize educational Broadcasting's potential. In short this bill continues and expands what has been so successful with respect to support for facilities. The NIV fails. Mr. Chairman that this bill deserves full and prompt support. Thank you very much. All right Mr. Henry. Chairman if I may. I would like to introduce my statement into the record now and
then just summarize it in my testimony. All right. I'm here as a former chairman of the FCC as a now a public member of the board of directors of any and as a citizen very much interested in the objectives of this bill. And I I can tell you that the bill has my enthusiasm support and I hope it's passed. I think it's. It goes back to my interest and it goes back at least two thousand nine hundred sixty four. I gave several speeches on it one of the things I said was that that educational television should permanently struggle for subsistence is intolerable. And I think this bill I believe the NEA thinks also that this goes a long way towards ending that struggle for subsistence. I think it's realistic in its approach. I think it adopts imaginative and appropriate means to reach highly desirable in. And I think it's exciting and imaginative for a
number of reasons chief among which is that it captures the essence of the Ford Foundation proposal. And that is that something must be done now. And that we start on our way towards a very desirable objective. Secondly it embraces the central recommendation of the county commission on educational television in that it proposes a corporation for public television at the highest level that will be directed by a group of distinguished citizens. And I certainly agree with you that. That really is the most important safeguard in assuring the independence of the corporation that is the people who will be on it. The circumstances under which they are appointed and the spotlight of national publicity that will be on them in the conduct of their responsibilities. One of the things I would like to emphasize and I think although I believe. The committee is aware and certainly you are is that. We in this country have
matured to the point where our concept of Broadcasting's potential should no longer be limited to the narrow view of commercial broadcasting commercial broadcasting its role in our society has been described many times before this committee and there is no need to document its great contribution to the American public nor is it necessary to criticize commercial broadcasting in order to be aware of what is missing in it. And in my view this proposed legislation acknowledges that as yet in this country only a part of our nationwide broadcasting system has been established and that nothing in the present proposal suggests changing that structure or the rights or responsibilities of that part of the system. And what Senate 1 1 6 0 0 0 gives us is a viable noncommercial service apart from the commercial side. Other witnesses will testify to the importance of Title 1 which goes into the facilities and to the importance of Title 3 which is the study of
instructional radio I think those are highly important and I look forward to the day when we will have a document comparable to the Carnegie commission's report. On educational radio. I would like to focus primarily have on two points about Title 2. Which establishes the cooperation for public television. One whether there is a need for such a cooperation and to whether the cooperation as proposed will be free of unwarranted governmental control. The answer to both of these questions in my judgment is an emphatic yes. I believe that the real question is not whether we should have a public broadcasting system but when. We in the United States are the only major developed nation in the world in which there is no nationally operated nationally oriented broadcasting system utilizing public funds and operating free of advertiser support.
This fact does not necessarily make further debate unnecessary but it does weigh heavily in favor of the proposition that we are among the last to make adequate response to a public need that is almost universally recognized. I would hasten to add however that our failure thus far is neither surprising nor dismay. We're in a truly democratic society reform occurs slowly often painfully since it must whatever its origins find broad popular support. And we should have taken our own sweet time. We have done so in the conviction that we have acted in typically democratic fashion and thereby achieved a result particularly well suited to the needs of a democracy. The bill now under consideration gives great hope that our public broadcasting system having been built with careful preparation study material and skilled workmanship and having found broad national support will serve American culture for centuries. Now I think it's recognized therefore that this is
a system which which will operate in the public sector. I think the other really the more important question now and certainly the more controversial one is whether it will be free of unwarranted federal control and interference. And I believe that a concrete governmental support is not necessarily linked to governmental into governmental interference. Now I say unwarranted government control because of course the broadcast outlets that will be part of our system of the noncommercial system and it will continue to receive programs that are produced non-commercially will still be regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. But I would particularly stress that that FCC regulation will not extend will extend only to the stations and not to the corporation itself or to the program sources.
I've already stated that I believe that there is safety in numbers there is safety in the numbers on the board of directors of the corporation. The bill requires that the 15 directors be to be drawn from diverse representative fields such as education cultural affairs the arts radio and television. And under the terms of the bill they must reflect various talents and experience and must come from various regions of the country and the president must choose those appointees from among those that are eminent in their respective fields. And as the final an important check and balance on the directorship of the cooperation there is this committee's ever vigilant approval of the president's choices and I am satisfied that this structure exposed to the fierce spotlight of national review by press and public alike to function both responsibly and well. I'd like to make one one final point on the question of the corporation's independence. I believe that the corporation's best guarantee of operating independence is operating strength.
After all the independence that we seek is independence from the massive weight of the various government agencies that will be concerned with the corporation's performance. The corporation must therefore have an inherent strength of its own in addition to the statutory Stace safeguards already in the bill. And this built in strength can best be achieved through a structure that gives the corporation the power to make meaningful decisions and to put those decisions in the actual practice. Without such power the corporation might be weakened perhaps fatally for it would fail to attract the caliber of individual talent that is so vital to its mission. It might likewise fail to capture the public attention that will be so important to its operating independent the public spotlight will quickly turn elsewhere. If the corporation's duties are mostly ministerial So the cooperation I would emphasize must not look like a lion and squeak like a mouse. In other words Mr Chairman I believe that it is most important. In order to
achieve the object that we all seek to make this cooperation as strong and as independent as possible. Have you any comments or observations to make on this point that we just raised with Mr White. Yes I do. I have. I have the greatest respect for any T and what it's done in the people who are on its board and their objectives which I think are the same as mine. I believe however that it is it is impractical. To talk in terms of a major effort such as the one underway. To create a public cooperation and then limit its powers. To simple policy formulation and to being a conduit for fun as. Important as those functions are. I believe that in order to truly achieve the
objectives we see that that the corporation should have operating capabilities. For example. One of the things that makes a a this corporation and its activities so interesting and so exciting is the possibilities of a live network. Unfettered by the by the commercial considerations that that the commercial networks must take into consideration. Someone has got to have authority. To operate that live network. Now I think it's unrealistic to talk in terms of one or two or three operating systems programme production companies or what have you suddenly gearing up into action. And and effecting the kind of coordination that would be necessary for something like that. It could be done. I would rather have it then than nothing. And that's why I support the bill as it is. But if it could be
worked out. And if it if it could be written into the clarify the legislation I would be in favor of having the corporation have operating network authority. Always Were they out on the decision to be made by the local broadcasters. Yes or indeed you see wherever whatever Mr White thought that this might be an instrumentality. Of course cursing the local station. Have you any response to make to that assertion. Yes I don't think the the the nature of the source of the programming affects that question one way or the other. I think there would be. I don't think there would be any coercion in the first place any more than there is coercion now. On the individual educational television stations to take any TV programs. I think they take them because they are good programs. And I think they would continue to take them
whether they were produced by. Pro Gregan or program production sources or in certain instances from the corporation itself. The judgements will be whether it's available and whether it's a good program. While I would hope that you would cooperate being the expert you are in this field with our staff that. Live Mr. Coston and was Mr. White to see if we can't get this down into acceptable terms. Myself I think that maybe we're overemphasizing it a little bit too much. Perhaps we are Mr Chairman I believe that my emphasis is that is that independence the independence of this corporation will depend on its strength. If it doesn't have. Sufficient power and responsibilities and and accomplishments. Under its belt as it goes along people will tend to lose interest in it and then its decisions. Will be made without the
checks and balances that we all want. I think the public spotlight is very necessary without to the qualities that I mentioned the the the talent that would be represented on its board of directors might tend to decline. I think we should keep it very strong. Any questions with this. I'd I would like to give. A little more elaboration if you could in theory on how we keep it strong now by keeping it strong do you mean simply total frame freedom from any sort of direction governmental direction or what is a strength come from. Well I think that the the strength would result in freedom from governmental interference. And I'm talking about the the it would derive its strengths from two sources. It would
derive its strength from the safeguards that are written into the legislation. Such as it cannot get involved in political. Broadcasts etc.. And many of the safeguards are negative in that sense. What I believe is also necessary though is an inherent strength. In the corporation itself. To attract high caliber talent from top to bottom. Not only in terms of the presidential e appointed board of directors but the the the employees that those directors will hire to run the system to run whatever its functions are. To and to make the various decisions involved. That's why I think it has to be strong. Yesterday we were discussing the specifics a little of the of the board when it would be first created with this appropriation and it was suggested that. Should be
free of any requirement to have auditing by the General Accounting Office or competitive bidding requirements or anything of that sort. Is that this is a course a negative thing now is your idea of strength is of the corporation in performing its functions would of course. Place upon itself requirements of a public got of being in public disclosure and place upon itself the requirements of acquisition by bidding if that is the most efficient way. The most economical way. Rather than have it imposed from outside in any way governmental or otherwise that in general yes. It seems to make little sense to me to be concerned about its independence and then attempt to guarantee its independence through governmental fetters and controls and regulation requirements. Let it be independent.
Thank you Marcus. Thank you Mr Henry. My next witness is Jack and he make bride manage your KUAR when Lincoln Nebraska. Mr. McBride is now approaching the witness stand he has also been condensing his remarks on the request of the chairman of the hearings will probably be cut short later today because the Senate has to investigate the investment tax credit. It appears the bill to repeal the investment tax credit bill of last year will come up on the Senate floor. This bill would in effect restore the tax credit for business man. It's a procedural vote which will come up today it was a result a Senate hearing it would be cutting short his but House would only suggest that we handle it with you would you prefer to
read it. Senator I don't want to limit you in any way because we've gone along pretty well now because he was great well in terms of our eleven thirty five deadline. That's right. I suppose the best thing to do I have several distinguished gentlemen here with me to speak to several points. I suppose the best thing to do is to ask that the complete statements of our full panel be submitted for the record and that we extract therefrom to try and conserve a bit of time if we may for that cooperation Without objection so ordered. The CHAIRMAN. Senators My name is Jack McBride I'm director of television and general manager of the University of Nebraska's educational television station general manager of the rock and the Nebraska Educational Television Network and executive consultant to the Great Plains instructional television library. I appear today is chairman of the board of
directors of the educational television stations division of the National Association of educational broadcasters. I will introduce the several distinguished gentlemen with me subsequently if I may. As I think you know Senator Press story educational television stations is that division of the anybody which concerns itself with appropriate national matters relating to educational television stations. Our organization has as you would know given a great deal of study a great deal of attention to on s 11 60. And our conclusion is that we come to you in complete accord with 11 60 as it stands. We think it is a good bill. We urge its passage. My statement my remarks and those of others offer specifics offer documentation. This will be in the record according to your recent order. Now the statement summarizes a number of statistics and facts about Ari TV stations. These are presented to you as well we
can save time here. In this instance also. We are speaking on behalf of small TV stations as well as the large community TV stations where we represent all varieties and types of the over 130 stations that exist in virtually every state. As I think you know the stations are licensed about equally a number to four general categories of licensees universities state commissions and Department of Education. Public school systems and community organizations established specifically to operate the TV. Title 1 of 11 60 is concerned with construction of facilities and extension of the excellent program of educational television facilities active one thousand sixty two. We certainly most definitely applaud this expansion Educational Television has taken giant steps ahead as a result of the TV facilities act. I can speak personally in terms of the assistance and development of the Nebraska educational television network and there is much other documentary
documentation that can be provided as well. We believe the future accomplishments of this title will be even more far reaching than the obvious accomplishments of the TV facilities act they have down to date and view of the current needs which can be so abundantly documented we endorse the wisdom of continuing the they act for ended and for an additional five year period and adding additional dollars to it. The 10 and a half million dollars for the next fiscal year to carry out the purposes of this particular title is sorely needed urgently needed in terms of construction development for educational television if indeed Educational Television is to continue its vital growth. I would point out to your committee. That. A report recently made to Senator Warren Warren Magnuson indicates that for every dollar expended in the TV facilities act thus far at least two to three dollars resulted locally in operations and capital matching funds thus have the federal funds also
generated continuing and growing local support as a result I think this is an important point Senator. We're pleased that the maximum sum to be granted to any signals in a single state has been raised from one million per year per state to twelve and a half percent of the total appropriations for any year. We have approximately 20 such states now which have reached their million dollar limitation with much work remaining to be done in terms of satisfying or in terms of bringing educational television service to the more sparsely populated areas of our nation. We know with considerable pleasure the inclusion of educational radio stations are directors of the TV stations have long ago urged that radio be made eligible for these grants as well. Turning now to the second title of the act. Calling for the establishment of a nonprofit educational Broadcasting Corporation. I can speak for all of the TV stations and concur absolutely on the aims of this title we believe it is in the
public interest for the Congress to encourage the growth and development of noncommercial educational radio and television broadcasting. We heartily endorse the policy aims of freedom and magination an initiative which we know from direct and long experience are the cornerstones on which public television must be built. Our aim has always been to achieve diversity and excellence although heretofore we have seldom had the means at all levels to accomplish it. We study the recommended corporation. We believe that this is an appropriate agency for the Congress to establish and that is that it can be of extremely vital service in assisting the continuing development of educational broadcast throughout the United States. This corporation must be freed from undue outside influence. We believe the corporation as described in established by the bill will accomplish that purpose I can state categorically that no educational broadcasting licensee desires interference with his own local authority or with his program schedule. We do not permit it now. We
cannot permit it in the future. The licensee's responsibility is total for his own programme schedule. I can assure you that the institution and the agency which employ me and those licensees of all other educational television stations can concur. Absolutely. There simply can be no interference with the autonomy of our programme schedules today or in the future these are really our credos of educational Broadcasting Service. In terms of the specific activities of the corporation. We applaud the establishment of the corporation itself as essentially a non operating entity. We believe it just as important that the corporation be insulated itself from the day to day activities of a broadcast station or network as it is from the political control in it so election of staff and board members. This is a point which has been referred to several times this morning and yesterday. It is the opinion of our operating educational television stations that even additional
insulation can be provided if the corporation is to contract with yet another entity for these network networking provision. We support the broad activities unless you are in favor of the bill as it is drawn. We are surrendering the labor of the bill as it is drawn we think this adds yet another buffer of protection. We support the broad activities to which this corporation would offer encouragement extremely critical as the operational support of some of our stations. We have too great a number of the TV stations today which operate with budgets far below any level of effectiveness in their communities. The majority of the TV stations operate annually on less money than the cost of one hour of prime time programming on commercial television. Despite these limitations we're proud of the achievements the modest achievements to date of our e TV stations and we certainly longingly look to a future of vastly improved and increased service which we know we can provide given given the
means. Therefore we're pleased that the corporation in such situations can assist in the direct operational support of the stations. Also assist with regional networks as are developing and certainly assist with programming at the national level. With such production or other such programming facilities as National Educational Television which is so important to all of our operating the TV stations and state wide networks. Indeed I draw attention to the importance as well of the TS programme service which is providing valuable programming assistance in an exchange of of programming between stations. Turning to Title 3 for just a moment. We certainly approve with a comprehensive study of instructional television and radio just as it has been done for public television by the historic Carnegie Commission study we feel a study of similar stature with similar outstanding citizens serving it should
be applied to the field of instructional television. And his question is can make bride So there's a get this in proper context that the ordinary individual. Who is looking at us and listening to us will understand. Are you saying that in effect. That if we modify. The present position provisions in this particular bill. With reference to this contracting out for him to change. That that if it were construed literally could obviate any t completely. Do I make myself clear. I do. I don't believe I understand your question Senator. Well now let me put it this way. Last August we had hearings on the Ford Foundation. We had many cameras here. It was supplied by any team. Yes I
understand throughout the country. Last night at certain hours much of what transpired here was broadcast. That's right. Now the people who did that was the any right. Would need really a contract to be. Under the proposals of this bill. Under the proposals of the bill it would be entirely possible for therefore if you amended this bill leaving it up to the corporation to make that decision and giving it the authority they themselves could substitute themselves for any t my correct in that interpretation that's right and that's what you're trying to avoid. We're saying it would be more appropriate and more in order for the corporation not to themselves serve as a programming agency but it would be more appropriate to contract out to any T or a second national programming agency as such might be developed and see the services provided now certainly. We we most definitely want to see the
services provided. These cameras here. Which are which belong to the Washington TV station and are picking up these proceedings on behalf of any t. Are feeding these what we feel very important hearings and others we would propose out to our ATV stations it all across the United States. The Nebraska state network last night tonight and throughout the rest of these hearings will carry summaries of the eat these proceedings. Your questions and comments by the people sitting at the table here. Bringing this and other important governmental hearings to all of our butts so that we can get this in proper perspective. Under the bill as it is presently written that is the only way that it could be done. That correct. Under the bill as it's now written. It talks.
Like you said it is in the study. In other words for the benefit of the public at large what are we trying to change here. And what are we trying to do.
Public Television Hearings
Testimony from NET and NAEB Representatives
Contributing Organization
WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/15-02q57bjk).
Episode Description
This recording from the Congressional Public Television hearings opening comments from Senator John O. Pastore, the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, and moves quickly on to testimony from John F. White, the president of National Educational Television (NET), who supports the proposed bill and emphasizes the importance of having a non-governmental agency (the Corportation for Public Broadcasting) administering between the producing stations and the government. Following is testimony from E. William Henry, director of the National Association of Educational Broadcasters (NAEB) and former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and Edwin G. Burrows, chairman of the board of directors of the NAEB, who also support the proposed bill. Following is testimony from Jack G. McBride, manager of KUON and chairman of the board of directors of the National Educational Television Stations Division of the NAEB.
Series Description
Public Television Hearings is a series of recordings of the government hearings about public television.
Created Date
Asset type
Event Coverage
Film and Television
Politics and Government
No copyright statement in content.
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Speaker: Pastore, John O. (John Orlando), 1907-2000
Speaker: White, John F.
Speaker: Henry, E. William
Speaker: Burrows, Edwin G.
Speaker: McBride, Jack G.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: 67-0089-04-13-001 (WGBH Item ID)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Generation: Master
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Public Television Hearings; Testimony from NET and NAEB Representatives,” 1967-04-13, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 21, 2024,
MLA: “Public Television Hearings; Testimony from NET and NAEB Representatives.” 1967-04-13. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Public Television Hearings; Testimony from NET and NAEB Representatives. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from