Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Educational radio, part one
But Senate hearings on public broadcasting. This is a special report produced by the national educational radio network through the facilities of W am you FM radio American University Radio in Washington D.C. I'm an E.R. public affairs director Bill Greenwood member of the United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on communications is now considering legislation to provide federal financial aid for Educational Television and Radio program a four day series of hearings on the plan that was held in Washington D.C. earlier this month writing a second four day series has just been completed. In the public interest national educational radio has produced a five part series of one hour special reports dealing with the major aspects of those Senate hearings. This is the fifth time final such a program on it will deal with the witnesses who appeared primarily on behalf of educational radio. The witnesses included Gerald Sandler executive director of N E R Leslie Rafi president of the Johnson
Foundation. You're right Bill should tell of the University of Washington and former president of the US Capitol Correspondents Association William Harley president of the National Association of educational broadcasters Dr. Frank you will see Jr. if you're representing the Albany State Medical College and Russell Gelb president of Boston University. The members of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on communications whose voices you will hear asking questions include the Democratic chairman John O pastoring of Rhode Island Senator Mike Munro Ne-Yo Oklahoma Vance Hartke of Indiana part of Michigan Russell Long of Louisiana and Frank Moss of Utah. Republican members are Senator Scott of Pennsylvania. James B Pearson of Kansas and Senator Robert Griffin of Michigan. In addition Senator Norris Cotton participates in the discussions. He is a member of the full Senate Commerce Committee. The lead off witness to present the case of educational radio is
Mr. Gerald Sandler of any R.. This is the very first time in the growing national dialogue on book Public Broadcasting. That radio educational radio has been introduced indeed incorporated into major legislation which is destined to influence the future of a national communication system in this country. Naturally everyone in educational radio is excited expectant enthusiastic but despite the kind words that have been expressed in this hearing room the real story of educational radio has not been told and indeed is not known. We are not the glamour medium and we are well aware of it. An opportunity like this one does not come to us very often. I do not intend to make an elaborate statement here about the accomplishments of educational radio these are contained in my statement and my attachments. At the outset I want to make it clear to you Mr. Chairman that I am not talking about educational radio competing with educational television. I'm not talking about educational radio taking dollars away from educational television. I'm not implying that
educational radio is a period medium to educational television or a panacea or any other words we could find. But I can do no better than to echo the statement. Of Senator Edward Kennedy who pointed out eloquently that in our excitement and enthusiasm to usher in the full development of educational television there's been a tendency to obscure the value and importance of educational radio. Before I go any further I'd like to make one thing clear. I'm proud to endorse this bill as eleven sixty the public television Act of 1967 on behalf of the three hundred forty six educational radio stations of the United States. And as executive director of national educational radio I am proud to endorse this bill as it now stands. What I have to tell you is contained in greater detail in a report which has already been submitted to you for the record. For your convenience a copy of the summary of that report has been attached as Exhibit B to my statement. This major research study which I'm holding up right now is called The Hidden medium. A status report on
educational radio in the United States and was prepared for any are by Herman W. land Associates Incorporated of New York City with the aid of a grant from the Ford Foundation. Do we have that report. Yes you do sir. Then we were incorporated by reference. Thank you. It's interesting to note that the Ford Foundation which more than any other institution in the United States has been responsible for the development and very sustenance of educational television. We should now underwrite the first major study ever done on educational radio. The hidden medium is a comprehensive study of the status and needs of educational radio and covers virtually every aspect of the field. Organization and administration financing programming personnel research technological developments and plans for the future. In short it speaks directly to the challenges posed by President Johnson and his special message to Congress on education and health in America and describes the many ways educational radio serves the many publics which make up the American people. It is submitted to you therefore within the framework of the aims and intent of the proposed public
television Act of 1967. Through Title One of this act educational radio will be able after almost 50 years to begin to broaden its coverage so that all the people can be served not merely those fortunate enough to live within hearing range of the present patchwork quilt pattern. While there are educational radio stations in forty eight states and the District of Columbia. One hundred and thirty four of the three hundred forty six on the air today are bound to the hard reality that their signals may reach no more than two to five miles. Surely this is not the way to adequately serve the overall community and surrounding area. These stations need more powerful transmitters and title run will help make this possible. At the same time there are many educational radio stations with adequate transmitters which already serve their own communities well. But we submit that in order to truly serve the public interest. Their program should be made available to the greatest number of people. These stations want to do precisely that. But they need to improve facilities and to do this they need financial help
and title round will help make this possible. Educational and community needs multiplied daily. But we've been fortunate to have had great advances in technology to meet these needs. With a further development and broader utilization of multiplexing which permits several simultaneous signals to reach two and three times the normal audience many more people can be served. You mind if I interrupt you at this point can ask you the question that I asked of Dr. Blair and Dr. Greenfield. Yes. Give us an example of how this is being utilized and what purpose it said I mean for the edification of the people who are listening to us and even from my own. Yes I'm not too familiar with this way radio education. This is a new or relatively new development in multiplexing where you can have two or more simultaneous signals in effect what you're doing is having one radio station. Perform two or three or perhaps more programs simultaneously one on the open channel that you hear at home. These hearings let us say are being heard in someone's home
this moment in the northeastern part of the United States. If we were operating on a multiplex basis we could have on a side channel another program let us say dealing with the problems of the disadvantaged. Perhaps we might have a language lesson on a third channel that is being used in effect on a closed circuit basis. Through special receivers. This is a relatively new development and one of our witnesses Dr. Woolsey will go into greater detail on this a little later. Now it isn't. It is goes in disco did it. This goes into homes as well. It could go into a school to a home and to a hospital center wherever the need for the service exists. Well we do have quite a number of radio educational stations on the air now. What I some of the examples that you can give us as to what they do. There are as I mentioned briefly by reference I was concerned about time primarily missed that year and I mean you need to rush.
You have time. I spent over 20 years in broadcasting most of them in educational broadcasting about 8 of them in the state of Michigan. So I did a gryphon very happily at the University of Michigan. A few years at the University of Indiana in Bloomington at a public school station. The Board of Education station in New York City and I mean a simple station WNYC in that same city. And during those years I've seen a multitude of services. Developed on the public school level. For instance since 1949 w nyet the Board of Education station in New York City. Has maintained a high school of the Air Force and 600 home bound children. These children receive the equivalent of a high school education by radio. This is done in conjunction with tutors who visit them but they receive most of their textual textual material by radio. They have graduated many of them now are moving
into successful walks of life. It's a very special service this particular example that I'm mentioning. But let's deal with larger numbers. In Michigan every week twice weekly 80000 schoolchildren receive all or part of their basic music education by radio. With the cooperation of some 25 or more commercial radio stations that rebroadcast the program the University of Michigan broadcasting service presents a program called festival of song incorporating. Teachers manual student song books. Indeed they even have a live festival program for children throughout the state each year with a music teacher and the various staff people who are involved in this unique instructional service. Now of course I've only mentioned two examples on the instruction direct instructional side a great deal of what happens in educational radio is not systematic instruction as we understand it. But adult education and general education and general entertainment for that matter. Indeed
I would say that about 80 percent. Of the total programming efforts on educational radio stations in the country today fall in these latter categories but they cover virtually every field you can imagine and in this report there are literally hundreds and hundreds of examples of everything from dealing with the broad needs of a big community to serving specialized needs of the disadvantaged the poor the minorities etc.. All of your revenue is received either from the foundation of contributors been nothing through commercial or from is that correct. Yes the revenue to run these stations. The stations I should say most of them are owned and operated by colleges and universities. About 75 percent of them about 20 percent buy public school systems and the remainder by private nonprofit corporations community corporations state agencies and so on. And these are
in effect noncommercial entities. There are too many areas within states which do not have any educational radio services at all. New stations also have to be built there and Title 1 will help make this possible. But I'd like to turn now to Title 2. Which calls for the establishment of a nonprofit educational Broadcasting Corporation. The bill before you addresses itself squarely to the heart of broadcasting programming. Under Title 2 it will be possible for the very first time to provide sorely needed funds to create produce broadcast and distribute the highest quality programs through the public corporation. The finest talents in America can be harnessed to meet the myriad needs of the many publics that must serve the local community. The citizens of a state and surrounding region. The people of the nation as a whole indeed the entire world. I could say as others have said before me in these hearings the title 2 will provide financial support for programming for operations for interconnection
as indeed my prepared statement describes in considerable detail. But what I would like to leave with this committee today is an understanding of the very special services that educational radio can render to the people of the United States through title to. No medium Fred Friendly has said no medium can match radio for speed and ease of contact on a worldwide basis. One lone man wandering a continent with a small tape recorder can send back wonders. And once the technical means were available and they are coming fast a touch of a button can bring the words and sounds of the world directly into the American home with an almost casual effect unwelcome economy. To do this to back up this lone man with a tape recorder there must be money not a great deal but some. For the development of interconnected networks statewide networks regional networks and eventually a nationwide live interconnected network. And this the chairman to show you what could be done how much of the people's dollars can buy an
educational radio terms that may indicate to you what is being done right now with the most minuscule of budgets. At the present time the NE our network distributes 35000 hours of taped programming each year to its 150 affiliates on a total annual budget of under sixty thousand dollars. The Carnegie Commission report on ATV. States that the present yearly net budget of. The ne t budget of 8 million dollars is insufficient to maintain the desired level of quality TV production. Given one tenth of that figure eight hundred thousand. Or is Jack Gould of the New York Times calls it the ten cents left over. This would bring forth the riches unmatched in the history of radio. The passage of title to a vessel 11 60 would correct the distance between a barely adequate service and one which makes full use of the medium high potential. But make no mistake about it radio is not television without pictures and what it has to
offer through this bill is not precisely the same as what public television has to offer. There are of course many similarities but public radio has a whole wealth of services far more complex quite different supplementary to unique to those the television has to offer. Therefore we urge that the public cooperation be so constructed that there is an active role for public radio built into the basic fabric of the corporation. Let me turn briefly to Title 3. Why has that come to the selection of the 15 man board. Now what you mean by that statement. I would say that it begins there Mr. Chairman. And I believe that the intent of the bill as stated would certainly take that into account. But I was talking beyond just the selection of the board. I was talking to the point of the actual operation and policy of the corporation with respect to providing educational radio and television programming abetted by the personalities that constitute the ball. And all I'm trying to do is
clearly for the record to indicate a strong desire to help develop educational radio public radio as a viable resource. Let me turn briefly to Title 3. The preamble of S11 60 states and I quote to authorize a comprehensive study of instructional television and radio. And quote. We assumed that it was the intent and properly so of the drafters of the bill for Title 3 to include a study of both radio and television for instructional purposes. However the actual language of Title 3 is presently drafted is limited to instructional television only. Therefore we would urge that the language of Title 3 be appropriately amended to be consistent with the language and intent of the bill as articulated in the preamble. As President Johnson stated in his message to Congress dollars alone cannot do the job. But the job cannot be done without dollars. One of the most basic set of findings in the hidden medium deals with the harsh realities of
educational radio's poor financial position. These are based on 135 respondents to a 25 page questionnaire. Some of these findings are frankly alarming. Let me illustrate. Approximately one third of the educational radio stations must operate on less than $10000 a year 53 percent of all stations have less than $25000 a year for their total operating budgets 73 percent have less than 50000. Indeed only six stations have budgets over $200000 and most of these represent multi station operations. Why people in educational radio adequately paid 5 percent of the station's report no salaries at all. Another 5 percent pay total of less than $1000 yearly to their staff. 10 percent pay a total of less than twenty five hundred dollars annually all together. Thirty seven percent pay less than $10000 in salaries each year and a total of 68 percent less than $20000 in salaries. We really run these
the students. There are a great many stations particularly the low powered ones 10 Watch operations that are run as student operations in whole or in part and this accounts for many of these statistics but I might add that even even the most well endowed of these radio stations with very very few exceptions have to depend on student help part time help and non-paid help a great deal of the time. How much money is available presently for program purchases. And I think this is a very key finding a very telling one. Thirty three percent have less than $1000 yearly to spend for this purpose. Another 25 percent less than twenty five hundred dollars. Only 5 stations in the entire survey report program purchases over $10000. And believe it or not six percent sadly report that they have no money at all for this purpose. In spite of these severe financial restrictions important community services are being performed. At least 43 percent provide program material on tape to local organizations such as
PTA civic group schools and so on. They also broadcast a wide range of programs in cooperation with local state and national organizations. Another illuminating finding in the report is the degree to which educational radio stations supply programming to commercial stations they have by greatly enlarging their audiences. According to the survey at least 59 percent of the stations do supply programmes to commercial outlets and some stations as described in the hidden medium do sell to more than 100 stations Weekly. One surprising aspect of the findings deals with outside sources of programming. While all the respondents utilized a variety of sources both domestic and foreign. The total number of hours of programming supplied by national educational radio is greater than all other sources from all over the world combined. The stations were asked whether they provide programming services to specialized audiences such as shut ins handicap positions and so on. Thirty eight percent replied that they presently are engaged in
this kind of programming. Fifty eight percent of the station's alter their operating schedule during the summer months. Many of them staying off the air entirely during that period. All too often a key factor in making this decision is a lack of sufficient operating funds. While these specific findings are but a sampling of the rich documentation in the hidden medium describing the services of educational radio. Now I'd like to talk to some of the things very briefly that educational radio stands ready to do if given even modest help. The plans many of which are on the verge of fulfillment are directed toward expanded and new forms of community service helping to disadvantage the elderly the chronically ill the poor the migrants the retarded the ethnic and racial minorities working with the socially skilled juvenile delinquents criminals drug addicts alcoholics enlarging instructional services for students on branch campuses adults and those taking postgraduate courses leading to degrees vastly increasing the range and extent
of professional communications to physicians nurses veterinarians lawyers pharmacists local state and federal agency employees farmers County agents teachers and so forth. Mr. Chairman this is not just a list. This is based on actual documentation that's in this report. It's an incredible tale of plans that are going undone unfulfilled for a lack of modest funding. From Mr. Harley who will read Dr. Harrington statement you will hear what a full network radio service can mean to the people of an entire state. Now a number of other states are working to build the kind of network service that has been so important to the citizens of Wisconsin for 30 years. These include according to this report. Colorado Florida Iowa Kansas Kentucky Michigan Minnesota New York Ohio Oregon Pennsylvania South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Washington Missouri Texas and just this week I learned of three others. Hawaii
Maryland and Vermont. I keep waiting Senator Scott. Perhaps the most significant of the many recent developments in it in educational radio for the future is multiplexing which we referred to earlier. It has opened up a vast number of opportunities to serve specialized audiences. Multiple acts and commits one or more signals known as sub channels to be transmitted simultaneously with the main channel signal. You may already be familiar with this principle through stereo broadcasting or star casting. The multiple signal the multiplex signal can only be received by a special receiver or FM adapter. The marvelous vistas beginning to unfold around the availability of this technological advance arise from multiplexing because it permits a broadcaster if you will to have his cake and eat it too. Sub channels can be used to serve the needs of a great number of specialized audiences while at the same time. They maintain general public programming of cultural enrichment and general education and
information on the main channel. This for the first time permits the broadcaster to resolve this dilemma created by his apparent contradictory need to serve both the general and special audiences simultaneously. The hidden medium includes an incisive list of observations and recommendations which are directly relevant to the role of educational radio in the legislation being discussed. I just like to comment on several of them quoting the report in closing. Quote before educational radio can be properly developed as a national resource it must be clear recognition of the primitive level on which so many parts of the field must operate. When the most immediate need is an office typewriter or an actual case talk of new horizons of radio service must appear visionary at best in some of this. The starting point of any national building plan must be the stark truth radio for the most part is under financed understaffed under-equipped under promoted and under researched. That its programme service is nevertheless sometimes exemplary and should
not be allowed to obscure its true predicament. The need for financing is self-evident so much so that to dwell on it at any length would mean merely to elaborate the obvious. If this study has made anything clear it is that the basic financing is the key need financing for facilities equipment personnel training programming and production financial assistance is also needed for in-school radio. These stations many of them now on part time could provide service at nights on weekends and during the summer months. They could become in the fullest sense of the phrase true community stations. If the full potential of multiplexing is ever to be realized a massive attack upon the high cost of receiving equipment must be successfully waged a partnership between government industry and education is indicated which looks to large scale social projects requiring a large volume of receiver production in order to stimulate design and manufacture of low cost receivers. A pilot project conducted perhaps under the
aegis of the Department of Health Education and Welfare might well be undertaken to test the value of multiplexing in an urban environment. The Federal Communication Commission current effort to develop a table of allocations for educational fm should be pushed to a successful conclusion says the report. Such a table is essential to the assurance of adequate national coverage in the development of statewide networks. Educational radio's ambitious ambitions toward national and international coverage should be encouraged and supported given commercial radio is unmistakable and perhaps irreversible. Local track there is a decided national state and building educational radio as a major instrument of national and international communications. The NEA our Public Affairs Bureau and the anyon network could well serve as the starting point. Radio moreover should be included in all plans for satellite communication. As Fred Friendly has stated Mr. Chairman Educational Television will show us the
picture. Educational radio will stir our imagination. Together they can and must play a dynamic part in the communications revolution. But in German I have just one. Perhaps observation but I think a question Senator Robert Griffin the family at one point early in your statement. You said you endorse this bill. As it now stands and. That always disturbs me as a legislator because I think very few bills that are perfect. And looking at this particular bill and your great interest in educational radio. I notice that under Title two. The bill provides for the establishment of a corporation for public television. And yet as I understand the. The purpose is and the function of this particular corporation they're supposed to concern
themselves with educational radio as well as television. Wouldn't you at least agree with me that the title of the name of the corporation ought to be changed. Well I would certainly agree with you Senator Griffin that such a change might very well be appropriate it would be more accurate in terms of course writing for public broadcasting perhaps. I think that that would be an excellent thing. I only point that out to indicate that so often it seems that most of the witnesses especially And I I say this in a very kind this way. And not directed to you personally but so many of the witnesses who represent entities who are going to benefit from legislation passed by the Congress come before the committees and. Endorse the bill in toto. Word for word without a change in comma. Right. Any suggestion or criticism and many times the
well experience has proved over and over again that these bills are not perfect and I just want to encourage. Suggestions even though they might be as small as the one that I've advanced. I did point out of course Senator Griffin the problem of. Inconsistent language between the preamble and the language of Title 3 I think that too might be an appropriate thing to be concerned with. That was any Our Executive Director Gerald Sandler one of several witnesses to appear on behalf of educational radio before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on communications the case for educational radio continues after a 30 second pause for station identification. This is the National Education all right to go network.
- Educational radio, part one
- Producing Organization
- National Association of Educational Broadcasters
- WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This program, the first of two parts, features Jerrold Sandler, executive director of National Educational Radio; and William Harley, president, National Association of Educational Broadcasters.
- Series Description
- Senate Hearings on Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, held during April 1967.
- Public Affairs
- Media type
Host: Greenwood, Bill
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Speaker: Sandler, Jerrold
Speaker: Harley, William G., 1911-1998
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-Sp.5-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
- Chicago: “Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Educational radio, part one,” 1967-04-17, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 4, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-00003n2x.
- MLA: “Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Educational radio, part one.” 1967-04-17. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 4, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-00003n2x>.
- APA: Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Educational radio, part one. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-00003n2x