Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Educational radio, part two
Continuing with the National Educational radio's special report on the Senate hearings on public broadcasting we now hear the testimony of a veteran Capitol knew was Correspondent Bill should tell currently serving as associate director of the School of Communications at the University of Washington. There has to be first of all some kind of institution in my mind that will finally define and implement and encourage broadcasting in the public interest. That was one of the basic tenants of the 1927 radio act. And as you go through the history and all the statements in the conferences leading up to that act it is very evident that one there should be broadcasting in the public interest. And there is a social responsibility on the part of those broadcasters. The preamble to the NSA be codes and I'm not here to criticize commercial radio television but the preamble to the NABC code is one of
the greatest model flows of platitudes which admits this social responsibility so the theory is there. But I do question sometimes the public service as far as practice is concerned. And as you people here are concerned about not only. The education which someone is says gives a nation its perspectives and culture gives the nation its values. So I say there has to be some institution somewhere and I have considerable confidence in the forming of such a body. I don't want government to dictate to me what is the public interest its definition of public interest or what I show hear or see. And I might say I don't even want my fellow educators here to dictate what I see and hear. I most of all I don't want the three major
networks dictating what I see and hear. I have two kids 9 2 boys 9 and 11 at home. The hours that they spend with television things that they see disturbed me very much. I heard some figures from the television information office not so long ago that said when the average student finishes high school he has had roughly an average of 8000 hours in the classroom under some degree of supervision. He has that same average student has had 15000 hours with television. And I think that's a rather shocking figure. Unless these people have some kind of a choice. So I say I do want to choice and I think some kind of an out institution is outlined in Title 2 is very appropriate. It has been suggested I have heard that perhaps the Carnegie
Commission with its very distinguished and respectable board membership that it might be the forerunner of perhaps a model or perhaps a sample for this public corporation under Title 2 which leads me to one concern. If the report of the Carnegie Commission if this is the antecedent for these hearings for this bill for the president's message to the Congress concerning this bill certainly the Carnegie Commission triggered something with all the popularity and the attention that it received. However if this is the antecedent I would only want to make very certain that unlike the Carnegie Commission that this board give due consideration to radio because I believe there has been testimony here that the Carnegie Commission never thought of radio. And so if this is the end of
the state the bill is radio is throughout the bill. And that's very fine and we're very happy about it. But I do feel that perhaps for the sake of the record is a matter of fact radio is even mentioned when it says the qualifications or characteristics of the board the arch should be represented including radio and television. But I hope the record will show that that radio is to be represented is to be a major concern of this board. I may show you that this bill was drafted as I understand it under the aegis of the Department of Education. And I would assume I would assume that they're interested in education. And which means that under. Broadcasting for educational purposes we're talking equally of radio if we are television it's our responsibility you may rest assured on its very cannot be no question on that.
Because I think there's certain things radio can do that even television cannot do. I think of my colleague the director of the art department at the university who turns to our station KUOW while he's painting because one he wants some good music and he also wants some appeal to the mind. I was impressed that any maybe a week ago when the distinguished newsman Chet Huntley was awarded anybody's distinguished award in the burden of his message at that time was the fact that we are limited in television and we have been limited in radio we do not appeal to the mind. He was describing what they called the talking head. And if you don't have visuals you don't let a man stay on camera more than 30 seconds or three minutes at the most. And there is objection to this so-called talking head or what we call the stand up piece. But this is where you appeal to man's mind. And I think radio can do that so very very well.
I have one other concern if I may take just another. A few minutes. And that is the state of public information informing the public. I have a feeling that radio commercial radio is in a great hurry and I can well sympathize with it and I know why it is they where they were they had the life scared out of them in the 1950s when television was coming along. We by their circumstances the survival of the radio networks radio is doing better now but radio has never forgotten radio was in a hurry. They have gone to formats of music and news largely But what kind of news. It's news in 5 minute packages at the most the old 15 minute newscast is pretty much passed out of the picture. Radio is in a hurry because they feel that they will lose the audience the attention span there. Now you take five minutes of news every hour on the hour. You take two commercials in there and you have no more than three minutes of news which is only headlined former capsule form it's what
a longtime colleague of mine Eric Sevareid calls nervous news. He says perhaps non-news would be a better term because he gets the feeling that people tune in not to hear what has happened but what has not happened that bubonic plague has not broken out or that the earth is still in orbit and so on now. Educational radio provides time caring all the time is violence. I wonder if there's any such thing as nonviolent. Here. There are some very serious pieces of news that should be given much more attention. This disturbs me. I read the statistics that radio and television is now the major source of information for the American public 54 percent or whoever wants to choose these fake comments. And. Senator Scott banister vice president. Back everybody reported that people threw eggs at the vice president but
very few people made the point you made a radio I don't have any but the vice president was busy throwing ideas. At Western Europeans and I thought that was the crux of it. Purpose of information commercial writing has to be a very. Near and that is pride of people who the eggs they met because they knew they could dominate the media if they could get enough pay. And I think this is. Television and radio talk their responsibility and not balancing the fact that the vice president had a job to do in my judgment it very well. This disturbed me very much. If the majority of the people are depending on radio and television for their information I say God help us when it comes to making critical decisions of important vital matters that may not be glamorous and they may not appeal to visuals or they can not be handled in five minute news capsules. And I go around my state it's not a very popular speech but I go around my state talking to the industry to the newspapers
as well. And I think these reporters will appreciate this fact that the newspapers now they cannot compete. They have eliminated the extras they cannot compete with the immediacy of radio and television. And it is their job to do stories and news in depth. That news and Abidal decisions are a jigsaw puzzle that must be put together by analysts by commentators by news in depth and I'm not sure that the newspapers everywhere around the country are living up to this mission. But educational radio can do this very job. You can carry these hearings you can carry hearings on Vietnam or China or whatever. And this is a proper role and one which we're at educational radio in my state is anxious to fulfill. I had a discussion when I was governor of my state I had a discussion with a very very fine. And reputable and distinguished and brilliant newspaper
publisher. Who one day call me up and want to know what it was that the new people could do to serve the purposes of the state the development of the state. And I was pretty young at that time and maybe a little too brash for my own good I said I don't pass it or good as what if you print the badge. And His Word taught to me was very terse and very strongly said because we want to sell newspapers. And of course as long as you get the profit element and now. You have that to consider. Boards of Directors have to answer to stockholders and officers have to answer to the board of directors especially if they're on the exchange. So no I think what you're saying is very clear very profound and very appropriate. There isn't a profit element in what we're talking about here now. There's the public service element but it needs to be supported. The big question good to confront is how and how much. And I would hope that we could resolve that very
easily. And I quite agree with you. There's a tremendous job to be done by these nonprofit institutions both in radio and in television. And that's the reason why we're considering this bill and I hope we come up with a good answer. Thank you for my concluding statement Mr. Chairman. You want to lay out our next witness is Mr. Leslie PAF rather the president of the Johnson Foundation in Racine Wisconsin. And his relationship to educational radio is in many many ways a most unique one. His track record. Thank you Mr. Chairman I should state at the outset that unlike some of the witnesses who have come before you my credentials are not in the field of broadcasting. I'm not unusually conversant with the conditions of this complex field which you face. But I'm here as one whose work has been influenced by national educational radio through the work of the Johnson Foundation.
This is both an operating and a grant making foundation. And since 1960 it has had its home at Wingspread a Frank Lloyd Wright designed building just north of Racine Wisconsin where the uses of that building reflected the foundations broad mandate to be an instrument for creative programs which serve man. This center is a gathering place for a wide variety of groups and individuals. It's a forum for serious discussion of a vast array of issues. I would say to Senator Scott we are in the nonviolent news business. I knew was there intellectual effort there is covered in depth and not merely because it is spectacular. The thread which runs through all of these gatherings that Wingspread supported by the Johnson Foundation and frequently by major educational institutions in the
Midwest and in the nation. This thread is that of vital dialogue active minds meeting one another in freedom proposing challenging accepting rejecting and sometimes hopefully even resolving. Now we believe that dialogue is too important for the left merely for the benefit of those who are they have to do the talking. It's long been a feeling that unless a meeting needed to be off the record for special reasons it will be an economic. It would be on business like to try to really limit the audience to the number of people who could fit into a specified conference room at a particular time. This in this way the Johnson Foundation's concept program extension evolved. It's a concept which empowers us to use whatever means we have at our disposal to reach out with the best of the material we produce to increasingly
wide audiences. And very early in our history as a conference center we installed tape recorders and other audio equipment to record the proceedings of conferences of leaders and to do it broadcast quality. The trustees were impressed. Wanting long mileage out of increasingly short dollars in our economy they were impressed by the inexpensive and physically simple method of purchasing installing and maintaining this kind of equipment namely audio recording equipment. I don't mean to say that the foundation hasn't had an interest in television. We have had and we've given it modest support but in casting about for the best way in which to use the abundance of good tape recorded material which was emerging from Wings bred conferences much of it drawn from the rich educational institutions of the Midwest we found an immediate and close ally in the Wisconsin State Radio Network.
I should like merely to scan and to check off several past projects with which we cooperated and then several future projects. The first collaborative project with any art was the production and distribution of a 26 programme radio series based on a conference. Two years ago this went to the International convocation to study the requirements for peace based on the people in technical part human Tyrus. This series made it possible for educational radio listeners to share these dialogues addresses and discussions by about 35 of the world's statesman with literally millions of persons. We were encouraged to try other series a symposium on Southeast Asia held Wingspread under the Asia Society on the University of Chicago a series of five hour long programs from the symposium on Christianity in crisis held last year in New York City and a
series of programs based on the examination of the life and the work of Albert Schweitzer. Now last spring at the Aspen Institute for humanistic studies with the Alba Albert Schweitzer fellowship in a series also still in progress coming out of wings bred on the subject individual initiative in America's future with lecturers like Dr. Milton Friedman and others. Now we look to the future. Early this year. The foundation with other organizations brought together in Appalachian student representatives of approximately 25 or 30 colleges and universities to examine how student unrest as we have seen it so many times might be channeled concretely and positively into working for the poor and with the poor. A series of four one hour programs will emanate from this workshop on students and poverty.
I feel that we must periodic Lee assess progress to ascertain whether cultural values. I think I think here Senator Scott we are speaking in a kindred way where the cultural values and attainments have kept respectable pace with economic and technological advances. It's very clear that the jet speed advance of technology has not been matched by ways and means of applying this technology to real life situations which affect the minds and the lives of Americans. The narrowing of this gap is one of the nations present day challenges and I believe in education radio and its continued support. And might I add in its continued study with respect to its potential presents a case in point. Mr. Chairman I hope we will be able through this bill to give noncommercial educational television its proper voice. Its radio commercial. In the 1930s had its golden
age. I should like to see educational radio noncommercial have its stainless steel age strong and bright in the 1950s and in the 1700s. Thank you sir. Thank you for a very very excellent statement. Let me call your next witness. Thank you Mr. Chairman. I'd like to call on next Mr. Russell rip Mr. Russell jabbered vice president for university affairs at Boston University Boston University is the third largest private university in the nation and it has been is and will be urban in character urban by conscious choice and not by accident. It is within this context of the urban university that I wish to make my remarks concerning Senate bill as 11 60 the bill dealing with noncommercial broadcasting in the United States in the view of its trustees and administration. Boston University has a positive obligation to work on the
problems of its own city. And by so doing help solve the problems of our cities. This policy is of great relevance today. These United States have only recently passed the stage of being a predominantly rural society. But in the year 2000. Within thirty three years from now. We will see 84 out of every 100 Americans living in cities. With this growth of the cities. Comes the problems of the cities and the great urban universities which partake of the cultural and economic wealth the cities have an obligation to apply their resources to help solve these problems. One urban educator. J Martin klatch E. chancellor of the University of Wisconsin put it this way. The social scientist the philosopher the artist the engineer the natural scientist through their respective
disciplines can all touch every aspect of urban life its culture problems of pollution and transportation of land use its disadvantaged people in all their ghettos. Crime and poverty as well as beauty and its design. As the university pursues the solution to these problems we are finding more and more dramatic evidence that one of the best tools in our kit is noncommercial or Public Radio. We are finding in public radio a super Boateng show for urban progress. It has a unique quality of serving on one hand ever increasing numbers of discriminating listeners and on the other hand of serving the most specialized kind of audiences. Allow me to give briefly examples of this diversity. First service to the entire community. Last spring when a printers strike shut down five Boston daily newspapers. Boston University moved
quickly to help Bostonians obtain much of the solid news they were missing by the blackout. While it was for the most part business as usual on the commercial radio and television channels WB You are clear it out five hours off its regular programming during Prime evening time to present an emergency newspaper of the air. During the five weeks of the strike WB you are logged more than one hundred fourteen hours of news columns editorials and commentary in depth. Today this emergency news service has one. Gratitude of a great number of Bostonians as well as three regional and national awards for quote filling an important need in the highest traditions of journalism. Close quote The second example of public radio programming is one that sought to serve minority tastes when the old Metropolitan Opera House at
Broadway and 31st in New York City closed its doors a year ago this coming Sunday. An important area in the cultural life of the United States came to an end. When WB You are learn that no commercial radio or television network nor a local New York City broadcaster was planning any in-depth coverage of this historic event. The station took it upon itself to bring this occasion to those unable to attend and to preserve the event for the future. Dai how much control. I've been a member of the Congress now going on my 18 he is a member of the United States Senate. I've been a member of this committee practically all of that time. And this testimony today has been a revelation to me. And you can imagine. What it means to the people on the outside. The tremendous job that's been done by educational radio. And. I repeat again. I'm surprised that I knew so little about it. And I've been connected with this committee for a long long
time. Mr. Sanders said then very under promoted. Mr. Chairman our final witness is Mr. William G Harley. President of the National Association of educational broadcasters. Who will introduce Dr. Harrington statement. Dr. Harrington as I think Eric's statement which will be entered into the record. And I would not presume to speak for him but I was a member of his faculty for many many years and served as the program director for educational broadcasting for the state of Wisconsin so that I do have a first hand acquaintance with that story. And I think it is a story that is useful to members of this committee charged with establishing public policy for educational broadcasting throughout the country. So if I may I will attempt to just digest and write every moment of this story for your benefit. The basis of Dr. Harrington statement. The University of Wisconsin has been involved in educational
radio for over 50 years and began experimentally in 1979 and it put out its first regular program service as early as 1919. It also had the privilege of establishing the third educational television station in this country the state of Wisconsin in general at the University of Wisconsin in particular and found these answers and wants to be of great value and we will spend the summer in extending the borders of the campus of the university to the borders of the state and sharing the benevolent influences of this great institution with every citizen in the state of Wisconsin. Radio is a known quantity deserving of further experimentation on the basis of Wisconsin's experience and television already has shown great potential and must now be given greater opportunity to show what it can do. What Wisconsin has the only educational network that a radio station rate has an 11 FM radio stations
so that it can reach every person in the whole state. And among many of the successes that this concert is so proud of is the Wisconsin School of the air and the Wisconsin College of the air is cool the air is designed to supplement and Reps elementary school classroom instruction. There are 15 Lessons in a variety of subjects broadcast each week we subject such as mathematics mathematical slants in the social studies for health and safety and new music literature and creative writing in foreign languages and recent tabulation indicate an audience of 300000 children each week. When you look at total of more than seven hundred and seventy thousand of course in Romans. Similarly the College of the Air operates within a typical year 10 to 15 college courses these are regular university courses broadcast directly from the classroom in subject subject areas as psychology I call Roman life and literature and contemporary theology. The East and North Africa history
of Western music and so on. And may I interpret and percolate my own personal observation on the basis of my experience that though a 15 minute university classroom lecture room may not seem very exciting very radio fare radio it is to thousands and thousands of. Why isn't the state of Wisconsin on the basis of the letters that they have written. Because at the time of the inspiring teacher firing can still set fire to people where they are flammable there and will nurture the spirit and excite the mind might include just the presentation over radio and it's being done daily. Dr. Harrington has a number of letters and testified of the kind of appreciation the Wisconsin people are giving the station getting through their correspondence. Let me just cite one paragraph one through many years of marriage for children and millions of household chores for your radio programs are like a golden thread woven through the fabric of my life of my life.
You conclude we in Wisconsin have benefited greatly from our use of radio and television education. Not only do we wish to enlarge and extend this benefit or our own people but we also need to head a brighter day for all Americans living with the values of these media to our society and are properly recognised in public policy. May I say it was determined as the final witness and he group. And now abandoning my role of surrogate for Dr. Harrington and putting on my hat as president of and he that we appreciate the opportunity that you have accorded us to represent a panel of witnesses to present their views and in our judgment. If this legislation is passed it will go a long long ways toward protecting educational radio and television into the full gospel most of which is capable in the service of education and of our society. Thank you. You have just heard a Special Report Number five on the Senate hearings on public broadcasting of the various programs have dealt with witnesses appearing on
- Educational radio, part two
- Producing Organization
- National Association of Educational Broadcasters
- WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- This program, the second of two parts, features Jerrold Sandler, executive director of National Educational Radio; and William Harley, president, National Association of Educational Broadcasters.
- 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
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- Chicago: “Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Educational radio, part two,” 1967-04-17, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 21, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-br8mht26.
- MLA: “Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Educational radio, part two.” 1967-04-17. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 21, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-br8mht26>.
- APA: Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Educational radio, part two. 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-br8mht26