NER Washington forum; Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, part one
That time has now come to move dramatically in the direction of not only more educational television but higher quality educational TV program and the voice you just heard was that of United States senator John opened a storied Democrat of Rhode Island. One of our several guests this week as the NEA our Washington forum presents the first in a special series on the Senate hearings on public broadcasting today a brief summary of testimony from government witnesses. This program was produced by national educational radio through the facilities of W am you FM American University Radio in Washington DC. I many our public affairs director Bill Greenwood of the United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on communications recently launched the first of what will be many congressional hearings into the proposed public television Act of 1967 a bill that would provide massive doses
of federal aid to educational radio and television subcommittee chairman. SENATOR PASTORE a outline the piece of legislation on February 21 19:00. The president of the United States recommended that Congress enact the public television Act of 1967 which would do one. Increase federal funds for television and radio facility construction to 10 and a half million in fiscal year one thousand eight hundred sixty eight. More than three times this year's appropriations. To create a corporation for public television authorized to provide support to noncommercial television and radio and provide 9 million in fiscal 68 as initial funding for the corporation that's taking a substantial and significant step forward in an effort to develop the full
potential of noncommercial broadcasting. After 11 sixties the public television Act of 1967 is the specific legislation that is the subject of today's hearing and contains those recommendations. It will amend the Communications Act of 1934 in several ways. Title 1 of the legislation will first extend and improve provisions for grants to construct educational television broadcasting facilities. Second the legislation will add a new category for funding noncommercial radio broadcasting facilities to one also authorizes an appropriation to tell in the half a million dollars for fiscal 68. As such sounds as may be necessary for the next four years to extend the existing grant program for construction of the TV personalities and to provide funds for commercial radio broadcasting facilities
from listening to Sinatra. Mentoring chairman of the sap I'm going to must clear their proposals with state educational television or radio agencies. If an agency exists in the African state the federal share of grandchildren not exceed 75 percent. Title to authorize the establishment of a nonprofit corporation to develop it to help develop public radio and television broadcasting. This nonprofit corporation will be known as the Corporation for Public Television. The board of directors will consist of 15 members appointed by the president with the approval of the Senate. The corporation will have a variety of duties prescribed by the legislation based on the assumption that it is in the public interest to encourage that the growth and development of noncommercial educational radio and television broadcasting. Among other duties the
corporation shall submit an annual report on its activities to the president for transmittal to the Congress on a bill for December the 30th each year of its activity. Title Kray of the legislation. What are pariahs. Fifty five hundred thousand dollars for a comprehensive study on the whole range of instructional television broadcasting including its relationship to educational television. The secretary of Health Education and Welfare could conduct and study directly or he could contract for this study. It is worth noting at this time that noncommercial educational TV has been chronically under finance under staffed and under program since to date 15 years ago when the FCC reserved to one hundred forty two channels for that purpose. A number which has grown to six hundred and thirty two reserved channels as of today when the legislation leading to the enactment of the educational
television facility Act was first introduced more than 10 years ago. There were about 31 commercial operating TV stations on the air. Today there are 130 on the 30 600 construction and 25 more represented by requests for grants for assistance to construct the educational television facilities act of an act of 19 06 to have has proven its work. It was a simple and a modest beginning its expansion and expansion are necessary. The six hundred and thirty two reserved channels must be activated and 11:16 is designed to assist in that endeavor. However the proposal to establish a public corporation to achieve this goal is both daring and imaginative. If this legislation is an act I predict in time it will lead not only to a remarkable
uplifting of non commercial television programming but will have a salutary impact on the programs of commercial broadcast. I believe that noncommercial educational program programming is not only supplementary but that it can and will become competitive in an appealing way with come TV services. This competition will benefit both types of service in the arena of complete competition of ideas and formats. Some elements of commercial PBS format and showmanship may find their places in educational programs and concepts of public programming will be adaptable to commercial television and it's a dead endeavor to entertain in film and stimulate it's large numbers of people. This was a good time as any to put to rest an observation heard over and over to the effect that upon the enactment of this legislation and
the growth of noncommercial the commercial TV services the commercial broadcaster will be relieved of his responsibility to present Public Affairs and Public Service programme. It will not. And should not happen. Each broadcaster receives a value of the franchise from the FCC conditioned on the fact that he will operate in the public interest and when not ready to bring that to an end. This includes public affairs and public service programs as well as entertainment. He cannot exclaim that responsibility. The car of the year most of federal funds by the public corporation created by the act we are considering today. It is natural to want to raise a question about government or the parents of the program. There per the words of President Johnson in his recent message are most reassuring and I worth repeating he said. Non-commercial television and radio in
America even those supported by federal funds must be absolutely free from any federal government interference over program and the pope and I heartily endorse that position and I was at all. I know that all of my colleagues on the committee do as well. Now Dr. James Killian who headed the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television came to the same conclusion when referring to the findings and recommendations of his group when he said that commission categorically opposed that the Corporation for Public Television must be private and non governmental that it must be insulated to the greatest possible degree from the threat of political control. I intend to see that a full record is developed on this point and every possible safeguards written into the legislation necessary to assure complete freedom from any federal government in the parents of the program. After recommending 9 billions
for fiscal 68 as initial funding for the public corporation the president stated next year after careful review I will make further proposals for the corporation's long term financing and the pope. Needless to say that this committee will await Bill's future financing proposal. However I am hopeful and will attempt during these hearings to hear the pros and the cons of any specific financing plan. You will require that last August this subcommittee held preliminary hearings on the pork foundation proposal that call for the creation of a nonprofit corporation to operate all domestic communications satellite systems for the express purpose of serving the radio and TV needs of educational TV and commercial broadcast. The Ford Foundation plan was only one of a number that had been filed with the Federal Communications Commission. During that hearing a number of questions were raised back to whether the creation of
such a nonprofit operates organization will be an encroachment upon our concept of free enterprise as envisioned in the Communications Act of 1990 30 Pero. What impact will this have on our common carrier structure in this proposal. The most effective device available to bring about the development of educational television. That was Senator John O'Brien a story Democrat of Rhode Island as he addressed witnesses who were to appear before his Senate subcommittee investigating the public television Act of 1967. He asked many questions and the lead off witness the man who perhaps best explained the White House view on the situation was the secretary of Health Education and Welfare. The Honorable John Gardner. I have been here today in support of a bill. Which has a very special and historic meaning for you. This committee includes more than half of the members of the Committee of the 87 Congress whose vision conceived and sponsored the first
Educational Television Act of 1962. Thirty two million dollars made available by that legislation has activated 93 noncommercial television stations in 47 states the District of Columbia and quite a record. It is more than double the number of TV stations existing in 1962 and some 50 million more Americans have come into the orbit of educational television stations as a result of that act. Title 1 of s 11 60 builds on the achievements of the past five years that requests 10 million five hundred thousand dollars for fiscal 68 and extends the program through 1962. A new feature of authorization of grants to educational radio stations. The limit in the present act of one million dollars for any one state is replaced by a state limit of 12 and a half percent of appropriated grants in a given fiscal year that are grants not in excess of 75 percent of
costs are authorized. Before describing the provisions of s 11 60 it might be useful to define what is commonly and loosely known as educational television. A certain amount of commercial television is of course education. The documentaries news programmes dramas and symphonies seen on commercial television have informed and educated millions of viewers. And nothing in this X provisions should encourage commercial broadcasters to reduce those activities. They cannot nor do I believe they will seek to diminish their responsibility for programs of enlightenment to the contrary the pro proposed act might well lead to an enlargement of commercial television its commitment to instruct and enlighten. I hold with Mr Pepper on that point. The phrase Educational Television is as it is generally used covers all of noncommercial television but noncommercial television has two quite distinct parts each with its own clear cut audience and goals. One of the segments of noncommercial
television directs its broadcast to the home the other to the classroom. The Carnegie Commission has recently given the name of public television to noncommercial television broadcast for the general public in the home. Its broad purpose is to expose its audiences to the best in our cultural tradition and acquaint them with the significance of contemporary conditions that shape society. The other form of noncommercial television broadcast cheaply to classrooms is designed for formal teaching and is generally referred to as instructional television or ITV. It's most frequent hyper cation has been in elementary and secondary school systems. Public Television and instructional television are as different from each other as they are from commercial television and these differences need to be acknowledged if you just of achieve its values from the minimum goal the public television has to make a usable signal available to all of our citizens. This is fast being attained chiefly through the actions your
committee has taken. But as President Johnson has said we have only begun to grasp the great promises of this medium despite enormous advances in technology. The only one change this ingredient that makes for excellence in all media is talented people. Each medium. There are books either motion pictures or broadcasting achieve greatness to that group to the degree that it engages the interest of gifted people. But such people will not turn to public television as a medium. If they can't be assured of the production support needed to turn an idea into a visually exciting programme. Each technological advances raise the cost of the presentation of ideas. Just as the motion picture is marked costly then the book Television is Mark Spencer than radio. Apart from operating costs the expenses of programme production are heavy but these costs must be met if public television is to achieve its full potential. There are well-intentioned
people who believe that noncommercial television need not produce programmes of the same level of professional competence and visual impact as commercial television. They believe that the intrinsic merit of the subject matter will outweigh any amateurism in production. But a whole generation of viewers has grown accustomed to professionalism in presentation to hold audiences public television must approach the pre-production standards established by commercial television. The time has come to make available to public television the manpower and funds to do that job. The time has come to give economic support to those creative people who are willing to explore the potentials of this medium. The time has come to match technological sophistication with programme excellence. But do we want excellence. It's fashionable in some circles to maintain that a democracy is sterile ground in which equality cannot flourish. That the people's preferences are invariably for the unfair and the commonplace. I
refuse to believe it. Last year the 5000 museums in this country were hosts to 300 million visitors. Four times as many people visited New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art as went to the Louvre in Paris. Today there are more than one thousand four hundred symphony orchestras in this country. More than half the total in the entire world. This compares with less than 100 symphony orchestras in one thousand twenty one radio signal the mass communications boom. Increasingly the American people are participating in their art. There are for example an estimated 40000 theatrical groups in our country today. Almost 14 million youngsters play musical instruments. Not all of them make guitars or bongo drums. There is an appetite for the fine arts confined to the large urban centers in Cherokee Iowa a town of 8000 there is a $250000 community center where the Museum of Fine Arts and well attended classes in painting
and sculpture. This suggests that there are many people interested in programs of a kind that are not being offered on commercial television and that are programs are made available able stimulate an even greater interest radio in the 1930s with its live broadcast of The New York Philharmonic and the Toscanini conducted NBC concerts was a powerful stimulant for the interest in classical music recordings sales of classical records are growing at a faster rate than the phenomenal rise of all record sales are some 20 times larger today than in 1930. Great music became popular as it grew familiar. President Johnson has recommended the establishment and funding of a nonprofit corporation for public television. Its mandate is to encourage and facilitate the expansion and development of noncommercial broadcasting and of programming diversity. To achieve these objectives in cooperation with assessed by Grant or contract in developing
programmes for national regional or local transmission over noncommercial stations. A corporation is also charged with facilitating interconnection among stations. This interconnection would make possible simultaneous transmission of an event requiring it or could be used to store programmes for broadcast at the stations convenience. The corporation would have funds to help local stations create innovative programs that could establish a library of broadcast material. He shot it would serve the public interest by taking any and all appropriate steps to make a genuine slice of programs widely available. This proposal maintains the independence of local stations which would continue to determine for themselves what they should or should not broadcast to ensure this autonomy the corporation is prohibited from owning owning any station or network any interconnection system or programme production facility. The corporation would not and should not in my
opinion be an operating organization that would provide support to operations carried out by others. The cooperation would be managed by a board of directors appointed by the president with the approval of the Senate. Integrity of the body is of course central to the success of the venture. It would consist of talented and eminent people from appropriate CEOs and from across the nation. They will after the first year appoint their own chairman. The officers and employees of the corporation will be sort of selected by the board. The bell has a strong conflict of interest provisions governing the officers of the corporation and forbids political activity or any political test and personal actions. A corporation would be required to submit an annual report to the president or transmitted to Congress and authorization of nine million dollars as requested for fiscal year 1968 with such sums as may be necessary for the ensuing year. Support for President Johnson's Johnson's
proposals are crucial to the proud realization of this country's educational ambitions through its sponsorship of the first educational television facilities act. This committee has brought noncommercial television to the threshold of maturity. Now we must move from facilities construction to program development in terms of our commitment to education investment required in this field the term potential into reality. A small but critical. And I'd like to turn briefly to Title 3 of the proposed legislation the request for a research study of the role and capabilities of instructional television in its simplest terms this is an effort to perform for classroom television the same searching inquiry performed by the Carnegie Corp. Carnegie Commission for public television. It's an attempt to appraise the possibilities and limitations of instructional television including technology programme content costs conditions of classroom use and so on. Additionally the study will examine the potentialities of other forms of
audio visual instruction of other learning media which are so comparable to television that they can be that they cannot be dealt with separately for example classroom films. The findings of the study will be transmitted to the Congress by the president and uprightness the basis for such legislation. They may be needed. Additionally I'm persuaded it will serve our school systems admirably by giving them a comprehensive description of the educational capacity of television and other technology. The proposals of the proposals of this bill are wholly consistent with the position this committee took when it sponsored the first educational television facilities Act of 1962. Hindsight which always possesses twenty twenty vision reveals the clarity of your perception then the data circumstances for approval of this bill are no less time without your approval of this proposal the facilities you have made possible by your initial action will be in complete monuments to a
great hope. I urge your favorable consideration of a bell I believe it may well prove to be one of the most significant steps taken by the Congress this year. Thank you very much Mr. Chairman we'll be happy to answer questions. If. You just heard the testimony of psychiatry of Health Education and Welfare or not are struggling I ask you honestly our story at this moment with school admission because right strict. Construction of an educational television station has been a long sought objective for the people of my own peril. This paper bags the committee on Educational Television was established over 10 years ago to study the needs of the areas related to each TV a recent grant under the first PTV better public law 87 forty seven is a name going in Rhode Island to begin construction of the first educational television station Channel 36 in Providence. When the station goes on the air it
will provide classroom instruction at eye level with adult education for elastic credit in service training for teachers in cultural and public service programming to enrich the lives of more than 3 million. For thirty eight thousand nine hundred ten people including five hundred and seventy five thousand nine hundred fifty five students in one thousand six hundred fifty three institutions of learning the bird on which you testified this morning is infinitely broader in scope than the original legislation. If a problem arises the roads the committal communication media can play in the educational future for your lives and for far sighted enough to move forward positively and immediately to take full advantage of this great potential. Now this bill that we are considering today Mr. Secretary has developed in three titles. The first title has to do with the extension and expansion of the so called educational television broadcasting facilities act.
Now as you pointed out the fact that only because of this legislation have we been able to develop a certain number of television stations on the air that is educational television stations. Are you prepared to tell us. Either yourself or through your assistance that if there is a grant or this appropriation of 10 and a half million dollars is need and title run that will be the maximum amount of educational television stations that we can in there. Calling once already begun and I was already in the ring cost and he would have been here and. We've made complete projects and that's when we can acquire both. What I can already stated in testimony I would hope would go into the record at your convenience. Thank you
Senator. There still is a significant backlog of need in the facility structure for when you speak a little louder so that everyone in the line there still is a senator a sort of significant backlog of needy in the facilities construction program. The first year request a 10 and a half million represents a very small expansion over the existing level of funding activity under the 1962 act to establish the national EDV coverage with signals available of good quality to all people. Will require about 400 stations totally in the system. About two hundred twenty one stations are presently in being or under construction or in the planning stages. So the real need an additional hundred fifty to one hundred seventy five meter. The capital investment cost to complete a national TV
system. Will be about two hundred and thirty million dollars. For. This medium of television as any broadcaster will tell you uses materials at an incredibly rapid rate. You can't satisfy the hunger for new innovative imaginative affective programmes under any system that I can contemplate now you. You do the best you can with what you have. It just uses material as fast as it can be produced. Now you have a set that we have what was it two hundred twenty one station and either in existence or in the construction is that correct. Now will answer my previous question if we appropriate the 10 and a half million dollars. How many spaces do we envision over and above that two hundred twenty one. Using the news has been neighborhood of a hundred or a million for a new station
construction this would get you going with another 20 20. You have just heard a condensation of the testimony from Health Education and Welfare Secretary John Gardner recently appearing before the US Senate Commerce Subcommittee on communications as it launched investigations on the proposed public television act. This national educational radio special will continue next week with a condensation of testimony from representatives of the Carnegie Commission on educational television and the Ford Foundation. This is NPR public affairs director Bill Greenwood inviting you to listen at that time. This program was produced by the national educational radio network through the facilities of W am you FM American University Radio in Washington DC. This is the national educational radio network.
- NER Washington forum
- Producing Organization
- WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
- 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 six, explores the Senate Hearings on Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. Highlighted testimony before the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, chaired by Senator John Pastore.
- Series Description
- Discussion series featuring a prominent figure affecting federal government policy.
- Public Affairs
- Media type
Host: Greenwood, Bill
Producing Organization: WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters, WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Speaker: Pastore, John O. (John Orlando), 1907-2000
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-24-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- MLA: “NER Washington forum; Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, part one.” 1967-04-16. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 29, 2024. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-cc0tvj41>.
- APA: NER Washington forum; Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, 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-cc0tvj41