House hearings on public broadcasting; Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, part two
From national educational radio in Washington D.C. This is a special report on the final week of House committee hearings dealing with the proposed Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. That special report was produced by and for national educational radio through the facilities of W am you f l American University Radio in Washington D.C. Hi I'm Bill Green. The first day of the second and final week of hearings on the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 was highlighted by continued congressional fear that a live national noncommercial broadcasting system might be manipulated for partisan political or other propaganda purposes. As witnesses appeared before the Commerce Committee they were repeatedly subjected to questioning about this possibility particularly of this was true and the
witnesses were representing the eastern Educational Network and the Alabama Educational Television Commission because of the highly controversy all nature of Alabama's state leaders the state's educational TV commission manager Raymond Hurlburt was grilled at length about the freedom which is group of stations enjoyed despite the zealous attitudes towards some issues particularly civil rights on the part of the governor of Alabama. The broadcasters sad that his stations his educational stations have never in 15 years of operation been subjected to government pressure. The House committee were vocally impressed with the Alabama story and they suggested the consideration of following that state system more or less when it comes time to consider the final form they wish for the United and only oriented Corporation for Public Broadcasting's representing the eastern Educational Network. We're network president John Deere Meyer and Mr. Donald
quite old. They voiced support for immediate interconnection of stations said the fears of government control over programming were being grossly exaggerated and said they have no such reservations. The witnesses did differ from apparent general congressional sentiment when they suggested the proposed public broadcasting corporation operate itself a national production center rather than only issuing grants for programming. The idea grew quickly opposition from some congressman. Technical Information on interconnection capabilities came during the hearings from General James McCormick president of the Comsat corporation that's the communications satellite corporation and also from representatives of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company representing the National Council of Churches. This past week was Mr. William F. Ford. He noted that his group would favor a change in the title of the House bill to follow that change approved by the US
Senate recently. That is to change the now public television act to the Public Broadcasting Act. He said the National Council of Churches would favor specifically requiring educational stations to provide programs dealing with cultural economic political and religious matters. Some of the more serious controversies were used during these hearings and coming from one representative in particular U.S. representative Trabant McDonald a Democrat of the state of Massachusetts. We talked with them about some of these controversies. Congressman Torp McDonnell of Massachusetts you raised several questions during the hearing one particularly dealing with the sematic term public would you explain that. Well yes the point that I was trying to make was that I thought that whatever they to name it. No. Network TV
and General Sanchez my man and I thought that crap. Thanks. And people are already in private commercial and we now have a public duty to the public and do it in favor sometime like educational or noncommercial. I would think that would be what I have. Directly that was US Rep. Norman MacDonald of Massachusetts. Other controversies centered on the possibility of elation of programming that is slanting of programming by officials in the government. Since the first year of operation of the
corporation would be financed directly by the government. That was the subject of remarks by Fred Friendly former president of CBS News and now a consultant for the Ford Foundation. He is also incidentally a professor of journalism at New York respected Columbia University questioned about government programming possibilities. Mr. Friendly had this to say. Well the FCC and our allies. I think you have to be careful. I think it is possible. I think you have to separate the quene reporting analysis and editorializing. I don't think that's the thing. I think for the other side of.
The intersection of the FCC and courage. I think it is a matter of a license a letter that was Fred Friendly former president of CBS new and expert on the subject of educational radio generally overlooked we might add during a major part of the House committee session. Your old sampler executive director of national educational radio has an impressive group of witnesses appeared before the committee during the final days of the second week on behalf of radio Mr. Sandler took the stand for the group national educational radio later interviewed an executive director for Samara there's been considerable comment during these hearings concerning Mansingh and I don't think there is any magic answer.
What you're saying and this requires more study than has now been given a lot of reasons for setting up a second commercial real in this country everything kind of level for other words educational television stations coming back I think. I supported operation interconnection terms so on so that in effect we are starting to build up a major international for Gordon. Do you feel better connection is correct you know we've heard repeatedly the importance to elevate. I think it's very important where interesting reasons one very important one is that radio is still in many ways
and far reaching as you know and the cost of what can be thought of just wandering around with a tape recorder back wonder your old saddler executive director of national educational radio others in the group to appear on behalf of radio included Boston University vice president Russell job or University of Washington educational broadcaster Bill should know with who will talk in a moment and University of Wisconsin Extension division Chancellor Donald back Neil. The witnesses generally outline the many uses that radio was called upon in the field of noncommercial broadcasting. These were the instructional cultural public affairs and social brought the witnesses outlined in detail the many functions never before mentioned during the hearing. It was highly unfortunate that only a small handful of committee members stayed at the hearings late one afternoon last
week because at that time Bill should now brought out a very significant point concerning editorializing by radio station national educational radio talk with Mr Chanelle a former chairman of the Capitol Correspondents Association and former Washington correspondent for CBS and ABC News. You know you've covered years and public affairs now on every commercial basis for the networks and on an educational basis. It's been a great deal of talk over editorializing and slanted programming right noncommercial stations. Do you feel this is a real fear. I think you find it a matter of many members. Same thing I mean to you and to me at the educational station. We're
taking editorial position here from the commentators. That's to be expected and I think that is very refreshing and very much needed point of view point. That was Bill Chanel representing the University of Washington a former commercial network representing the whole spectrum of national educational radio and television was then chairman of the board of the National Association of educational broadcasters one of the serious controversies being questioned by the House Commerce Committee is the feasibility of appointing the board of director members of the Public Broadcasting Corporation on a bipartisan basis. We asked Mr. Burroughs what he thought of a bipartisan board and I mentioned partisanship of course raise the question as to whether they should be selected Democrats or Republicans I would hate to see that
happen. I feel it would be like for the boy right on the basis of their expertise and your educational right thing. That worked to help Booker educational write casting doubt upon any political affiliation. That was Ed Burroughs chairman of the board of the National Association of educational broadcasters flying to other areas of concern witnesses during the second week rejected generally fears of political manipulation by a disfavored editorial as a show and as you heard moments ago there was mixed reaction to the possibility of appointing directors on a bipartisan basis. Mr. Burroughs if you heard this favored that he wanted a nonpartisan board others favor bipartisan. There was agreement in principle that some type of annual public reporting be made by and on the activities of the
proposed Public Broadcasting Corporation. Some disagreement continued however as to the form such a report should say on the question of control over the broadcast of programs. There seems no disagreement over the demand that individual local stations have the final decision as to the broadcast of nationally produced shows members of the committee you know how the RDA staff could be evaluating what they have heard. They will argue opposing sides to the many controversies right. And finally we'll report their recommended form of the bill. The full House of Representatives at that time and only then does the real question of is this going to happen occur. Members of the House will debate the bill and will vote on it and the representatives who have appeared on the Commerce Committee seem generally in agreement that the bill will pass Congress but they refused to speculate as to what form it will be when the Congress
finally passes it. If the legislation passed by the House is not exactly identical to the bill already passed by the Senate the next course of action within B to refer both versions to a conference committee composed of Representatives of the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Commerce Committee. They would then review the differences in the two versions of the bill and a redraw bill which is favorable to both houses. That is the Senate and the house but then would be the final action after which the bill would be sent to the White House and enacted into law. How long that will take is a question no one can answer. This has been a special some Asian report on the final week of hearings by the House Commerce Committee dealing with the proposed Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. This special report was produced through the facilities of W am you at American University Radio in Washington
- 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 presents the second part of a report on the House Commerce Committee hearings on the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.
- A report on the House Commerce Committee hearings on the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.
- Media type
Host: Greenwood, Bill
Interviewee: Macdonald, Torbert H. (Torbert Hart), 1917-1976
Interviewee: Sandler, Jerrold
Interviewee: Shadel, Bill
Interviewee: Burroughs, L.C.
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-Sp.12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “House hearings on public broadcasting; Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, part two,” 1967-07-21, 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-cr5ndp5f.
- MLA: “House hearings on public broadcasting; Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, part two.” 1967-07-21. 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-cr5ndp5f>.
- APA: House hearings on public broadcasting; Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, 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-cr5ndp5f