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Far cry from this business day after day night after night you know you have bad grammar bad rap. That's a far cry from that. And I'm simply hiring. Not through your time requiring Senate hearings on public broadcasting. Right. This is a special report produced by the national educational radio network through the facilities of WMU FM American University Radio in Washington D.C. I'm in our public affairs director Bill Greenway the United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on communications is now considering legislation to provide federal financial aid for Educational Television and Radio in a four day series of hearings on the subject was held in Washington D.C. earlier this month. The second four day series is now under way in the public interest. National Educational radio presents a five part
series of one hour special reports dealing with the major aspects of these Senate hearings. Part 1 today's program will deal with government witnesses and will present a condensation of the major testimony presented by these witnesses. Part Number two will feature members of the Carnegie Commission on educational television show. Number three will feature representatives of the Ford Foundation which has proposed an ambitious program utilizing satellite communications for educational radio and TV program. Number four will feature witnesses speaking on behalf of educational television and the fifth and final program in this special series will feature witnesses speaking primarily on behalf of educational radio. Members of the Senate Commerce Committee which heard the testimony during these sessions include Democratic chairman Senator John topass story of Rhode Island Democrats Mike Baroni of
Oklahoma Vance Hartke of Indiana. Up a heart of Michigan Russell Long of Louisiana and Democratic member Frank Moss of Utah Republicans serving on the communications subcommittee our senators Hughes Scott of Pennsylvania James B. Pearson of Kansas and Robert Griffin of Michigan. These senators heard testimony from a great deal of government affiliated witnesses during their first session including United States representative Claude Peppard Democrat of Florida author of a similar bill now in the House of Representatives. Also testimony was heard from the secretary of Health Education and Welfare. The Honorable John W. Gardner the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission appeared EIAS Russell H. HYDE The governor of the Virgin Islands the honorable Ronald 5:01 Schaik and the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Roger Ailes Stephens the testimony of these five witnesses will be featured on this first part of
this five program series as the hearings first got underway. Chairman Johno past story outlined the details of Senate bill 11:16. Here are those remarks on February. Hundred and sixty seven. The president of the United States recommended that Congress connect the public television act of 19:00 consent which would run increased federal funds for television and radio facility construction. Ten and a half million in 1968. More than three times you've appropriated. To the Corporation for Public Television authorized to provide support to non-commercial television and radio and provide 9 million in fiscal 68 as an initial funding for the corporation. That's taking a substantial and significant step forward in an effort to develop the full
potential of non commercial broadcast and 11:16 of public television active 19:00 and that is the specific legislation that is the subject of today's hearing and contains no recommendation. That will amend the Communications Act of nineteen hundred thirty four in several ways. One of the legislation will expand and improve provision of grants to construct educational television broadcasting facilities. Second the legislation will add a new category for funding non commercial radio broadcasting facilities that are run also authorizes an appropriation to tell them a half million dollars for fiscal 68 and such sums as may be necessary for the next four years to extend the existing grant program for construction of the facilities and to provide funds for non commercial radio broadcasting facilities
that a mentor or the chairman of the Shapley must clear that proposals with state educational television or radio agencies. If an agency exists in the African state the federal share of grants shall not exceed 75 percent. Title to. Authorize the establishment of a non-profit corporation to help develop public radio and television broadcasting. This non-profit 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 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 or before December 30th each year of its activities. Title 3 of the legislation would authorize 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 undefine and understaffed and under programs since today 15 years ago when the FCC reserved 242 channels for that purpose. A number which has grown to 632 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 thirty one non commercial operating TV stations on the air today today there are 130 on the air six are under construction and 25 more are represented by request for grants for assistance to construct the educational television facilities acts of Act of 1996 to have has proven its worth. It was a simple and a modest beginning its expansion and extension are necessary. The 632 reserve channels must be activated and Efes 11:16 is designed to assist in that endeavor. However the time has now come to move dramatically in the direction of not only more educational television facilities but higher quality educational TV program and services. The proposal to establish a public corporation to achieve this goal is both daring
and imaginative. If this legislation is enacted 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 programmes of commercial broadcasters. I believe that noncommercial educational program programming is not only supplementary but that it can and will become competitive in an appealing way with mucho TV services. This competition will benefit both types of service in the arena of competition of ideas and formats. Some elements of commercial TVs format and showmanship may find their places in educational programs and concepts of public programming will be adaptable to commercial television in its endeavor to entertain inform and stimulate its large numbers of view. This is
a good time as any to put to rest and observation heard over and over to the effect that upon the print of this legislation and the growth of non-commercial the commercial TV services the commercial broadcaster will feel relieved of his responsibility to present public affairs and public service programs. It will not. And should not happen. Each broadcaster receives a valuable franchise from the FCC. Conditioned on the fact that he will operate in the public interest and we're not ready to bring that to an end. This includes public affairs and public service programs as well as entertainment. He cannot escape that responsibility because of the use of federal funds by the public corporation created by the act we are considering today. It is natural for one to raise a question about government interference over a program.
Therefore the words of President Johnson in his recent message are most reassuring and are worth repeating. He said that 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 know that all of my colleagues on that committee do as well. That was the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on communications chairman John story. He was outlining the various aspects of the bill which they are considering. The first witness to appear before the committee was U.S. representative Claude Pepper of Florida a Democrat a former senator and author of a similar bill on the House side of Congress. Congressman papper as a former teacher and one who has always been vitally interested in education I've long recognized that all of us have the growing
contributions of communications to the field of learning. The jet speed of our technological revolution especially in the area of communications has arrived faster than our reflexions can handle many of our nation's schoolchildren are living in the electronic environment only to enter a classroom which might be operating on the part of the path. The conflict between the dynamic world of technological advances and the somber world of traditional approaches to learn and get upset for both the student and the school. What is needed is an immediate desire on the part of educators to yield to change and focus their reflections on the exciting media of the future particularly educational television and radio. The medium of television is so new and yet has already been criticized for not living up to its potential. Quite recently an entirely new jargon has appeared in the world of television. Public Television has contracted with educational television so that the public will not regard the media as
being too highbrow instructional television as distinct from educational television to think about the advantages of television for classroom abuse. Satellite television and its immediate application for tonight communication and quality television to distinguish it from the mass programming which focuses on the size of its own. But the greatest plead for excellence in educational television came from President Johnson himself and his message to the of Congress when he said quote We should insist that the public address be published to the public that way and for him to do the things that happens that nineteen hundred and many of them have resulted in our new technology. Today television and radio enter a child's life at such an early stage that he is often paraded in front of a TV set or hearing his or playing radio when he is still in diapers. Children listen to radio and watch television but the majority of the programmes offered to them are merely a device to keep them
quiet rather than stimulate their curiosity and later when introducing this bill I propose that the Corporation for Public Television as recommended by the president be established to provide support and on commercial television and help local stations improve application. I strongly endorse the product recommendations and I'm proud to say that I was one of the first and I believe the only house member so far to do the subject of educational television is not new to me and tried to do two deals to find it educational television prior to the president's recommendation. I sincerely hope that an educational television will be passed in this session of Congress and I intend to press for hearings on this subject. On the other side of the Capitol I commend this committee for taking the initiative in conducting these able here in the terminal all the way radio has been omitted from the title of the bill and by the way I'm sure that I'll be able to get it that and it dagger's will shortly follow your leadership here and will have hearings on this vital
terminal of the word radio has been omitted from the title of the bill the media my radio was not forgotten in the language of debate. It had been demonstrated that educational radio can make an important contribution in developing the potentiality of man because of its accessibility and portable nature. Radio can reach out to all Americans everywhere and can read from all the advances made in instant communication. Recently Jack do the television and radio critic of the New York Times wrote that an isolated case no radio at present is father headed capping the rewards of education about Catholic than any other American TV service. End quote. In stating my interest in educational radio I hope that I convey it not a downgrading of educational TV but an uplifting of educational radio to emphasize the importance that my own state of Florida plays that an educational radio and you distinguished was reflate aghast at our State University had made a very interesting statement on our television communication facilities
our public educational facilities to emphasize the importance of my own state of Florida places and educational radio that now have an operating education of radio stations in Florida. The Board of Regents is now considering a plan to establish educational radio station at each of its 26 junior college campuses and hopes to establish a library connected statewide educational radio network. The state has already asked the Federal Communications Commission to reserve non-commercial channels each of trying to fix it and that the system would obviously have a large variety of usage in school training at home training cultural enrichment and many other groups. That was the testimony of U.S. Representative Claude Peppard Democrat of Florida next to appear on the witness stand were representatives of the Department of Health Education and Welfare. They outlined their feelings in support of Senate bill 11:06 to the public television Act of 1967. We present Now what we
consider the significant questions and answers fired at these gentlemen. What are the questions from a member of the Senate subcommittee concerned itself with the proposed changes in the facilities Act of 1962 as opposed to the Act of 1967 1962 act revived a total of 32 million dollars over a five year period within that two million living position not more than one million dollars was available to any single thing. This provides for a first year authorization with him point five million such sums as may be necessary for the following four years be eliminated. Over a million dollar ceiling applied to the 32 million in the bank and substituting a 12 and 1 1/2 percent limitation. Given the pro-pollution year.
Secondly it revises the matching requirements under the existing existing at two separate matching requirements. One was up to 50 percent of the cost of the equipment. The second provided credit for investments previously need permitting stations which he had already purchased equipment before the boom into effect to take the credit and get up to 75 percent using any equipment that it will be. This eliminates the prep and credit division. This is now we think served its purpose. It raises the basic matching requirements from 50 percent to 75 percent. This was done because the shipping cost of the new station is only a part of the total cost experience in administering the program was that a 50 percent equipment
Grant often represented as little as 20 percent of the total cost. Moving 80 percent of the total US needs to be raised locally and give an example of that. For example work is starting from scratch and will build a new building. We do require land needed to furnish offices library typewriters and the other appurtenances of operating station found that those investments were not matchable investments that were matchable where the transmitter the Camors the tower. So though they got 50 percent of this equipment cost they had to pay the entire cost of the building. The land of the architectural services and so forth which meant the net. Cost of the entire enterprise was only being matched 20 to 25 percent by then. With a 75 percent equipment manager still for a brand new spruce the matching will probably not exceed 50 percent of the actual cost
of the entire enterprise. This will be we think an incentive to get stations on the air where they just weren't able to come up with as much as 80 percent of the whole cost. Another provision in the contract was a limitation of 15 percent of any of the available grant money to be used for interconnection purposes. Yes 11:16 eliminates this provision and leaves the question of allocation of resources for interconnection up to the demands of the applicant and the judgment of the administrating agency. The officials from the Department of Health Education and Welfare were then asked a question by Senator Norris Cotton a Republican of New Hampshire not a member of the subcommittee but a member of the full Senate Commerce Committee. Senator Cotton I find myself because of because
of Miss Cotton. I find myself listening. For quite a period of time in many television. I don't know whether you gentlemen have had time to listen to them but it is painfully sickening it's far below the standard of my rather mediocre mind many of the programs I get commercially the business of bad man and the captain nice the people that fly around them. And many of the entertainment I think is sickening. The slapstick stuff. Me and like F-Troop address these things may amuse Turbin to some extent. I think that the government can do something better than that and then I turn to I turned to the educational television. I find some very fine
material on it but I also find many rather obscure Qantas's and I find I find much time devoted to some music. Not that we were over my head. I Pyne's evidence however we have some very good. Very good plays very good dramatic performances historical. Like you I have used this before like the profiles in courage and other similar that are intensely interesting and I will be interesting to the public. Now it is educational television is going to perform the function not only of education. Not only of giving educational and uplifting and
developing programs but also to have the added function of lifting up. The type of commercial program that is coporation in your opinion doesn't it. It. Must. Have. Some function in in seeing to it that education television which partially at least will be supported by public funds. Functions in the way that I have in mind so that it does sugarcoat appears so to speak and and attract. The general run of people adults who haven't the advantage of all the background past school background. What would be a comment on that. Very point and a
considerable diversity of programs for diversity of race. And the one of the major objections to commercial television today is that it is something of a straight jacket. And traps necessarily so in the nature of the medium. In the case of publishing you can walk into a bookstore and have a choice of ten thousand bucks. But there are only three prime evening hours and so many channels and you're limited. Seems to me I have occasionally seen examples of well analyzed that have contributed by single program and it has indicated that they have made a contribution without the usual fanfare commercial. But in the very act of it the very very policy of sponsorships in emprise in the private in the in the private sector
television has contributed largely to popularising and to this business of seeking to the popular programs. You have that incentive in any sense in an educational television and because you don't have it because you don't have it educational television may be kept completely isolated from being obliged to having the movie but the incentive of being popular and that is good. Perhaps 90 percent good is 10 percent bad because I find myself seeing dramas in foreign language and the English translation coming on instantly underneath it in my eyes. Inseparability is not such that the I can follow this thing consistently
and that sort of thing. You may be able to do it but I think that the Adult Education adult entertainment and getting a taste for good entertainment is almost defeated and I see those. Night after night. All this leads to this point. Don't you think it would be more effective when we build these facilities and have these fine facilities. Wouldn't it be justifiable for the corporation. To have some policy of supervision and encouragement of different forms of of the entertainment that shall come over educational television. You think it has dangerous side actually as it works out the stations which perceive which would receive
this program money almost invariably have a constituency. They exist in the community. Some of them are parts of universities. They are subject to continuing appraisal of the quality of their programs so that they are not there not without a critical constituency now in some cities in some areas the dominance of commercial television is so great and the audience for educational television so slight that that constituency really isn't very effective. But as we increase the coverage of TV It seems to me perfectly clear that they're going to be a great many people who will express themselves as to the quality and the diversity and the acceptability of the programs and the only thing we did not want to insulate the stations or the programmers from public reaction or the healthy feedback of
criticism and comment we wanted to insulate them from the control of someone who had the money bags and we didn't want the corporation to be a controlling device that was if their income. Supporting but not affected in any degree by the acceptability and popularity of their of their product. Where is the incentive for them to hit the happy medium. I think they will be responsive to the community attitude toward their culture and we'll be back with more testimony from Secretary of Health Education and Welfare John W. Gardner. Following a 30 second pause for station identification This is the national educational radio network
Senate hearings on public broadcasting
Government witnesses, part one
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National Association of Educational Broadcasters
WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program, part one of two, features Senator John Pastore (D-Rhode Island); Hugh Scott (R-Pennsylvania); Robert Griffin (R-Michigan); Vance Hartke (D-Indiana); Philip Hart (D-Michigan); Russell Long (D-La.); and Frank Moss (D-Utah).
Series Description
Senate Hearings on Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, held during April 1967.
Public Affairs
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Host: Greenwood, Bill
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Speaker: Pastore, John
Speaker: Hart, Philip A. (Philip Aloysius), 1912-1976
Speaker: Scott, Hugh, 1900-1994
Speaker: Griffin, Robert P. (Robert Paul), 1923-2015
Speaker: Hartke, Vance, 1919-2003
Speaker: Long, Russell B.
Speaker: Moss, Frank E., 1911-2003
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-Sp.5-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:00
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Chicago: “Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Government witnesses, part one,” 1967-04-14, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
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APA: Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Government witnesses, 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