Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Carnegie Commission, part one
A radio band radio. Actually we do not radio commission we thank you. Well Senate hearings on public broadcasting. That was the voice of Dr. James R. kill again again chairman of the Carnegie Commission on educational television. And this is a special report produced by the national educational radio network through the facilities of W am you f it. American University Radio in Washington D.C. I'm an E.R. public affairs director Bill Greenwood. The United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on communications is now considering legislation to provide federal financial aid for Educational Television and Radio. A four day series of hearings was held in Washington D.C. earlier this month. A 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 major aspects of these hearings. Yesterday we presented the government witnesses who appeared before the Senate subcommittee. This program will feature members of the Carnegie Commission on educational television. Tomorrow representatives of the Ford Foundation will appear on this special program. Program number four will feature witnesses speaking on behalf of educational television and the fifth and final program will feature witnesses speaking for educational radio. Presenting the opinion and stand of the Carnegie Commission on educational television. Here is Dr. James R. Kilian Jr. all of the problem and more to the future of television in this country have now been. And the disappointment that their legislative consideration has begun.
And let me tell you at this point that we appear here to support. The bell that has been introduced 11 succeed. In doing so however we would like to tell you something of the work of the Commission on educational television. The commission was established in November 1965 as a private body. Sponsored and financed by the Canadian corporation of New York. When we began our Reich we had no preconceived ideas as to what kind of educational television service would best serve the American people. We started from scratch. We undertook our study not as advocates representing any special interest but our citizens invited to study educational television objectively. We deemed it our charge to look at the future of educational television in the context of what would best serve the public interest. I have a hero the body M that contains our report. And if I may I would like.
Mr. Chairman to make the first night in 9 pages of this report. A part of the record since it is in those pages that our principal recommendations and conclusions appear. There are two parts to our educational television one part instructional television that is directed at students in the classroom or otherwise in the general context of formal instruction for the second part of which a commission devoted its major attention that is directed at the general community. To differentiate this part of a part of educational television on the other. The Canadian commission coined the term public television. Public Television's purpose is to meet the diversified needs and desires of the American people in all rocks of life. Who seek a wider choice of television in the setting of the home. In the course of our study we were in direct touch with all 100 and 24 educational television stations. Then in
operation. And 92 stations were actually visited. The single thing aim and the detailed reports we receive that most impressed on was that of opportunity on real life. From station to station. The amount rises. So much that needs doing so little of the resources with which to operate. And yet so receptive the audience that is now reaches. The late learner does with an educational television. The men and women who have committed their careers to educational television. And whose rewards have never been commensurate with their efforts have lost none of their devotion. And have managed to maintain their enthusiasm. We have a role to structure the boulevard here. The audience for particular programs is usually small. Yet significantly the composition of the total educational television audience as. It is not limited to an intellectual or
a cultural elite. The members of the audience have anything income. It is that they are hungry or. Looking to educational television for something they do not find in their everyday lives. For many. It is also something that they cannot afford unless it comes to them brief on educational television. As we pursued our study all that came before us all the people who appeared to testified led us to the conviction that the American people have a great instrument within their grasp which they can turn to great purposes. Through the diversified uses of educational television. Americans as we view it can come to know themselves their communities and their world in richer ways. They can gain a fuller awareness of the wonder and the variety of the arts the sciences scholarship craftsmanship. And of the many road along which is a product of man's mind and man's hands
can be and can. Properly finance been organized to be good in list creative town. That has not found its way to television. There are performers of high professional skill who do not seek I would not necessarily meet takers of a mass audience. But who could bring enjoyment and entertainment of ours and the people. There as a whole living meaningful wall of civic affairs at the local level. The city is have long since become a hundred too large for town meetings. But part of what the town meeting accomplished is certainly within the reach of educational television. This is all the more important than an era when cities are confronted with an unending series of new problems as I hold the need to emphasize that the man the involvement of an informed public. There is also the urgent need to provide television service that would be responsive to the authentic needs and desires of our young people.
One of the distinguished artisans we consulted made the observation that American parents today are in trouble. And he inferred. That one of the great opportunities for public television. Will be to provide programs that would be authentically important and exciting and meaningful to the children and to the youth of our nation. In the opinion of the commission what confronts our society is the obligation to bring television into full service. So all of its power to move image and sound is consistently coupled with the power to move mind and spirit. Television will be able to enable us not only to see and hear more vividly but to understand more deeply. As we concluded our study we formulated a dozen recommendations which are listed in abbreviated form on the chart which we have put up here and I will use OP as background for the discussion as I perceive. These
recommendations provide the building blocks for the public television system proposed by the commission. The system we want emphasizes not the educational television system we now have. It is not patterned after our commercial system. Are the British system. It is not a BBC. It is not patterned after the Japanese system or any other existing system. We have attempted to design something that corresponds to our American traditions and American goal. That can co-exist amicably with commercial television. We feel a lot to be of vital importance. And that together with commercial television can meet the highest needs of our society. As you can see by the commission the new system has these characteristics. It has to be constructed on the farm foundation of a strong and energetic system of local stations. The heart of the system is to be in the community. Initiative will lie there. The overwhelming proportion of programmes will be
produced in the station. And scheduling will be determined by the local station and staff. Local skills and crafts will be utilised on local talent. Town. Public Television is to provided with such abundant programming as to offer for each local station both diversity and choice. Enough of this programming will come from major national productions on Earth from stations in the great metropolitan areas to assure that local of them within the system will not become parochialism. Like a good metropolitan newspaper or a local station and the system will reflect the entire nation and the world. Firemen painting a firm grasp upon the nature and the needs of the local people. It's our. Local stations must be the bedrock upon which public television the director. Of the commission saw an overwhelming need for a national institution. Which could provide high quality programming and leadership and strength of public television as a whole.
While leaving to the local station autonomy with respect to its own operation. Without recommended that the Congress establish a nonprofit non-governmental corporation to be known as a corporation for public television. Which would be authorized to receive federal funds. But it should be insulated to the maximum degree from the budgetary and annual appropriation procedures. It should provide grants and enter into contracts for programs but you're not itself an gaijin program production. It should serve the stations but not control the stations. And above all the corporation should be led by men and women of varied background and of acumen and achievement and a sense of public responsibility. The commission considered the creation of the corporation fundamental to its performance. And what I've been most reluctant to recommend the other parts of its plan. Unless the corporate entity brought into being. In a manner that I will explain later. The corporation should receive federal funds.
We recommended also Howard this that at the start the coporation should have been and. From private. Sources. Trying to at least 25 million dollars. And we contemplated that it should solicit and receive year in and year out additional funds from foundations individuals and corporations. We attach great importance to the flow of private funds into this corporation rather prospects of that. From your experience I believe that the prospects are excellent that this would command support from a wide variety of sources of private funds. And I think we have already seen some indications of that and there have been hints of other moves to provide. Contributions toward the endowment of this corporate entity. So I'm bright optimistic about the possibility of a private fund. They have the ability of such funds would help the corporation maintain its private status.
Although it would require we must find out large federal funds to support an effective system of public television in the am. I'm not talking about the first year. Of the cost of the system such as the capital and basic operating cost of the local stations would support the substructures from both public and instructional television may ultimately bring the total annual cost to approximately 270 million dollars a year. These product cost and the amount of one hundred seventy million dollars should be met by state and local governments by the federal government acting through the Department of Health Education and well. And by foundations and other private sources. The public television system we envisage would bring in to being a stimulus to art and technology from which the rewards are incalculable. Throughout the United States television stations would operate with funds commensurate with their needs and would be receptive to the writer the producer the director the performer the artist who believes he has something to contribute to the
culture all the entertainment and we would stress the quality of excitement that could be brought into this medium. There would be room for the young man and woman in a developing stage for the experiment of the descent of the visionary. The Innovator would be able to pry his art with being without being subject to the tyranny of the right. Support services for which until now there has been no place would be organized and provided. And a connection would be for the first time available to enable public television to bring to all the people of the United States those events of great national importance or interest which now will go on reporting it until they have. Plans. I would also be the less obvious services the training programs the provision of archives the development of new technology which until now have not existed at all or have been supported only by they promised immediate commercial advance. It would be and some.
From our view an enterprise. From which all Americans could take part. The proposal of the commission it should be stressed agree is an important respect for all the proposals which have been made recently. Asked For example the proposal of the Ford Foundation. They can make a commission and a Ford Foundation. To quote a statement the foundation itself made recently are united in their view that educational television on limited potential to deepen the around is an understanding of the American people. And to raise the quality of American life. That their prime source of the required funds must be the federal government. That new institutions must be created to direct and manage this developing resource including a nonprofit corporation to receive and disburse upon. And that such institutions must be independent of the normal processes of repeated review authorisation appropriation and other aspects of control by the Executive or the Congress. The
Ford Foundation proposal however as we understand that goes beyond the domain started but they can make a commission and raises broader issues of national policy and starting a national satellite communication organization and operation. We did not study this particular restaurant nor have we any recommendations to make with respect to the organization of our domestic satellite system. We did feel. That we would hope that this issue. Can not necessarily get in the way of making decisions with respect to public television. That the issue does not have to be resolved before a program to strengthen on commercial television is under attack. Moreover it is uncertain whether the board proposal would ever provide enough funds for the cooperation. We concluded that the most urgent problem before us was to begin to build without delay. A strong system of public
television. Whatever decisions might ultimately be made about domestic satellite communication. Public Television can progress with any one of the proposed life systems. In addition to the above variations in the two proposals they can I get commission advocated the use of inner connection facilities primarily to distribute programmes to the station whereas the board proposal places stress on live networking. We of course anticipated that. However communications satellite technology is managed in the end. That it will provide cheaper and more copious on a connection for public television. In fact we recommended free satellite and a connection for public television. The commission devoted its major attention to public television it believes strongly on the importance of seeking to achieve the full potential of instructional television. We felt certain that by strengthening local stations and by building a strong system of public television. We would be
laying the foundation for improved instructional television. The educators would present us for the first time. Powerful instruments and strong well supported well equipped stations from which to launch new and greater upwards in formal and informal education. Stations down the menu at new levels with the increases a program conduction can turn their new skills to the service of instruction. University is in concert with the large stations and with the National productions owners would be able to embark upon the profound study. Which in our judgment is required before television can be fully comprehended as a tool of education. And would be able to proceed to the creation of pilot programs which absorb the best uses of television into the poor variety of educational too. If anyone has doubts about the potential of instructional television. Or public television for that matter let him look at what Japan has a conference. By all
measure much of Japan has the outstanding educational television system in the world today. And they are pumping out observers who believe that the system has had an important role in the impressive progress and particularly in the educational achievements of Japan. In recent years. Let me now turn to certain of the specific provisions of the last 11 16 and comment on several of the major policy aspects of the proposed legislation. The connector commission made three basic determinations as to the financing of the cooperation. That it would require substantial annual songs sums of that work to support public programming and to this charge its other responsibilities. That sums up the required magnitude could be supplied only in part from private and state and local governmental sources. And therefore federal forms must be provided. And finally that the federal funds must flow to the corporation in such a manner as to
insulate the programming activities of the corporation from the government. Else 11:16 provides for that kind of our insulation and protect. Simply stated the critical question is how can we develop a free innovative creative public television service which at the same time will be dependent in substantial measure on federal funds ultimately depend on. Two basic principles of a democratic society involved in the solution of this problem. The tradition of control by Congress about all its funded tours. And the tradition of fostering the expression of ideas and communication of information free from government control or oversight. The mission was sensitive to both of these principles and sold a means of reconciling them. We believe that our proposal is a practical and reasonable approach one amenable to it as a premise of the cooperation there's obvious stablish to carry out the policy as defined by Congress as being in the broad public interest. But the corporations are to itself not be
an agency or establishment of the government. The second underlying principle is that the federal money should come through a trust fund. Which would be established by an act of Congress and would not require annual appropriation. I must point out however that the Congress would still retain its ultimate power since it could repeal the source of the funds of the corporation or to embark upon a course a Congress regarded as fundamentally inconsistent with the public interest. These two principles taken together would go as far as is practical in protecting public television program from the dangers of governmental interference while maintaining congressional control over federal funds. We're Cordingley recommended that federal funds be provided the corporation through revenues from a manufacturer's excise tax on TVs of. The proceeds would begin at 40 million dollars a year and rise at times in time to 100 million dollars a year and would be received by the Treasury as we have said and held in
across form. The tax at the outset would be at the rate of 2 percent and would rise in time to a ceiling of 5 percent. Just half the facts it was in for was on television a few years ago. This mechanism would permit bottle ponds to flow to public television outside of the ordinary budgeting and appropriations procedure and this was of a particular reason that we were attracted to the excise tax you don't mind if I interrupt you at this point. What have you to say to the. Assertion. That this would be a discriminatory tax. We feel that the tax is so low. That amounting only to a few cents a week on a color television set. That it could hardly be described as regressive. But we also feel that as television public television develops and as it serves the whole American family the parents the children as if there was a community that the
uses of public television would be so wide. Throughout the whole American community that it could in no sense be considered discriminatory. In other words what you're actually saying is that it's a thank will touch someone. In any family at some time we feel certain that it right. Yes. They are members of the family from one time or another. Where does benefit from this medium. So on balance of thing terasa that and now I'm talking about the future summit and not about the immediate is articulated my action and I realize that that it was a vast method of financing the corporation in terms of its clout is develop the ease of administration public acceptability and its equitable impact. We recommended the excise tax and trust fund financing as a most suitable fiscal arrangement but it is a principle and we would like to emphasize as that is critical and insulation from the annual budgeting and appropriations procedure. If Congress should approve
the excise tax. But require the annual procedures. Of review and so on then our plan would have failed excise tax or no excise tax. The funding our prize in death. 11:6 they. Departs from the commission's proposal. But I think wisely and we understand why the Forestier provides for 9 million dollars to be appropriated from general funds for physical 68 and such funds as being maybe necessary for 69. If the future means of financing the corporation will remain tied however to an ER appropriation. It would in our view or seriously compromise the independence of the corporation and should be rejected. But now we're talking about what might be happen in the future. We understand how raw that annual appropriations are to serve only as the initial method of financing the gold price. As stated in the president's message to the Congress. Next year he will make rather proposals for the corporation's long term financing.
In the interim we urge that safeguards be added to minimize the effect of appropriations from the general fund. The Corporation for Public Television is designed as we repeat as a non-governmental organization. And if you have all of the latitude and freedom that its private status and perks and its special functions require. This fundamental view of the corporations caracter should not be compromised at its inception. We strongly urge therefore that it should be exempted from civil service public vetting NGO auditing reform. And that by next year a means of providing the cooperation of the process fund. Next year to be adopted by the Congress. Since the bill provides for the establishment of a non-governmental Corporation which is not an agency or establishment of the United States financing through a trust fund. Should not present these problems. One more comment on the financing of the cooperation with our commission felt strongly that it should have adequate funds.
And in our view we estimated what these funds should be and they are given in our report. I think we must say on our candor that we cannot support the 11 6. With the lesser amounts. If we thought that for the second year and later. Some was in the ballpark of those we recommended would not be made available from a variety of sources. But we understand why it's an appropriate and. Important to start but the level of appropriate out of the matter is one of the nine million dollars was never intended to do much more than to get the show on the record. Yes this is right and this is very important. Let me turn now to the board of directors of this corporation. The bill proposes proposes a 15 member board to be appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the summer. The commission had proposed a 12 man board with six being appointed by the president with the concurrence of the Senate
and six by all the members of the board. While the two proposals are fundamentally not dissimilar. The commission and I'm reporting believe that its method of selection this would be preferred as a means of giving the co-operation and identity of its own. And as widening the process of selection. The goal is for the corporation to be led by men and women of achievement and strength. They should be the kind of people who will zealously protect the independence of the corporation and who will ensure the qualities of leadership and standards of excellence which will be of such importance to public television. If there are better ways of achieving these go by alternate means of appointing the directors of the corporation. Different from those contained either in the bill are in the commission's report then by all means and sort of. That was Dr James R. Kelly and Jr. chairman of the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television testifying before the Senate subcommittee hearing on the proposed public
television corporation. We'll return with more of the Carnegie Commission report. Following a 30 second pause for station identification This is the national educational radio network.
- Carnegie Commission, part one
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- National Association of Educational Broadcasters
- WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
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- Episode Description
- This program, the first of two parts, features Dr. James R. Killian, Jr., chairman of Carnegie Commission, speaking on educational television.
- 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: Killian, James Rhyne, 1904-1988
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University of Maryland
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Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- APA: Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Carnegie Commission, 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-z02z7n44