Thursday, May 1, 2008

Discrimination At PBS Historically

Although PBS poses as an alternative broadcasting service that is seriously opposed to institutional racism and institutional sexism in the United States, the Carnegie Commission report on public broadcasting in 1979 included some interesting observations about the historic employment practices of PBS-affiliated television stations which indicates that they tended to resemble the Gannett media conglomerate’s properties in their historic employment practices:

“There are few minorities serving as key decision makers (that is, chief executive officer, program or production manager, chief engineer, or chief financial officer) in public broadcasting stations. Of the 583 total key decision makers in public television stations in 1978, 16 (or 2.7 percent) are representatives of minority groups…

“…An additional facet of equal opportunity, insufficiently emphasized by the public broadcasting system, is minority control and ownership of stations. There are very few minority-controlled public broadcasting stations today. Of the 195 radio and 276 television stations in the United States in 1977, only 18 had 51 percent or more minority members on their board of directors. Eleven of these stations are located outside the continental United States (Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands).

The Carnegie Commission’s 1979 report on public broadcasting did not indicate what percentage of PBS’s key decision makers were gay men, lesbians, people with disabilities or people under 30 years of age.

(Downtown 5/8/91)

Next: ACT-UP And PBS Historically