The Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Investments Support Fall 2012 Public Service Programming
- For Immediate Release on July 21, 2012
Upcoming CPB-funded education, history, science and public affairs programming will be featured at the Television Critics Association Summer 2012 Press Tour
Washington, D.C. - The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) today highlighted its investments in upcoming public media series and specials that will be presented at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Summer 2012 Press Tour, July 21-22, 2012 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
For more than 45 years, CPB has invested in history, science, nature and public affairs programming and content that is available for free to all Americans. CPB also supports the development of high-quality educational programs that are proven effective in helping children of all ages learn and prepare for success in school and in life.
“The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has a unique and important mission – to provide our country with quality content that educates, inspires, informs and engages in ways that strengthen our civil society,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB. “American public media is a trusted source of information on-air, online and in the community for all citizens, and as the economy continues to impact families across the country, the service that public media provides is more important than ever.”
CPB investments supported the development and production of new programming featured at the Press Tour, including Half the Sky, PBS coverage of Election 2012 and Ken Burns’s The Dust Bowl. CPB also supported the development of specials on signature series, including Nova (“Mars Rising”), American Experience (“Death and the Civil War”), POV (“Reportero”) and American Masters (“Inventing David Geffen”). In addition, CPB continues to invest in educational programming, such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, providing this generation of children with a safe place to learn, free from commercial influence.
Half the Sky, based on the acclaimed book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, is a multi-media project that highlights the critical issues and challenges facing women around the world. At the center of the project is a two-part primetime national and international broadcast event that follows Kristof and six actress-advocates — Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union, Diane Lane, America Ferrera and Olivia Wilde — as they travel to 10 countries to meet courageous women who are confronting oppression and promoting economic empowerment for women and girls. The documentary premieres on Oct. 1 and 2 from 9 p.m. - 11 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings).
“CPB’s support was critical to bringing Half the Sky to public television and to communities across the country,” said WuDunn. “Through public media, we have the unprecedented opportunity to introduce the world to very brave women who are fighting for their lives, and to raise global awareness about the struggle to end gender inequity.”
Half the Sky also features a robust engagement and educational campaign, developed in partnership with more than 50 NGOs dedicated to women’s rights. The campaign includes a Facebook-hosted social action game, mobile games, interactive websites, as well as educational videos and resources to help educators discuss the difficult and challenging realities of the global treatment of women.
This fall, several of PBS’s most popular news and public affairs programs will bring their trusted journalism to public media’s television coverage of Election 2012. The PBS NewsHour team of Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill will report on the primaries, the Republican and Democratic conventions, presidential and vice presidential debates, and events of Election Night and Inauguration Day. Earlier this year, PBS NewsHour, with a grant from CPB, launched Open Election 2012, a partnership with Mozilla to crowd-source translations of key political speeches. This tool is part of PBS NewsHour's new Digital Election Data Center, created with the Associated Press to give web users following the elections access to the same tools the PBS NewsHour's political reporters use, such as “Listen to Me,” a YouTube-based platform where users can share their views on key political issues, and electoral maps featuring live election results.
“Americans depend on public media journalism to provide a substantial and serious look at the issues facing our country, particularly during an election year,” said Woodruff, senior correspondent at PBS NewsHour. “CPB’s investment in election coverage ensures we can engage audiences in every facet of this election – from the primaries to inauguration day – through traditional broadcasts as well as new online tools.”
Washington Week “Election 2012” will feature a series of broadcasts, online features and on-the-ground specials exploring issues of interest to independent voters, seniors, baby boomers, Latinos and blue-collar workers. Washington Week with Gwen Ifill will host live audience road shows in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Charlotte and St. Louis that will be filmed and broadcast as 30-minute “extra editions.” The program will also conduct virtual town halls with selected public television stations across the country. Washington Week is collaborating with PBS NewsHour’s “Listen to Me” video engagement initiative and partnering with journalism programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities to expand coverage in diverse communities.
Hosted by Scott Simon, Jeff Greenfield, Ray Suarez and Maria Hinojosa, expanded Need to Know election-related coverage, made possible through the CPB/PBS Diversity and Innovation Fund, will focus on underreported and unexpected stories that explore the growing diversity of the U.S. electorate, including voices from a variety of U.S. communities and a diversity of social and political opinions.
FRONTLINE will air “The Choice 2012” from acclaimed producer Michael Kirk (
“FRONTLINE goes beyond the campaign narratives to understand what experiences shaped the lives of the men who are vying to lead our country,” said David Fanning, executive producer of FRONTLINE. “Through our partnership with CPB, we are able to deliver the in-depth reporting and high quality journalism that is vital to informing voters and strengthening our civil society.”
In his two-part documentary, The Dust Bowl, premiering Nov. 18-19, acclaimed director Ken Burns chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history in all its complexities and profound human drama. Incorporating the oral histories of 26 survivors of the disaster, The Dust Bowl tells the story of Americans who clung to their homes and way of life for almost a decade as they endured devastating wind and dust storms that brought drought, disease and death. It is also the story of Americans who left behind everything they had and headed west in search of work and a better life. Above all, it is a quintessentially American tale of stamina, resilience and hope – both false and real – and of the unbeatable spirit of plain folk who made their way through hard times.
“The Dust Bowl, like so many of our films that explore our shared American history, would not have been possible without the support of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,” said Burns. “Public funding, available through CPB, has given us the creativity and editorial independence to document and connect with our common heritage and tell American stories such as The Civil War, Baseball, Prohibition and now The Dust Bowl.”
CPB also continues its commitment to education through its support of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. This new animated, musical series, developed by the Fred Rogers Company, is aimed at helping preschool-age children develop valuable social and emotional skills, such as self-esteem, listening and empathy. The show also cultivates children’s natural curiosity and imagination and builds on their desire to ask questions, explore and experiment.
“We remember and appreciate the essential role that CPB played in the success of
Back-to-back episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood premiere on Sept. 3.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,300 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.
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