Indie Caucus supports independent filmmakers who believe in public media.
KEEP PUBLIC TELEVISION PUBLIC
PBS VIEWERS WANT DIVERSE VOICES
Who We Are
Indie Caucus is a national, independent group of filmmakers who believe in the public mission of public media.
What’s Going On
Public television is deciding whether or not to keep two series that showcase independent, point-of-view films in their premier prime-time slot on Monday nights at 10 pm. The final decision will be announced in May. Until then, PBS programming leadership is taking a “listening tour” to hear stakeholders and viewers talk about why independent, point-of-view filmmaking is important to them and public broadcasting’s mission.
In late 2014, WNET, the flagship PBS station in New York, announced plans to move POV and Independent Lens from their premier prime-time slot on WNET to secondary channel WLIW in Long Island. They planned on rerunning the series on WNET on Sunday nights. Such a move would have drastically marginalized work about and by underrepresented communities, and set a dangerous precedent. Indie Caucus organized a protest, and 1,200 people signed a petition. WNET and PBS agreed to postpone their decision for four months, and agreed to a lead a listening tour.
Why Does It Matter?
Independent storytelling by and about underrepresented voices in American media is a core part of public television. Sharing diverse perspectives isn’t just what sets public media apart, it’s what PBS stations are mandated to do as part of their commitment to serve communities. Broadcast is still overwhelmingly how Americans get their TV, and it’s the most diverse audience as well.
What Do We Want?
We want public television to be a home and destination for Americans whose faces and voices are rarely seen or heard in other, commercial media. We want PBS to commit to:
- Scheduling this work in prime-time, on primary stations;
- Working with stations to stations to run it at the scheduled time;
- Publicity and promotion of these series;
- Provide stations with resources to engage their communities.
What Can You Do?
- Let PBS know that you value POV and Independent Lens, and why. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Support a resolution calling for PBS to support the indie series here: www.indiecaucus.org/resolution.
- Tweet and Facebook your support to @PBS and at #keepPBSpublic, #indiecaucus.
- Read the Indie Caucus December 19th Statement in response to WNET's Decision to drop Independent Documentaries from primetime.
- Review our successful change.org petition asking WNET to reverse their decision.
- Check out our updated FAQ to clarify facts from WNET's initial response to pushback.
- Join our list of SUPPORTERS.