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Indie Caucus resolution 1/12/15.


PBS needs to support Independent Lens and POV,  two award-winning series that showcase the best, most compelling stories of and for underserved voices, with prime-time placement, and investment in promotion and engagement.

Independent, point-of-view documentary films anchor public television’s promise to provide diverse perspectives from and for underrepresented and underserved voices in American media. Both series have also been leaders in digital innovation and viewer engagement. But for too long, these series have been orphans of public broadcasting.

A December, 2014 WNET decision to move them off prime-time on WNET to secondary channel WLIW, with plans to rerun on WNET on Sunday nights, was only revoked after loud protest by viewers and filmmakers. PBS and WNET, with the Independent TV Service and POV, is now holding a national listening tour.

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.

Only with this investment will PBS be able to fulfill public television’s promise to provide the diverse perspectives so poorly represented today in broadcast programming.

Only with these efforts will public broadcasters establish much-needed relationships with underserved and underrepresented viewers around the country.

And only with these commitments will public broadcasting benefit from the enormous potential of this creative pool’s talent and insights.

We are calling on PBS to adopt the four-part program of renewal we have outlined and make a new clear and public commitment to independent, point of view programming at the PBS annual meeting in May. In this way independent filmmakers can be allies and continue to offer and leverage additional resources and social capital to public broadcasting.

- The Indie Caucus