Funders with a Connection to Content

A news program aired a special series examining efforts to reform struggling urban public schools. The series was funded solely by one of the nation’s largest philanthropic foundations. The news program was criticized for accepting this funding because education reform is one of the foundation’s areas of focus. In fact, as critics noted, the foundation was actively trying to shape the very educational reforms that the series was covering – i.e., the emergence of charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately operated. While the foundation was identified as a funder of the news program as a whole (along with other organizations), the foundation was not specifically identified as the sole funder of the education series. The foundation also was not identified in any promotional materials accompanying the series’ launch.

What do you think?

1. Should producers have accepted funding from the foundation?


2. Putting aside whether producers should have accepted the funding, could producers have done a better job of disclosing the funding to viewers?


By | 2018-07-26T14:04:18+00:00 July 26th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author:

Megan Paparella is a Senior Manager in the office of Station Services at PBS. She has a background in Knowledge Management and information sharing and is charged with overseeing the day-to-day management of the Station Management Center. Contact Megan if you have any questions about the Station Management Center or wish to contribute information or write a guest blog post.

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