How Public Broadcasting Strengthens Local Communities


As some news sources struggle to maintain profitable business models, public broadcasting continues to offer in-depth coverage of important issues. Because its primary mission is public service and not profit, it can remain independent of corporate influences without sensationalizing news issues to boost ratings. As such, public channels are more highly trusted than commercial channels for the accuracy, reliability and impartiality of their news coverage.

‘The Vietnam War’: An Interview With Filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick

Andrew Lam

It’s about a White House in disarray, obsessed with leaks. About a president who accuses the media of lying, of making up stories… and accusations of a presidential campaign reaching out during the time of a national election to a foreign power to help them affect that election by intervention.’ And you'd say, ‘My goodness, that’s what’s going right now!’ And I'd say, ‘Nope, these are only a handful of things, out of perhaps dozens of things during the Vietnam period, that resonate today.’ 

On Filming John Leguizamo: An Interview With Benjamin De Jesus

Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer

As part of the PBS Arts Summer Festival, Tales From a Ghetto Klown documents comedian and actor John Leguizamo’s return to the stage after a nine-year hiatus and his attempts to get his show, Ghetto Klown, to Broadway. Filmmaker Ben De Jesus spent three years following Leguizamo from the time he started writing until the show’s Broadway debut in March 2011. De Jesus spoke with Highbrow Magazine by email about his experiences with Leguizamo and his making of the documentary.


Court Lifts Ban on Political Ads on Public TV and Radio Stations

Pamela A. MacLean

A federal appeals court lifted the ban on political and public- issue ads on public radio and television stations, opening the door for the paid ads to run in time for election season. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals split on the issue in a 2-1 vote Thursday, rejecting the Federal Communications Commission argument that educational programming will suffer.

Costumes, Crackpots and the Occult: The Best British TV Imports

Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer

It will be interesting to see what media analysts years from now make of television in the 2010s. The small screen has been so dominated by lush period pieces (The Tudors, The Borgias, Mad Men), procedurals driven by brilliant social misfits (House, Dexter, Bones), and supernatural dramas (The Vampire Diaries, The Walking Dead, True Blood), one wonders at the odd mix of nostalgia, monster mania and obsession with mad genius that lurks in Americans’ collective unconscious. For British programmers, these are very familiar waters, and US viewers are finding some UK offerings to be just their cup of tea.

Jackson Brodie Strikes Again

Elisabeth Blais

Started Early, Took My Dog is the fourth novel in Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie series. Brodie has appeared in three previous novels by Atkinson, but he’s merely one consistent player among a changing ensemble cast in each book. Atkinson’s books don’t really qualify as mysteries. Yes, Brodie is a policeman-turned-private detective, but the projects he works on are not your typical ‘CSI’ scenarios. He is not confronted with murder scenes, where he must rely on his superior investigative skills to uncover clues, then pull out his Sherlock Holmes-like brain power for a big reveal. More often than not, Brodie chances onto a solution by accident or simply by being in the right place at the right time. 

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