Television's Impact on American Culture

By William Y. Elliott | Go to book overview
tional stations are or are likely to be in operation."39 The President of the Center recognizes that the present plan is too restricted. "Inevitably we will have to make available our series as package programs, following their runs on the educational stations," he told the writer. But he feels strongly that the first obligation of the Center is to do everything possible to encourage the establishment of educational stations.
ADEQUACY OF CENTER'S PLANS
In the judgment of the writer, the Center's Board has planned soundly but conservatively for the future. What is needed, if the Center is to be an even greater factor in the development of national educational television, is a marked expansion along two lines: increasing the quantity of its programs beyond its announced goals and facilitating much wider use of these programs in areas where they are not presently available.While one cannot quarrel with the Center's determination to raise quality by doubling the amount to be spent per program on new series, one can suggest that new funds be applied also to increase the amount of programming beyond the ten hours per week in 1959 envisioned by the Board. Some steps which the Center might consider are:
1. Plan to increase the offerings of the Center year by year to, say, twenty hours per week in 1959.
2. Secure unlimited rights for all programs.
3. After giving programs first run on educational stations, make them immediately available, as package programs, to commercial stations in all areas not having educational stations.

Such an increase in quantity and distribution as well as in quality may require funds greatly in excess of the new grant. But the amount is actually modest in comparison with the costs of even a small amount of commercial programming. And the total budget for a national educational enterprise of such significance is relatively low.

The need for careful attention to and development of national school telecasts by the Center has already been discussed in detail. Presumably the Center will expand into this area.


SUMMARY

The development of local educational television stations is dependent upon a national program center. The Educational Television and Radio Center, established by a grant from the Fund for Adult Education, had as a prime purpose the support of such stations. But the advancement of educational broadcasting generally was accepted as the more inclusive goal.

The Center developed a guiding philosophy and undertook a film "network" service to affiliated stations, securing series of programs from existing film resources, exchange among member stations, and contract produc

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