PBS Creates Progamming-Audit Panel


PBS has formed an independent review board to vet its programming's "quality, integrity and independence," with a report due in June.

Although announcement follows by only a couple of weeks a letter from Education Secretary Margaret Spellings to PBS President Pat Mitchell taking issue with PBS kids programming, but in a statement Wednesday, PBS said that a staff review began in spring 2004, which the new board will augment.

Mitchell said that that current policies "have been very reliable and have served PBS well,” but pointed to changes in technology, including the Internet and other media outlets, as necessitating the review of editorial standards.

The first meeting of the board, comprising academics, journalists and station representatives, is slated for Feb. 14.

It will be chaired by PBS Board Chairman Alberto Ibarguen, Publisher of the Miami Herald.

Members include former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw; Marvin Kalb, senior fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy; and John Siegenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University. Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, will be an adviser to the committee.