Should stations allow cultural organizations to fund programs about themselves? If you answer yes to these questions, the station can move forward:
- Does the organization have a high level of interest in the community?
- Would the station be broadcasting a performance from the organization on its’ air anyway, like a chamber orchestra or local symphony?
- Is there a rationale for funding one organization over another?
History and information programming:
History and information programming pose a more complex issue for public media stations than cultural programming, be careful of the perception of vested interest and follow these rules:
- Be independent in your editorial process.
- Would a reasonable consumer wonder whether the program is a public relations piece or has journalistic integrity?
- Would collaborating with a respected independent entity like your state historical society negate perception problem?
Partnerships in Production
Regarding informational programming, one issue is the creation of partnerships that allow outside organizations to both fund and advice on content. This method of funding has been popular with public television stations during tough economic times. Before you partner, here are a few questions to ask:
- Is it appropriate for the funder to serve as an editorial partner?
- Are there particular kinds of programs where partnership funding is appropriate and others where it is inappropriate?
- Is the funding organization well respected in the community?
- Are there any strings attached to funding such as having a representative of the funding organization included in the program?
- Did the nature of funding in any way alter the nature of the content?
Summary statement for the funding of history and information programming:
Public media stations will seek and accept financial support from a wide variety of partners. We believe that public media consumers have the right to expect and demand that stations will not allow those financial or other relationships to deform or corrupt the pursuit of our overall editorial goals or mislead the public in any way.