Public Broadcasting Service

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The Public Broadcasting System is a non-profit, private corporation that was founded in 1969. Members of the system are the public TV stations in America. The educational, noncommercial licenses are in operation at over 350 member stations and serve the 50 states in U.S., the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and Guam.

The Public Broadcasting Service has grown from just a broadcast organization to a leader in multi-platforms that serves people of the United States through television, the Web, mobile TV, whiteboards in schools that are interactive and many more sources. The Service reaches an average of over 120 million people via the television and another 20 million via the internet every month. PBS commissions a research annually to measure the performance of the organization and its value as it is judged by the most important client, the public.

National studies that have been recently performed show that PBS is ranked number one in several categories for public trust, satisfaction of programs, trusted source of public affairs and news, leader of programming for children and as a trusted place for children to watch television and visit the internet.

A recent poll showed that the public in the United States view PBS as an invaluable and good investment of their tax dollars. Over 70% of the voters say PBS is excellent for the value of their tax contribution. Nearly 70% are opposed to eliminating federal funding to keep public broadcasting. Just less than 80% believe the same amount or more funding should be given to PBS by the government. Just over 60% think if the government defunded PBS, it would cause significant or massive loss to the country. The system relies on the government and the public to fund its operation broadcast to the people in the United States and its territories, a content that is educational, informational and safe for all ages.


The mission of the Public Broadcasting System is to create viewer content that is informative, educational and inspires those that watch. PBS accomplishes their mission by offering programming that expands the horizons of children.

PBS offers informative and inspirational documentaries that help to open up new places and data to the viewer. News programs that are non-commercialized which inform viewers of what is happening in the world. Programs that help expose Americans to the different worlds of dance, art, music and theater.

The goal is to make the Public Broadcasting System the largest classroom in America. The station is available to all of the children in America, including those unable to attend preschool and it offers educational content that helps children prepare when they do attend school.

The system is the largest source of media content provider for teachers of preschool. It is also the first place parents go for videos for preschool children online. The content provided is proven to help improve the literary skills of preschool and young children.

Another commitment that PBS is committed to providing is bringing the arts to the viewers in America. Its goal is to keep the arts alive not just for today's youth, but for generations and generations. Because of this goal, it provides a large amount of content with music, dance, theater and art. For most people the only place they get to experience performance art of this type is by viewing it on PBS.

During 2010 PBS was able to offer over 500 hours of cultural and arts programming which had a viewership of over 94 million people. The system's idea is to offer programming for a number of different genres, interests and ages. Over 150 million get to see programming either on the television or online, in order to explore the motivating world of history, science, culture and public affairs through the trusted content of PBS.


Since it was founded in late 1969, the Public Broadcasting System has provided excellent viewer content to all 50 U.S. states, Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico and American Samoa. PBS has evolved over the past four decades to try and stay in tune with the new modes of mass-media; while still remaining a place for educational, cultural, scientific and historical content that is safe for all ages to view.

When PBS was founded in late 1969, it took over the different functions of the National Educational Television its predecessor. In 1972, closed captioning for the hearing impaired was pioneered by PBS. A PBS station in Chicago, in 1975, became one of the first stations to use stereo in its broadcasting.

Before October of 1989 donations given to PBS from their viewers were recognized contributions as being from an individual station like WXYZ. After October of 1989 all the text for the contribution showed was Public Television Stations. In 1994, an industry publication, The Chronicle of Philanthropy released results from a study of non-profit and charitable organizations credibility and popularity. The study, one of the largest of its kind, showed that the Public Broadcasting System was ranked 11th out of over 100 charities as most popular nonprofit/charity in America.

In 1995, it became one of the first major TV broadcasters to launch a website online. It launched the first all-digital broadcast facility in the entire U.S. It launched video players in 2009 on its website that offered hours of programming free for all audiences including preschoolers and older.

In December of 2009, PBS signed on for the Nielsen ratings audience measure for the first time in the system's history. Throughout the last 40 plus years, PBS has been bringing content to the people of America to fulfill their goal of educating the public. That goal is achieved on a daily basis both through the television and on-line media.

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