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tv   Public Broadcasting Act - News Public Affairs  CSPAN  December 2, 2017 2:59pm-3:53pm EST

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be softer on all of those issues. put thosegether to out and we move forward. we learned how to get along with each other although we remain to segregated. we have to do more to bring our people together across color barriers, and we are working on that seriously. but the things i remember are the things i grew up with, growing up in a time in the city where there was a lot of how the and looking at city dealt with that conflict moving forward. our cities tour staff recently traveled to kansas city, missouri to learn more about its rich history. learn more about kansas city and other stops on our tour at c-span.org/citiestour.
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you're watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. >> this year marks the 50th anniversary of the public broadcasting act of 1967. next, public media figures including jim lehrer and talkshow host dick cavett gather to discuss programming. >> the next panel is on news and public affairs and talk shows. we will show you a clip from the watergate hearings. we just launched a curated exhibit about the coverage of the watergate hearings and that will be the first time they have been made available online. so will the next panel, and we can run the clip? coveragee videotape
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for the senate select committee. here is the senior correspondent robert mcneil. >> good evening from washington. in a few moments we will bring you the entire seatings in the first day of the senate watergate hearings, hearings to hear the truth about the wide unethical, oral, improper activities surrounding the reelection of president nixon last year. >> we are running it all each day because we think these hearings are employment and we think it is important that you get a chance to see the whole thing. some nights we may be in competition with the late-late movie. example of not taking advantage of our ability to editor give you the whole story, no matter how long it might take. >> it reminds one of the shakespearean histories.
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forces hostile to the king are rising up from all sides. but the decisive battle is still we do nots away and know if this is a tragedy we are witnessing. saying a cancer growing on the presidency and if it were not removed, the president himself would be killed by it. >> what did the president know and when did he know it? >> the fact of the matter is what we are pursuing is the president from knowledge, etc., is the committee walking itself out onto a plank? how are they going to resolve all of the questions when you continue to have witnesses where there is no way to resolve them? >> where you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the oval office of the president?
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>> was i aware of listening devices? watergate tragedy is the greatest tragedy this country has ever suffered. that there were some redeeming features in the civil war in that there was sacrifice and heroism displayed on both sides. i see no redeeming features and watergate. >> i am certainly not a constitutional lawyer, senator. >> we studied the famous principle of law from the king of england and also it is well
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known in this country that no --ter how humble and man humble a man is, even the king of england has not entered without his consent? >> that has considerably eroded over the years. >> down in my country, we still think it. >> all right, it is now 3:00 in the morning. so for the sake of my mother and souls, witnesses and usual be free. i have 1.2 make tonight. point to make. in short, we may be right back to where we were a few weeks ago. the crucial question of the president's knowledge and possible involvement in a cover-up is certainly as murky
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and unclear as it ever was and it is all because of bob haldeman. like everyone else ever before this committee, opinions will undoubtedly very on the truth of his total testimony but any reasonable person must conclude he has been an extremely witness for his side -- his directness, whose cool demeanor, his sincerity have come through. on his commenting history, the only prior witness to come close to him on the effectiveness and significance scales was john dane. unless those tapes are made public or some other revelation comes our way, the senators as well as the rest of us who are interested may have to make a choice between believing john dean or bob haldeman. that is the way it looks to me at least, at 3:00 or so in the morning. feel free to disagree. for robert mcneil, i'm jim
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lehrer. we will see you again tomorrow night. from washington, you can watch gavel-to-gavel proceedings -- [applause] >> good afternoon, everyone. for the chairman council of the american archive of public broadcasting. wgbh, he wasd at in his heyday as an executive producer. one thing that she did not have he still hasyou is the urge to create. he just published his first book of poetry. i have a copy of it here. what i did not tell you is this is a stop on his book tour today. [laughter] pleasure togreat introduce the panel and as moderator, judy woodruff, a very
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special colleague. [applause] judy began her distinguished career at the cbs affiliate in atlanta, went on to be the white for nbc, wasondent host of inside politics for cnn, the author of several books and chairperson of the international women's media foundation. along the way she has been honored by many the stinkers organizations. thank you for helping us today and we promise to get you back for the news hour tonight. much.nk you very henry, of course, being one of the pillars of public media for so many years. thank you much to for. thank you, henry.
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i'm the lucky one. i get to preside over this panel of five megastars in public media. each one of them has played an absolutely essential role in keeping public media, public dividends in -- public television and radio, at the center of american life. need introductions. i will be very brief. starting with my mentor, the the news hour,f mr. lehrer, and before that the coanchor and the executive editor of the mcneil/lehrer news hour. the face of and the singular driving force behind daily journalism at pbs. jim lehrer. [applause] >> who now needs a haircut,
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obviously. [laughter] i do next my boss today -- not feel any pressure at all -- ,he president and ceo of wta , before that weta the chair of the board of the corporation for public broadcasting as well as a member of the weta board. sharon percy rockefeller. [applause] the executive director and of the national latino 1976, hedio network in was the moving force of a group of latino farmworkers, activists, and teachers in california's san joaquin valley.
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mr. morale is. [applause] someone who has already been applauded here, the longtime host of "the dick cavett careerhis remarkable spanning networks from abc to hbo, has appeared in several broadway shows and musicals. dick cavett. [applause] and finally, the after mentioned living legend, the woman who ,oderated the last panel political commentator for abc news, and of course, for in pr, contributor to the mcneil-lehrer news hour, advisor to the american archives of broadcasting, cokie roberts. [applause]
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so, what we are charged with doing is looking at how news and public affairs came into being and how it evolved. jim, i will start with you. you were there almost at the beginning. when you came to washington, it was all about watergate. you saw that clip. what happened? jim: the watergate -- the watergate hearings, that was the watershed event for news and public affairs on television. up to that point, the public was divided over whether they even needed any news beyond what was already there during the nixon administration particularly did not think there was any need for news and public affairs broadcasting. but the watergate hearings changed everything and the reason it changed was because, there were several individuals who had the courage to make
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tough decisions, and one of them was to broadcast gavel-to-gavel. stations would not broadcast it live because they had educational tv on during the daytime. but somebody said, why don't we run them at night? repeat them at night? that was a big deal. a big decision. the people running mps were nervous about it, so they said, let's call the stations. we pulled the stations in a very clever way. we polled the stations with a question that was raised in such a way -- do you want to be patriotic order do you want to be a jerk? [laughter] jim: and we still barely won a majority. , andneil said at the time i quote him almost verbatim --
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it was summertime and congress did not have that much to recognize. they had no original programs to run it night anyhow. he said all they would run if they did not run the hearings would be english-speaking people mating, andmals english speaking people mating and animal stalking. [laughter] jim: so why not replace it with the watergate hearings? the hearings were not going on until 3 p.m.. that was the repeat. we were live all day. the stationslf of were watching, were , itdcasting, but at night
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was still -- the big stations would not give, but then they started because they worked that out and it became a big deal. but what the big deal was, and a shouterelty behind of the doubt, they would run it on public broadcasting -- the robert-mcneil report -- jim: it began with the worst oftle in the history television. i was the washington correspondent. my mother interceded and it became the mcneil-lehrer report. and then in 1975 and 1983 it went to an hour. bringand that is where we
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in sharon rockefeller. you were already active in public broadcasting. what we you up against when they tried to go to an hour? working, i was publicr with national broadcasting. my husband was not governor. that was a governor appointment. i asked if i could be appointed him and he said yes. no one thought twice about it. that was my training. that is where i learned -- the watergate hearings. i watched all day long. then we lost the election by the largest margin ever in the history of the state. then we had four years in exile. we had an hour and a half at the
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morgantown, west virginia station. they could not receive the washington post by mail until two days after it was published. i started watching full-time. my kids were watching sesame street. loved chronicles, masterpiece. but news and public affairs was my main attraction. it was what we had to offer. we come at that point, were little public television. it was a turnaround. i also came onto the board at the same time. boardwas one woman on the and i was taking her place. , this was the founder of kqed. , where you live?
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or intel, west virginia. she said, where is that? [laughter] mrs. campbell.w she called her immediately. she said, you have to talk to this young woman. ms. campbell called me in a very authoritarian way. you must come to washington right now, which i did. weta.got a call for it was not as wealthy as it is today. a budget of $4 million, now it is at $97 million. really it was news and public affairs. about.news hour came
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that would go to did, we went around to visit change it -- stations. speak to them. we did not want it. we did not want -- we divided up probably 300-some television stations and we called every station manager therogram manager because president of pvs said, it's a great idea to go to an hour, but i do not have the power to do it. you will have to get the stations to do it. -- because the president of pbs said, it's a great idea to go to an hour, but i'd you not have the power to do it. and we won the ability to go to an hour.
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democracy won. judy: and the rest is history. while his is going on, you had a very successful career as an interviewer in commercial television. what was the peel -- the appeal of public television? something about today, what might come out, why am moved my show from network to pbs. i was fired. [laughter] >> that will do it. dick: that's pretty much what happened. it opened the door in whatever way, cliché you prefer. it was a wonderful change. with network television -- of
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course, i was delighted to get the show, terrified and hurt. the trouble that would come up on network, nonpublic television , from the very first day i thought i had a wonderful show to present. muhammad ali, gore the doll -- , angela lansbury did a wonderful, lively show. and foolish boy from nebraska backstage, andnt i saw the expression did not seem appropriate. he worded it -- who the -- let's say hell -- gives a damn about what muhammad
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ali and gore vidal think about vietnam? judy: hmm. another part of his reaction was, we were not air the first show because of that. we will air it as the second show. agentght agent -- i saw sam cohn wince. we did a second shot that was nice. air to the second show first. there was a mildly enthusiastic reaction. then they aired the first show the second night and reviewers were reviewing it. thest everybody said, -- itself onreally f
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the second show. happened. there are other kinds of trouble that would not have gone on and didn't on pbs. i had that lovable old couple the john lennons. other people were jealous. the reviews were big. the ratings were big. they were nice and they came back. --n i said, there can't be much you need at this point. and he said, you have the only halfway intelligent show. and i said, why would you want to be on a halfway intelligent show? and he laughed. but on the second show, who would have guessed -- the
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agreement would have been we would do one of their songs, john said, why don't we do one of yoko's songs. it had the catchy title "woman world."igger of the i thought, are they kidding? my god, we did this song. nothing happened. but i was told it would not be aired, the song. they complained, and they said, air it, bute will our decision is to make a statement before it about the dangers of watching it. [laughter] dick: i remember one of the -- and there were 412 perhaps .rotests none of them about the song though. speechwoman put it, the
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he delivered -- my delivery sort of encourage that. going to pbs was like going into a green meadow in a way. judy: i want to hear more about the green meadow, but, cokie, i want to come to you. i have heard you say words to should havehat npr had the early head start, boost pbs did. did you think that? but it turned out to be a blessing, i think, in the end, that it was kind of a secret at first. because at the point when nixon did go after the show and the television network committed was still there and
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there was no necessity to disband us because it was not on the radar. so the ability to just grow and thrive was much easier in that environment, but then the growing and thriving became something quite dramatic, and today, we are listened to by than the three network morning shows combined, is listen to buy more people other than rush limbaugh, and i innskeepng steve should get what rush gets. ae difference is about half million people. it's widely successful in the primary source of news for millions and millions of people around the world. judy: and commercial radio has pulled back dramatically, leaving a big opening for it. so, you were paying attention to
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all of this in california, but you and some of your friends decided there was something missing. what did you see? >> first of all, we had little radio, and that is true today. spanish commercial radio, there is no news. it is absent. it is a shocking truth. there is no spanish-language news on radio. started in making 76. , 1980.started july 4 the audience was 15 million. 5%, 6% of the u.s. population. now it is 58 million and 18% of
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the u.s. population. so, this is not something of the past. we have big dreams. but rather something that can stay relevant today. news inthere is no spanish-language commercial radio. judy: that is stunning. >> it's very, very stunning. it is a story that no one will perhaps believe, but it is true. back in 1976 we started organizing in fresno. a -- oarn in one hop the valley,went to
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which is the largest cousin trish and her farmworkers in the united states, and it still is today. it was the same thing. all of those were bilingual. they were educated. we were the first generation of latinos to open the doors to higher education. that contributed a lot to the response. we saw the limitation. english language media that we could not access just because of the language. just the language because the language, you know,
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everybody could hear the culture, the history. the language, the literature, the poetry. there's all of that. it seems like our treasures, we history,uch wealth of of art.wealth we should be able to share that. that is why we established in 1976. judy: and you are still going? >> we are still going. what we wanted to do in this , we wanted to allow latinos to tell the story, to tell their own narrative, to be
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inclusive. --ay in the united states something like 19% of the prison population in the u.s. is latino. a lot of our communities in need. the highest dropout rate continued to be latinos in the united states. yet, you see the figures of how we are significant in the numbers and are projected to ablelarger. we have been to document and follow some of this story that some of the other media have not. of example, the case indigenous woman's living in the parentingwas denied because she birth could not communicate in english
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or spanish. because she spoken native language from my home state, i will huckabee. case wherekind of a from, imunity folks think, alabama called our station and told us the story and we broke it and pick it up and it drew coverage. that is the kind of story we cover. right now, what is happening, there is a lot of fear among our . and,es about deportation maybe to those of us in this room, it is just another topic. for people who listen to us, it is very personal. , about a couple of months ago, we had a call from a mother from california.
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when we opened the lines there was an opportunity for renewed daca. she was saying her son had gone into a depression after the election. he knew what was about to happen. and he was a daca recipient. he had quit his college after the election and soon, later, he quit his job. the mother was worried about her son and what was about to happen. this is the kind of stories and narratives that i carry around. >> you are touching stories of all american lives and that is what broadcasting public media was founded to do. jim, let's talk about how hard or not it has been to survive as public media and news in public affairs. a lot of competition out there. the news, the commercial news environment has changed so drastically.
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why has public media remained -- news and public affairs remained ?s strong yucc >> we said that, if commercial television came along, when cable started growing. if they started doing what we are doing, we would quit doing it. in us doing point what is available elsewhere. something else. we had a lot of ideas of other things we could do. as we sit here now, nobody has done it. more -- nowre is more than ever, they would say, the kind of journalism that is practiced on the news hour is more needed now than ever before. because journalism on television has had its own growth and its own kinds of changes.
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those changes have been away from the kind of separation of straight reporting from analysis, from opinion, that sort of thing. which is still two of the news hour but not true in some elements of commercial television. particularly cable television. the reason for our being is to cut to the chase. it is stronger now than it ever has been. >> good point. >> but that just sit there. because he's right. sharon, as someone has to look at this. you know journalists well, but you have to think of it as an executive work how hard has it been to keep news and public affairs going? and we should add that you oversee the camera burns. it is not just the news hour. and washington week. thingsink one of the
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that is great about the public television audience is that it is well educated. above all, it continues to want to learn. keeping up on a daily basis is important. but, putting in context, weekly as we do on washington week, is important. science,ry, the arts, kids all of the rest means we served so many different people in 70 different ways. our signature is the news in public affairs. it is the hardest to fund and our membership money, essentially, helps subsidized. although we raise a lot for the news hour. we raise a good bit for washington week. but we never make a profit. we always reinvest in the product and could spend a lot more than we take and. i think it is our trademark, our signature.
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we are proud of it. i think our audience is proud to be associated with what we do. >> but it has always been difficult to keep it funded. we have never had -- the word surplus doesn't mean anything. it is not our vocabulary. overbudget or having to cut back. and that has been from day one. and i hate to say this. at the very beginning, when we started. that was 38 years ago. there was a commercial television guy. i ran into him socially. we have been on the air a year or two at that point and i didn't know marvin kalb. and he said, let me give you a warning. i said, what is that? he said do not let them give you too much money. and i said, that is not a problem. but, for the hell of it, tell me why.
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and you told me a quick story. them, 90 news cbs news, czechoslovakia has been invaded. he was going to do a minute and a half thing. it was going to be a major story. they kept cutting it back. about one minute before air or two minutes before air, they got great fire footage from downtown little rock and nobody was hurt. it was just pictures of fire. and they cut his report back to 20 seconds. and he said, if they hadn't had the money to fight that fire, i would've had my minute and a half. it was clearly spent in my mind. mcneil always said that too. sassy, youoo fat and will do things that are not
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required. this way, when you are limited by money, you do what you must rather than what you kind of want to do. >> in radio, that is not true. what we are doing is opening doors all over the place. when we are living in a world where what happened in athens youcts your 401(k), done, need to have more international coverage rather the them less and more national coverage. goes toly, the money those very expensive foreign bureaus which are very difficult to do. i would argue it is essential in this time. we need all of the money we can get. inc. you. >> it kind of is a story i shouldn't have told. >> the one thing i would say is,
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sorry to interrupt -- corporations, in the early days. we went to at&t, etc.. we got huge amount of money, in retrospect. that has diminished drastically. but, foundations have upped the ante and they understand there are more visionary. they have a lot of money and is not that we never had a surplus. individualsions and support the program now. you can give us an individual to support the pbs newshour. which was never possible before. but we are doing that in a membership kind of way. situation funding affect the work you are able to do it anyway? >> i recognize my name. i like fires. story.
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never thinking about such things as funding. , sort of frameit of mind. i have to be urged every now and then to make a phone call or in effort or something like that. but the shows i was able to do. people say you are going into public television. that is for intellectuals. intellectual is a very dangerous label to have put on you when you're in television. whether it is public or the other sort. but i remember appreciating the fact that abc would have gone a little nervous when i would have entertainment reporter, andr, philosopher teacher would have him on five nights in
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a row a couple of times. and people wanted more. i can imagine trying to do that elsewhere, shall we say. was not conscious of funding in ways that were probably harmful to me. i might have been able to help with it if i had pitched in in certain ways. >> did you feel the freedom to do what you wanted when you're working at pbs? interview the people he wanted? do the kind of programming that you wanted to do? >> i did. i usually just did the kind of program i wanted to do. i got away with it. i am not aware of any particular grapes of the sort i was used to on abc. >> good. we will take that. am -- am i disgustingly happy? >> i want to come back to hugo. how do you see this question of
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resources? how much of an issue is it? are you able to ignore it or how does it affect what you do? >> i want to say that it's really important we maintain the independence of public broadcasting. whether it be radio or television. it is a value have to be militant about. for bilingualrue stations. network whenild a you are serving people with literally no disposable income? employees is the subsidized the service, in part. which, from the history of public television -- >> subsidized how? low wages.
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keeping those employees was a challenge. the other problem was foundations that we managed to attract. as the competition for that has share of it has gone lower for public affairs and news and information from the foundation. that is competition. it is really difficult for us. say that, for news and information in spanish is really difficult for us to maintain. >> that leads to my last question. how do you see the future of news, the future of public affairs in radio and television? diva confident about it? i like to feel very confident about it. wherever i go, i hear good things about the news hour. >> would you hear? >> i think one of the things that we are learning is that
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congress likes npr. they cannot always say it out loud. getshe truth is that it back to was not -- what nick was saying. they are all on and it is in all of their districts and it is the source of news. but, of course, the federal funding is a tiny percentage of npr money. it is really just a satellite. but the stations rely on it a lot. particularly the small rules stations. that is an important thing to keep in mind. that these are people who are desperate for this kind of information. sometimes, it is also the only emergency signals. all of that. of thehink the fact service is so wide spread and diverse and so well listened to my people in all areas of american life, that i feel
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confident about the future. but i think it requires resources. >> i was going to say that the last two years have proven more than ever the need for what we do. it is so complex, depressing too many, hopeful to those who thought they were electing someone who would stand for them. but, the country is changing so fast. the political system is practically impossible to understand. the despair of being , but delivering some sense of rationale to what happened today, and this week and this year plus a lot of -- plus analysis and sensitive ideas about what might happen in the future. we are doing that in a way that nobody else is. if we just stay true to our
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mission, stick to the straight and narrow, i think we have a great future. >> i agree 100%. >> every one of us -- >> to what billy and competing. after you, my dear. >> i was just going to say amen. the basic need for the free press was set up by the founders. they are the key to our democratic society is an informed public. the only device that the founders created through the first amendment was the free press. for people tovice get information and cast informed votes. at all levels of government. broadcasting, and we in journalism, the facilitate
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journalism, who practice and participate in it at any level are part of the democratic process that is particularly critical right now with this explosion of information coming out. with the synonymy of electronic this and that gadget and this other. and is a critical time agree with what sharon said. we must not lose sight of what our purpose is. it isn't about making people laugh or making them cry. it is about keeping them asormed enough to function informed people in this country, informed citizens. >> thank you. with sharon on that. >> you don't agree with me? the are all living in this
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sphere of this seeming time of plague, certainly there has to be the service that only public broadcasting can do so well and continues to be this great garden of thrilling, varied, wonderful things that are not available elsewhere. beholden andl not they are -- puppet television is no vital to our lives -- public television is still vital. it sounds corny, but i believe it. optimistic,e not you cannot speak. and i agreemistic with the distinguished panelists. spanish-language
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news and information, i think the need is there for basic information along with news and information to the latino community. for thethe future spanish-language is to be able to communicate that it informs. thank you for the invitation. or what the reality is and the need for that. it is so critical. thank you very much. >> i want to thank all of the panelists. but i want to read a little bit of an email that we at the news hour got from our colleagues jeff brown, who had been interviewing inmates at san quentin prison for a story they are working on about a podcast there are producing. which will appear on the news hour. what a want to share with you is jeff wrote all of us to say that several dozen inmates in different parts of the prison, from different parts of the country came up to him and the cruel while they were there to
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say, hey, pbs. we do not know what we would do without pbs. they went on to say how much the program means while to -- while jeff is interviewing an inmate, they can hear the program in the next cell being listened to. i just want to say we have reached people in public media in every corner of this country. intellectual and political capitals and places of great wealth. we are in parts of the country where people are struggling and trying to get their lives back together. and those are the stories we will always tell. what an amazing panel. thank you. inmates were those to join their local public broadcasting, it would be a wonderful funding to transfer. >> we thought about that.
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>> i want to tell you one quick story because it is so funny. at one point, when susan stan berg was the regular host of all things considered and she took a leave to write a book, a from her wrote to her and said my cows will not give milk. he said he was always going into the milking bar and turning on all things considered and they heard susan and gave milk. without susan, no milk. >> ok. you heard it. >> thank you all. >> watching american history tv. 48 hours of programming on american history every weekend on c-span3. follow us on twitter at cpn
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history for information on our schedule. and to keep up with the latest news. c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up sunday morning, days after north korea launches a new missile, daryl campbell and the arms control association will talk about north korea's ability to develop a nuclear weapon. at president trump's performance and the republican agenda. joining us as not slept. and washington post columnist, richard: we'll be with us to talk about a documentary on ben bradley and the state of the news media. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal live at seven eastern sunday morning. join the discussion. >> kansas city missouri is known as the city of fountains. with 200 officially

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