CPB supports public media programs and services that inform, educate, and enlighten the public – for free and commercial free – and that helps to strengthen civil discourse essential to American society.
Public media stations and national organizations strive to be trusted providers of news, educational and cultural programming, serving the needs of our diverse nation and reflecting all Americans.
To achieve this mission/goal, CPB supports and encourages the development of content that addresses the needs of unserved and underserved audiences. CPB also helps America's public media organizations and stations support and encourage filmmakers and storytellers to reflect the diversity of our nation and stations' local communities through the content they develop and the voices and stories they feature.
Further, CPB is committed to a public media system that is inclusive through the ways it attracts, recruits, hires, promotes and retains diverse talent. Each public media station must annually review and certify that it has met all the requirements of the Community Service Grant (CSG) program to receive CPB funding. CPB relies on the grantees to provide accurate information on all aspects of its eligibility. Any grantee that does not meet all the requirements risks removal from the program.
CPB requires all CSG-qualified public radio and television stations to engage in practices designed to reflect the diversity of the populations they serve. Diversity includes the elements of gender, age, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, national origin, and economic status. CSG grantees must:
- Annually review and make any necessary revisions to the station's established diversity goal for its workforce, management, and boards, including community advisory boards and governing boards having governance responsibilities specific to or limited to broadcast stations.
- Maintain a diversity statement that includes the elements of diversity most important to the grantee's public media work; the extent to which the grantee's staff and governance reflect such diversity; the progress grantee has made to increase its diversity; and the grantee's diversity plans for the coming year. The statement must be on the station website or available at the station's central office.
- Require all employees, officers, and interns to have training on harassment prevention. In FY 2021, CPB will add implicit bias training as a requirement. Public media stations can use their Community Service Grants for a wide range of purposes that include hiring personnel and contractors, including those who can provide DEI guidance or support DEI training at each station.
As part of the Community Service Grant (CSG) program, stations provide CPB with a variety of data related to the diversity of their staff and leadership. CSG data provide a snapshot of diversity at public media stations. Over the five-year period from 2016-2020:
- Television and radio station staff increased from 18,232 to 19,226, or by 5.5%, while minority television and radio staffing overall increased by 22.7%.
- Public TV and radio stations increased the number of minority staffers from 21.2% to 24.7%. This is an increase of 879 individuals.
- The number of minorities employed as officials increased by 4%, managers by 3%, and professionals by 6%.
CPB's Reports page provides further information on CSG-Qualified Station Employment Demographics.
CPB's Board reviews and approves an annual affirmative action plan for CPB's management and staff. CPB's hiring practices include an emphasis on diversity in recruiting and interviewing. CPB is currently working with the Medici Group with the goal of building on our long commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and advancing DEI practices throughout CPB and public media.
CPB support for independent and minority producers is one way it ensures diversity in content. Through the National Multicultural Alliance and direct grants, CPB funds the following organizations:
In addition, CPB provides Community Service Grants to 76 minority public radio stations, including stations licensed to Native American tribes and historically black colleges and universities. CPB also funds Native Voice One, the public radio distribution service that provides programming targeted to stations on Native reservations.
To foster a diverse workforce and on-air talent, CPB has funded projects such as:
- The Firelight Documentary Lab for diverse media makers and the Jacquie Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund to support media projects created by diverse filmmakers.
- WNYC's Werk It podcast festival provided training, opportunities for employment, and additional support to women in podcast production with the goal to diversify public media and podcasting. The CPB-funded Talent Quest Public Radio competition discovered Glynn Washington, host of Snap Judgment, which airs on over 400 public media stations, and Al Letson, creator and executive producer of State of the Re:Union and host of Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX.
- Public media participation in industry conferences such as the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Media Summit and AFI Docs bring together diverse content creators and industry leaders to explore trends in media and filmmaking.
- The Public Media Executive Fellowship provides work experience with the CPB executive team for recent college graduates from diverse backgrounds. Opportunities to apply are announced on the CPB jobs page.
To attract diverse audiences to public media, CPB supports the development of innovative content and formats. Examples:
- Urban Alternative public radio. With support from CPB, Chicago Public Radio implemented a new format in its Vocalo programming stream in 2007 to connect with young, multicultural audiences through an appealing mix of new and local music complimented by fresh on-air talent, community engagement, and community-based programming. CPB also supported the launching of this format in Denver (The Drop), Norfolk (Hot 91), Houston (KTSU's The Vibe), Minneapolis/St. Paul (Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current working with KMOJ), Milwaukee (88Nine Radio Milwaukee) and Jackson, MS (WJSU).
- Audio content for young and diverse audiences. Latinos make up nearly half of the Los Angeles region. With CPB support, Southern California Public Radio is developing new ways to reach younger, Latino audiences by increasing Latino on-air hosts, producers and production staff. LAist Studios, SCPR's podcast development and production division, is empowering up-and-coming content creators to produce innovative, on-demand content and engage audiences seeking connection, information and entertainment. CPB also supported the development of SCPR's daily two-hour public affairs program Take Two.
CPB has supported scores of primetime, children's and innovative projects over the years, including:
- 180 Days: Hartsville
- Africa's Great Civilizations
- America By the Numbers with Maria Hinojosa
- America ReFramed: Deej
- American Masters: Lorraine Hansberry
- American Masters: Maya Angelou
- American Masters: Miles Davis
- American Masters: Raúl Juliá
- The Black Church: The Is Our Story, This Is Our Song
- Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
- Boss: The Black Experience in Business
- California and the American Dream
- The Chinese Exclusion Act
- Code Switch
- Coming Back with Wes Moore
- Coming Home: Connecting to Community initiative
- Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
- Education Reporting provided by Radio Bilingüe
- Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
- The Graduates/Los Graduados
- Ice Warriors: USA Sled Hockey
- Ku Kanaka/Stand Tall
- The March
- Maya and Miguel
- Military Medicine
- Molly of Denali
- Move to Include initiative
- National Native News
- Native America Calling
- On Two Fronts: Latinos and Vietnam
- Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer's Journey
- Perfectly Normal for Me
- Personal Statement
- Portraits and Dreams
- The Talk: Race in America
- Reconstruction: America After the Civil War
- The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo
- Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle
- Slavery by Another Name
- The Talk: Race in America
- Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities
- Urban Alternative Radio Format
- The Warrior Tradition
- Willie Velasquez: Your Vote is Your Voice