Diversity

CPB supports public media programs and services that inform, educate, enlighten and enrich the public -- for free and commercial free -- and that help inform 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 helps America's public media organizations and stations support and encourage a wide array of filmmakers and storytellers to reflect the diversity of our nation and stations' local communities.

CPB is committed to a public media system that is inclusive through the ways we recruit, attract, develop and retain diverse talent, the content we fund, and the voices and stories we feature.

To build a diverse workforce within public media, CPB is committed to helping stations develop a transparent process of recruitment at all levels and creating a culture of inclusion and equity.

CPB's Board reviews and approves an annual affirmative action plan for CPB's management and staff. Our hiring practices include an emphasis on diversity in our recruiting and our interviewing process. CPB is currently working with the Medici Group to assess the Corporation's approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through this process, we will be examining our culture of encouragement, professional development, and workforce enrichment efforts. Our goal is to deepen our understanding of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and strengthen how we incorporate it into CPB's strategy and work.

Each Community Service Grant (CSG) recipient has to annually review and certify that it has met all the requirements of the CSG program to receive its grant. 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 it serves. 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 on its website or make available at its central office, 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.
  • Grantees are strongly encouraged to interview at least one qualified diversity candidate for each senior leadership position hire.
  • All CSG grantee employees, officers, and interns must have training on harassment prevention. In FY 2021, CPB will add implicit bias training as a requirement. Further, public media stations can use their Community Service Grants for a wide range of purposes that includes 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 us with a snapshot of diversity at public media stations and include:

  • Between 2016 and 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% during the same time period.
  • Over the same five years, public TV and radio stations increased the number of minority staffers from 21.2% to 24.7%. This is an increase of 879 individuals.
  • Over the same five years, the number of minorities employed as officials increased by 4 percentage points, managers by 3 percentage points, and professionals increased by 6 percentage points.

CPB's Reports page provides further information on CSG-Qualified Station Employment Demographics.

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:

    

        
            
        
            
        
            
        
            
        
            

     

        
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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 (KUVO/The Drop), Norfolk (Blazin' Hot 91)  and Houston (KTSU's The Vibe)  
  • 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: