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WATCH: PBS President & CEO Paula Kerger Addresses the Detroit Economic Club MPEG VIDEO

Paula Kerger: Part Two MPEG VIDEO

Paula Kerger Speech: Part Three MPEG VIDEO

Paula Kerger Speech: Part Four MPEG VIDEO

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Sunday, 21 September, 2008 0:02 AM

PBS President & CEO Discusses the Future of Television at the Detroit Economic Club

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

PBS President & CEO Paula Kerger addresses the Detroit Economic Club on September 18, 2008.

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

 

Paula Kerger: Part Two MPEG VIDEO

Paula Kerger Speech: Part Three MPEG VIDEO

Paula Kerger Speech: Part Four MPEG VIDEO

DETROIT -- While Kwame Kilpatrick was cleaning out the Mayor’s office at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Building in downtown Detroit , Paula Kerger was speaking about “A New Paradigm for Public Broadcasting” today inside the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. Kerger, President and CEO for the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), was the speaker at the Detroit Economic Club – wearing the yellow suit that resembles a certain Sesame Street character. “We all love Big Bird, right?” she asks as the audience laughs.

Since March 2006, Kerger has been the sixth president of PBS, in which she is dedicated to high-quality content, education, diversity and the use of public technology to bring public media into the lives of all people that has led to a broad range of initiatives. PBS, she said, seeks to achieve unity that has been eluded for years – playing a vital role in public television. “Everything we bring in the airwaves,” Kerger continues, “offers different perspective. The commitment of public television to cover local events is more and more important.”

Her main focus points include how print journalism and the electronic media have changed over the last several decades. “Television serves as our electronic heart for 50 years,” she states, because it helps “cultivate common values” – bringing us important events such as the first man walking on the moon, and influencing public opinion during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. However, according to Kerger, the tube is losing the public trust. Television, she went on, help us find common ground. Now, news has become entertainment – cheaply produced sensations with no context, no analysis. “Do we really need to hear anymore about Britney Spears?” she jokingly asks.

Though being called “old-fashioned” and not a network, PBS has been ranked #1 in a poll by the public for fairness in covering news, and is recently nominated for multiple Emmys of it. In the age where people spend more time going online than reading, listening to their iPods, and where digital television is coming next February – which is, according to Kerger, are platforms bringing us together – PBS still believes that good journalism can be found in print, broadcasting, and the Internet. Under Kerger’s supervision, they’re committed to the kind of journalism that rises above sound bites, bias, and sensationalism but one that fairness and accuracy.

“We appreciate the public trust even more,” Kerger said. “We may be living in the age of the Internet, but television is not dead. TV still matters and it will be around for a long time. PBS brings news context and analysis to engage people in. We look for stories that needs to be told. At PBS, we want to change the way people can connect with each other and the world.

"Today you can watch a PBS program on Detroit Public Television or you can go to dptv.org and stream those same programs onto your computer. You’ll find PBS on YouTube, Facebook, as well as iPods and iPhones. And as television continues to move outside the box literally, we’re experimenting with new forms of content."

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Detroit Economic Club President & CEO Beth Chappel welcomes everyone.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Presiding Officer Dorothy Deremo with Chappell by her side.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The meeting was held inside the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Paula Kerger looks on as she is being introduced by Dorothy Deremo.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Paula Kerger says that Jim Lehrer is watched by more viewers than CNN.

 

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