- Public Television has long held a reputation as one of America's most trusted institutions -- the #1 most trusted for 10 years in a row since 2004, according to an annual surveys by the GfK Roper Public Affairs Media Poll, Hart Research, American Viewpoint, and ORC International polling firms.
- Public television is a major participant in the great tradition of a free and independent American press. Public TV must protect its journalistic integrity and reinforce the accurate perception that it is a free and independent institution.
- Detroit Public Television (DPTV) seeks to uphold that trust by placing high standards of journalistic integrity upon the programs it airs and the allowable funders permitted for those programs.
DPTV has a professional staff and management that review programs, productions, and their funding sources for suitability of broadcasting or other distribution. DPTV encourages independent producers who are considering producing programs on controversial issues to contact the station early in their process for guidance.
When presenting programs about issues that DPTV, in its editorial judgment, deems to be of public controversy, DPTV requires the following:
- Programs are to be for informational purposes and not advocacy pieces
- Programs must robustly present different points of view on the subject, using approximately comparable presentations (spoken words, images shown, etc.)
- Standard length must be 26:46 or 56:46
- Must be closed captioned for hearing impaired
- High Def format meeting DPTV technical specifications
- Advocates for the viewpoint must present their cases in a manner that respects the intelligence and dignity of the audience
- Programs cannot be funded solely by sources whose views the program presents
- Producers of the program must be independent of funder influence
- Broadcast rights (number of plays granted to DPTV in specified period of time) must be stated in writing (DPTV will provide licensing document for producer to sign)
DPTV staff may call on a variety of experts in evaluating a program's facts, presentational style, independence from inappropriate influence, and freedom from advocacy. These experts include:
- Community leaders, representatives, and organizations
- Community Advisory Panel
- Board of Trustees
- Academic experts
Following consultation as needed with these and others, DPTV will determine:
- if it deems a submitted program airworthy
- if changes would make the program (or proposal) airworthy
- if it chooses to assemble an independent advisory committee to review content during production of programming produced by or for DPTV if it chooses to air a program that may generally meet its standards but add context with an introduction, panel discussion, and/or additional non-broadcast resources.
DA – 02-21-2010