About Public Broadcasting Atlanta
Great cities are known by their museums, theaters, symphonies and parks. But the greatest impact on a city’s cultural life radiates invisibly through the air.
For Atlanta, that cultural force is Public Broadcasting Atlanta. WABE 90.1 FM and PBA 30, brings NPR News, music, the arts and PBS programming to hundreds of thousands of listeners and viewers each year. Today, people turn to public broadcasting for their news, music, arts and entertainment. Yet, few people realize that public broadcasting began as “educational television” — strictly a learning resource. As a broadcast service of Atlanta Public Schools in partnership with the Atlanta Educational Telecommunications Collaborative (AETC), PBA has never lost sight of its original mission. Education remains at the core of our operation at every level, from preschoolers to our elders.
We believe that communication is the foundation of civilization. It is the path by which knowledge, understanding, discourse and values are achieved, nurtured and passed down. We envision our communities as informed, energetic, engaged and with a pervasive sense of interconnectedness to each other and to the world. And we believe that our role as a trusted enabler of communication is fundamental in building the beloved community to which we aspire.
We serve community; we enhance life. We educate, entertain, empower. We broaden perspectives, create joy, expand knowledge. And through our endeavors, we connect people to each other and the world.
The President’s Message
A few weeks ago I was asked by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to join a team in Washington, D.C. to discuss the creation of a new American Archive. The purpose of the archive is to preserve all of the valuable programs and documentaries produced by national and local public broadcasting radio and television stations.
As I prepared for the meeting, I came across a magazine I had the opportunity to work on while at the Washington Post in the seventies. The magazine was created to celebrate America’s 200th birthday. It was called “The Promise of America.”
The magzine took a look at America’s past to see if promises were fulfilled or forgotten and how we might prepare for the future.
As I browsed through the pages I was reminded of the effects promises made can have on individuals and our societies.
I wanted to take the thought of promises to my meeting to see if it had value with my colleagues. As with all public broadcasting meetings, everyone had an opinion, but to my surprise all of the technical, theoretical and facility conversations shifted when I asked ——-what would be the archive’s Promise to America?
What would be the promises we would make to the millions of men, women and children of the future for whom we would never meet?
That question became the focus of every discussion. It resonated with the team that we were not just creating a building or a dusty repository for tapes and CD’s. But, that we were preserving for the future - our thoughts, our values, our commitments and the images of whom we are now and who we hope to be as a people, a community and a country in the future. Will this archive become a living celebration of promises kept or a reminder of promises lost?
As PBA kicks off our 13th year of stewardship of these facilities, I thought about “promises” made, and more specifically the promises we intend to make to Atlanta.
We have worked tirelessly to position Public Broadcasting Atlanta as one of PBS’s top operations in the country. We understand that with great success, comes even greater responsibilities to those we serve. Service to others is a responsibility we proudly embrace.
We are working to meet that responsibilities by approving a powerful mission, vision and value statement. This new statement, combined with a talented team of people who constantly strive to seek excellence will make up the foundation for our promises.
Today’s Atlantans, who are working harder at building a stronger and brighter future for their families will have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and will be seeking newer and more dependable platforms for information. We, therefore, are promising to provide the highest level of quality programs available and a trusted news and information platform that can be relied upon.
We will promise to be a balanced platform for conversations, debates and civil discourse.
In so doing we must promise to be fair and unbiased, and to insure that all of Atlanta’s voices are heard.
We promise to be a trusted institution — worthy of our community’s support and to be an organization that reflects the ethics and values of our citizenry.
In so doing, we must promise to respect all of the communities we serve and to be responsible for our work and how it can affect others.
By understanding that education is the foundation of our existence and the cornerstone for equality and opportunity, we must promise to continue to assist our licensee, the Atlanta Public School system, in providing innovative programs that help prepare our children to become valuable contributors to the social fabric of our communities. We must support life long learning by providing the knowledge and understanding of our world and our international neighbors ——- helping Atlantans to compete in a global environment.
Social networking has emerged as one of our key processes in establishing relationships among all members of our communities’ social systems. Social networking will enable us to cut across diverse concepts and become the thread that allows our differences to become our strengths.
With Social networking as a platform, we will promise to be a catalyst that constantly identifies new opportunities to connect individuals, organizations and communities.
As we move forward in our service to Atlanta, it would be our combined hope that someone at sometime — in generations to come will look at our commitments and acknowledge that we kept our promises, and that they will pass our work on to future generations.