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LOCAL PBS STATIONS TO RECEIVE $1.95 MILLION THROUGH CPB GRANT FOR ELECTION 2000 PROGRAMMING, ONLINE & OUTREACH ACTIVITIES

ALEXANDRIA, VA., March 16, 2000 -- Locally based, original election-year programming and online content will be available to public television audiences nationwide through a $1.95 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). The grant funds a key component of the PBS Democracy Project, an initiative that provides distinctive and engaging local and national public affairs coverage to encourage expanded civic discourse.

The grant will enable PBS stations to produce Election 2000 broadcasts focusing on local campaigns, plus Web content and other educational outreach services. A portion of the grant also supports PBS Online's Democracy Project Election 2000 Web site, set to launch in April.

"Our commitment is to help local stations do what they do best: provide their viewers with unparalleled public affairs content and services that raise awareness, stimulate conversations, and encourage citizens to participate in the democratic process," said Robert T. Coonrod, president and chief executive officer, CPB. "We're proud to partner with PBS and public television stations in communities across the country to offer free access to quality citizenship programming."

The grant will fund the following projects:

  • "PBS DEBATE NIGHT" - Local candidate and issue debates to complement a nationally telecast debate of Congressional leaders on October 15, 2000.
  • "THE CHOICE" - Local broadcasts profiling candidates in key local or statewide elections, in the spirit of FRONTLINE's acclaimed quadrennial examination of the presidential candidates.
  • ONLINE CONTENT - The development and upgrading of station-based, interactive Election 2000 Web site material to link to the national PBS Democracy Project Election 2000 Web site.
  • INNOVATIVE ELECTION PROGRAMMING - To encourage stations to break new ground, additional funds are available for inventive broadcast formats, online content, station partnerships, or on-air messages that reach out to diverse audiences.

"CPB has been crucial to the success of the Democracy Project from its inception and we're delighted their commitment this year is stronger than ever," said Pat Mitchell, president and chief executive officer, PBS. "This grant will help PBS stations offer viewers innovative local and national coverage of the candidates and issues this election season."

CPB, a private corporation, oversees the development of public radio and television services for the American people. The Corporation is the industry's largest single source of funds for the development and production of public television and programming. CPB also funds more than 1,000 public stations across the country.

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 346 public television stations. A trusted community resource, PBS uses the power of noncommercial television, the Internet and other media to enrich the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services that inform, inspire and delight. Available to 99 percent of American homes with televisions and to an increasing number of digital multimedia households, PBS serves nearly 100 million people each week. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org.

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Contacts

Dara Goldberg
PBS
(703) 739-5031

Jeannie Bunton
CPB
(202) 879-9687



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