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New National Roper Poll Ranks PBS as Leader in Public Trust
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Poll Also Finds PBS Programming an Excellent Use of Tax Dollars

Alexandria, Va., Feb. 16, 2005 - For the second consecutive year, a Roper Public Affairs & Media poll shows Americans consider PBS the nation's most trusted institution among nationally known organizations. The non-partisan, international research company released the comprehensive results from its national opinion survey, which was conducted to gauge the attitudes of Americans towards PBS and other major national institutions, including courts of law and commercial broadcast television networks.

According to the study's 1,001 randomly selected participants from across the country, Americans also believe PBS provides the second best use of tax dollars, following military defense; rank PBS programming most important, compared with commercial and cable television; and consider PBS news and public affairs series the most trustworthy.

"Results from this comprehensive survey help to demonstrate the importance of PBS programming among Americans as well as its institutional value to supporters of the public television service," said Roper Senior Vice President Ed Bergstein.

"The results of this survey affirm the American public's trust and value in PBS in an age of exponentially growing media choices," said PBS President and CEO Pat Mitchell. "It is gratifying to see the success of the rigorous standards to which we hold our programming. Clearly, we have achieved our goal of striving to positively impact the lives of millions through the power of media."

Additional survey highlights:


  • PBS is the second most valuable service taxpayers receive, outranked only by military defense by two percentage points. Twenty-three percent stated PBS was an "excellent" use of their tax dollars.


  • Americans are more satisfied with programming on PBS compared to cable and commercial broadcasters. Thirty-eight percent of respondents are "very satisfied" with current PBS programs, compared with 21 percent for cable and 16 percent for commercial broadcasters.


  • Forty-one percent of Americans rank PBS as the most trusted source for news and public affairs programs, compared with other network broadcasters.


  • Sixty-two percent of those polled believe the availability of PBS is "very important." By contrast, commercial broadcasting and cable networks were considered very important by 42 percent and 35 percent of respondents, respectively.


  • The majority of the public (51%) believe the amount of federal funding PBS receives is "too little."


  • Most Americans (82%) believe that public and private funding given to PBS from government, corporations and individuals is "money well spent."

  • For both children and adults, Americans believe PBS programs address various issues "very well," including: arts and culture (58%), American history (51%), literacy (47%), ethnic and cultural diversity (45%) and political and social issues (38%).

Commissioned by PBS, Roper Public Affairs & Media independently administered the annual telephone survey to 1,001 adults between the ages of 25 to 75 years old during January 2004 and February 2005. To maintain objectivity throughout the survey, the questionnaire did not identify PBS as the sponsor, and wherever PBS and other media, organizations or services were evaluated together, a questioning randomization process was employed to ensure that both PBS and its competitors in a given category were treated equally in terms of positioning for any particular question. Moreover, any questions asked about PBS only were asked at the end of the survey, after the comparison questions were completed.

To receive a complete copy of this survey, contact Jan McNamara at PBS (703-739-5028 or

About PBS
PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 349 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (, continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.

About Roper Public Affairs & Media
Roper Public Affairs & Media, an NOP World company, is a leading global marketing research and consulting firm with headquarters in New York and offices in London, Manila, and throughout the U.S. NOP World is among the 10 largest global market research companies in the U.S. and the world. Bringing together some of the most renowned U.S. and European research firms in a unified global network, NOP World is a wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based United Business Media plc.


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Lea Sloan, PBS; 703-739-5021,

Tia Gordon, PBS; 703-739-5183,