ARLINGTON, VA; August 10, 2021 — Today at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, PBS introduced updated producing criteria, which will roll out across all platforms, including PBS General Audience Programming, PBS Digital Studios and PBS KIDS.
Reporting and accountability are essential to advancing PBS’s mission to serve and represent all communities. As such, PBS will require producers to provide their own diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) plan as a deliverable at the proposal stage and for all new agreements, series renewals, and direct-to-PBS programs.
For General Audience and PBS Digital Studios content, producers must submit a plan that outlines:
- A description of how the production includes perspectives of underserved populations. This should include content subject matter, on-screen talent and key editorial personnel/behind-the-camera staff. Due prior to pre-production.
- Diverse representation for production team members, including above-the-line talent (directors, writers, producers, creators) and below-the-line positions. Due prior to pre-production.
- For each area of reporting (e.g., above-the-line, below-the-line, on-screen talent, etc.), producers must indicate whether DEI goals outlined in the plan were met, surpassed or missed. When goals were not met, producers must provide details on which aspects were found challenging to address and why. Due within 45 days of completion of principal photography.
- A final report addressing the project’s successes and challenges related to DEI. Due with final reporting/delivery.
“PBS works closely with producing partners, station producers and individual creators to distribute educational and thought-provoking content to millions of viewers each year,” said Sylvia Bugg, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming. “Our updated criteria and reporting standards will ensure that the content distributed across PBS platforms continues to reflect the diversity of the audiences we serve.”
For all PBS KIDS proposals, producers must submit a written overview of how their projects and staffing efforts support the values outlined in PBS KIDS’ Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which recognize that the work of accurately reflecting a diverse audience on-screen requires a commitment to embracing diversity and inclusion behind the camera as well.
Producers are asked to reflect on how their productions support PBS KIDS’ mission for all children living in America to see their lived experiences reflected and celebrated through authentic stories and smart, funny characters.
“All children should grow up believing that the world is full of possibilities, and so are they,” said Linda Simensky, Head of Content for PBS KIDS. “When children see authentic, positive representations of themselves in media, it has a measurable effect on their self-esteem and long-term success. PBS KIDS and our partners believe that authenticity doesn’t happen by accident, but rather through intentional efforts affecting all areas of production—and that the resulting content is made richer and more impactful in the process.”
For more information on PBS’s producing criteria, please visit: https://www.pbs.org/about/producing-pbs/
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 126 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’s premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS believes the world is full of possibilities, and so is every child. As the number one educational media brand for kids, PBS KIDS helps children ages 2-8 learn lessons that last a lifetime. Through television, digital media, and community-based programs, PBS KIDS wants children to see themselves uniquely reflected and celebrated in lovable, diverse characters who serve as positive role models, and to explore their feelings and discover new adventures along the way. Families can watch PBS KIDS anytime on the free PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and the PBS KIDS Video app, available on mobile and connected-TV devices, no subscription required. PBS KIDS’ large collection of mobile apps and pbskids.org provide accessible content, including digital games and streaming video to spark kids’ curiosity. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn and grow – including their teachers, parents, and community – providing resources to support children’s learning, anytime and anywhere. For more information, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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