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PBS Standards

Core Principles

These six principles are the cornerstone of editorial integrity that foster trust in PBS content. Click on each module below to learn more:

Judy Woodruff on the set of PBS NEWSHOUR

INDEPENDENCE

Content distributed by PBS must be free of undue influence from third-party funders, political interests, and other outside forces.

A graphic of FRONTLINE's transparency project, "The Putin Files."

TRANSPARENCY

Content should be produced in a way that allows the audience to evaluate the credibility of the work and determine whether it is trustworthy.

Yamiche Alcindor on the set of WASHINGTON WEEK

ACCURACY

Accuracy includes more than verifying whether information is correct. Facts must be placed in sufficient context so the public is not misled.

Detroit-based pastry chef Lena Sareini shares a fist bump with Marcus Samuelsson, the host of NO PASSPORT REQUIRED

INCLUSIVENESS

PBS strives to contribute to informed debate by presenting, over time, content that addresses a broad range of ideas and perspectives.

The cast of AMANPOUR & COMPANY

FAIRNESS

Producers must consider all relevant facts and perspectives and present information in a responsible manner, without favoritism.

Filmmakers answer questions at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in 2020

ACCOUNTABILITY

Producers must respond to relevant inquiries about their work. They also must adhere to the highest professional standards of content.

More Resources

Click on the icons below to explore the following topics and resources in more detail:

Inclusive Language

Words matter. Learn more about how to inclusively cover people and events.

Media Law 101

The basics about candidate appearances, defamation, fair use, and privacy law.

Political Expression

Best practices for applying the core principles to content on social media platforms.

Training Course

Best practices for applying the core principles to content intended for children.

The PBS Editorial Standards training course is available
at Public Media Learns

Journalism ethics resources for teachers are available
 at PBS LearningMedia