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Preview: PBS Ombudsman

PBS Ombudsman





Last Build Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2014 17:27:21 -0500

Copyright: Copyright 2014
 



Tensions Over Pensions

Fri, 14 Feb 2014 17:27:21 -0500

Hold the presses, if there are any of them left operating. Late this afternoon, just after this column was written, member-station WNET in New York and PBS issued a statement resolving the controversy that is discussed below. The joint statement...



The Mailbag: More on 'MAKERS' and Other Stuff

Wed, 12 Feb 2014 16:14:14 -0500

Today's ombudsman's mailbag is a brief follow-up to the last one that was devoted to what I described as "a pre-emptive strike" by critics of some individuals slated to be profiled in six new one-hour documentaries that will be part...



The Mailbag: A Pre-Emptive Strike on More 'Makers'

Thu, 23 Jan 2014 16:10:37 -0500

When you make an announcement before a group of reporters at the semi-annual Television Critics Association conference, you are likely to get some publicity. Among the announcements made by PBS at this year's gathering in Pasadena was news that six...



The Mailbag: A Letter from Bill Moyers

Wed, 22 Jan 2014 09:50:03 -0500

This edition of the mailbag contains just one letter. It is a response from Bill Moyers to the Ombudsman's Column posted on Jan. 9. That column dealt with a couple of issues surrounding the Jan. 3 presentation of the weekly...



The Mailbag: A Lot More on Downton; a Little More on Moyers

Wed, 15 Jan 2014 12:42:02 -0500

As has happened before, when something we think of as sort of contemporary — a gay kiss, a loved one lost to a fatal car accident, a rape — unfolds amid the gentility of Downton Abbey, some viewers object. I...



The Mailbag: A Downton Downer and Other Things

Mon, 13 Jan 2014 14:51:56 -0500

Despite on-screen warnings by PBS at the beginning of last Sunday's edition of Downton Abbey that the segment was rated TV-14 and "The following drama contains scenes which may not be suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised," many...



Over the Air or Off the Air?

Thu, 09 Jan 2014 15:53:30 -0500

The powers that be at PBS were dancing in the aisles earlier this week (I didn't really see this but it was undoubtedly in the minimum-physical-contact, please; we're British style) when it was reported that the season four debut of...



Different Strokes From Different Folks

Thu, 19 Dec 2013 16:19:19 -0500

It is still sort of holiday-quiet in the ombudsman's mailbox, but one critical letter from a viewer in Miami raises an editorial issue that I seldom get asked about — a comparison between NPR (radio) and PBS (television) coverage of...



The Mailbag: The Holiday Spirit Is on Hold

Fri, 13 Dec 2013 11:58:08 -0500

The leader of North Korea had his uncle executed and a mentally-unbalanced sign-language fraud managed to stand next to President Obama in South Africa, but it's been relatively quiet these past two weeks for the ombudsman; no big controversies and...



The Mailbag: Bye-Bye Bobbleheads and Lots of Other Stuff

Thu, 21 Nov 2013 14:57:52 -0500

The ombudsman's mailbag has become quite stuffed in the past week or two, and in the past few days in particular, because of lots of email from people upset about a short video offering from PBS Digital Studios that was...



'It's (Not) Okay to be (Not) Smart'

Tue, 19 Nov 2013 16:20:15 -0500

The headline above is my edited version of the title of a PBS Digital Studios production of "A Very Special Thanksgiving Special/It's Okay to be Smart." The idea, its webpage states, is to "be thankful for everything science has given...



More Words About 'War of the Worlds'

Fri, 08 Nov 2013 16:21:37 -0500

Last week's column dealt with a documentary aired on Oct. 29 as part of the PBS "American Experience" series. The hour-long program marked the 75th anniversary of the famous 1938 CBS radio broadcast of the Orson Welles dramatization of a...



War of the Words

Thu, 31 Oct 2013 14:30:51 -0500

Sometimes, when journalists talk among themselves about stories they have read, the phrase "burying the lead" comes into the discussion. What is meant by that is a story that has important information way down inside the text, rather than at...



Muhammad on PBS: Was It Good for the Jews?

Tue, 29 Oct 2013 15:37:09 -0500

The question in the headline on this column is not meant to be frivolous. For Jews and their families in America in the 1930s, '40s and '50s — and even to some extent today — events from time to time...



The Mailbag: Some Viewers Want to Give PBS a 'Pop'

Wed, 23 Oct 2013 12:32:40 -0500

The ombudsman's mailbox continues to receive a modest but steady stream of complaints from viewers about those small but obvious promotional blurbs that "pop up" on your TV screen every once in a while during a favorite program to remind...