Read more here.
So, if you are a devoted follower of the news and of PBS, when horrific stories such as the one that unfolded in Tucson last Saturday, Jan. 8, you must go to the big three broadcast networks or cable for coverage. The PBS NewsHour will get around to it on Monday evening.
It happens, quite naturally, several times a year, by my unofficial accounting, that important stories break on Saturday or Sunday when PBS is nowhere to be found on the television news spectrum. It is especially true during presidential election campaigns, when important, fast-breaking events and turns get put aside for a few days.
Maybe the world is turning away from the tube and onto online news only, but you can’t tell that from the people who write to me about all kinds of things. They are television viewers and that’s what they depend on and that’s what PBS means to them.
There are no doubt impressive-sounding reasons, financial or otherwise, why there is no PBS NewsHour, or something similar, on Saturday and Sunday evenings. But it has always seemed to me like an abdication of duty that also has the side effect of sending regular PBS viewers to other networks. The weekday evening NewsHour is one of PBS’s flagship programs and Jim Lehrer is among journalism’s most respected figures. So it just seems inconsistent with a commitment to news and public affairs, and to promoting the NewsHour and Lehrer as something special and unique — as PBS officials do publicly to emphasize the importance of public broadcasting — that some new formula can’t, or won’t, be found to serve the public on Saturday and Sunday as well.
Friday, January 14, 2011
No News, Please; It’s The Weekend
From Michael Getler, Ombudsman For PBS
Posted by Tom Benson at 8:57 AM