Elizabeth Jensen has an interesting piece in the New York Times today (6/20/11) about Los Angeles public television station KCET. After deciding to cut its ties to PBS, the channel is experimenting with different programming options, including Al Jazeera English.
And the results so far, according to one station official:
Mr. Marcus said he had been braced for some criticism from viewers about Al Jazeera EnglishÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬ÃƒÂ¢”Å¾Â¢s point of view, but 'most people think itÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬ÃƒÂ¢”Å¾Â¢s been very even-handed.ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬Ãƒâ€šÂ He praised the scope of coverage, noting that last week the program carried reports from Argentina, China and Sri Lanka. 'I would guess those are all stories you would not see on a domestic newscast,ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬Ãƒâ€šÂ he said.
Perhaps one way to improve public television is to get away from PBS.