PBS Weighs Separation Of Church & Stations
By WASHINGTON POST
Added: Fri, 15 May 2009 23:00:00 UTC
Thanks to David for the link.
PBS stations are debating the limits of one of public television's basic commandments: Thou shalt not broadcast religious programming. The discussion, some station managers fear, could lead to a ban on broadcasts of local church services and other faith-oriented programs that have appeared on public stations for decades despite the prohibition.
The Public Broadcasting Service's board is to vote next month on a committee's recommendation to strip the affiliation of any station that carries "sectarian" content. Losing its PBS relationship would mean that a station could no longer broadcast programs that the service distributes, from "Sesame Street" to "Frontline."
The proposal is already having local ramifications. In anticipation of the vote next month, WHUT, the public station operated by Howard University in the District, has notified the Archdiocese of Washington that it will cancel "Mass for Shut-Ins," a Diocese-produced weekly program, if the PBS board adopts a strict interpretation. "Mass for Shut-Ins" has been carried on WHUT since 1996, and continuously on a Washington TV station for nearly 60 years.
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