Feb 28, 2012

AOL and PBS partner to launch "Makers: Women Who Make America" online

AOL and PBS today launched the multiplatform project "Makers: Women Who Make America" to showcase "hundreds of compelling stories from women of today and tomorrow," as the site says. Tim Armstrong, AOL c.e.o., told Bloomberg News, "Women’s content is a major strategic focus for us."

"Makers" filmmaker Dyllan McGee called the online-first approach "the future of documentaries." The 59 interviews on the site so far include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, tennis great Billy Jean King, newswoman Barbara Walters, entertainment icon Oprah Winfrey and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. In 2013, PBS will premiere a related three-hour documentary telling the story of the women's movement over the last 50 years. WETA in Arlington, Va., will develop national outreach.

Butler of APTS reflects on year's successes, but notes more work ahead

"What a difference a year makes," Patrick Butler, president of the Association of Public Television Stations, told the crowd at the group's Public Media Summit on Monday (Feb. 27) in Arlington, Va. Last year at this time, Butler notes, the House of Representatives had just voted to eliminate all federal funding for public broadcasting. But since then pubcasters have notched several victories, including resurrecting the fiscal 2011 appropriation for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from zero to $445 million.

"Washington wisdom has it that we are likely to bump along this year with a series of stop-gap funding measures through the election; and that the mother of all lame-duck Congresses will come back after the elections to deal with a host of pressing tax and spending issues," Butler said. "Uncertain as these prospects may be, we can take great confidence in the fact that we have earned the support of some of the most powerful Republicans and Democrats in this city. And we have made ourselves a force to be reckoned with in Washington, D.C."

His full speech to pubcasters is online here.

Today (Feb. 28), participants travel to Capitol Hill to meet with legislators, where they'll be greeted by a pep talk from pubTV documentarian Ken Burns.