Special Issue: PBS on Trial [Documentary magazine, 1988]
In anticipation for our upcoming Doc U on the future of documentary film on PBS, we dove deep into the archives to prove that this conversation is one that has been going on for quite some time. We dusted off an issue of Documentary magazine (then titled International Documentary) from all the way back in 1988, one that dedicated all of its pages to the discussion of PBS and the future of its non-fiction and independent programming. Articles focus on P.O.V.—then a fledgling series in its first year—a program which author Marc Weiss calls "a new hope for documentaries on PBS"; in another, David Bolt inquires "How Public is Public TV?" While the nature of the conversation has shifted just slightly, one thing remains a constant from 24 years ago to today: the uncertain future of non-fiction programming on public television.
To keep up on the conversation and prepare yourself for our event at the Cinefamily, you can now read the entire issue online. We will keep this up as a resource. You can also click the link below to expand the issue and read now.