Public television in the United States is a multifaceted, noncommercial media enterprise that provides a broad range of informational, cultural, and educational programming and services to the American people through local public television stations. It began as educational television and continues to pioneer the use of new technologies to improve the accessibility and quality of lifelong learning.

Understanding Public Television

American public television is a unique phenomenon. Not only is it different from commercial broadcasting, but it is also very unlike public service or government-supported television elsewhere in the world. It is a complicated, multi-layered institution that does not lend itself to facile analyses or simple comparisons.

Public television is composed of over 350 independent local public television stations as well as national and regional organizations that provide ...

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