The VLU team has spoken with filmmakers, journalists, DEI officers, a member of Congress, station managers and so many others who care about the future of public media. All provide reasons to stay energized and engaged in the work of pushing PBS to live up to its founding mission. But the exhaustion and burnout that comes with organizing for systemic change is real. In our season finale, we consider what—and who—will determine the vibrancy and sustainability of PBS and its audiences moving forward.
This episode includes an update to Myrton Running Wolf’s story shared in Episode 4, about his painful experience in a mentorship program run out of Boston’s public television station, GBH.
Grace talks with Jihan Robinson, who currently helps lead documentaries at Hulu’s ONYX Collective, a BIPOC-led entertainment brand. Jihan underscores that tangible change will require ongoing investment and work by white people working in media, commercial and public alike. We also hear from filmmaker Kristi Jacobson, who shares what solidarity and accountability in the fight for racial justice and equity in media looks like for her and other white people.
Grace and Tunde reflect on what they’ve learned while making this podcast. And of course, we couldn’t end this series without hearing from you, our listeners.
In 2022, we encourage you to continue following this project as it evolves, on Twitter and through our website. Because we know what it’s going to take for PBS to finally listen: the voices, ideas, care and feedback of viewers like us.
Viewers Like Us co-host and reporter Akintunde Ahmad on set during a documentary film production.
Throughout fall 2021, Viewers Like Us hosts Grace Lee and Akintunde Ahmad extended interview invitations to public media leaders at CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and asked questions about the tangible actions CPB has committed to take in its ongoing efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusivity across the American public broadcasting system.
In keeping with our commitment to transparency, we are documenting these exchanges—our questions and the responses we received—for the public:
- Correspondence with Kimberly A. Howell, Inspector General, CPB
- Correspondence with Patricia Harrison, President and CEO, CPB
- Written response to VLU’s questions on diversity, equity, and inclusion at CPB, from Patricia Harrison, President and CEO, CPB
October 5, 2021, Realscreen
October 3, 2019, Sesame Workshop
November 7, 2019, Smithsonian Magazine