Major Public Affairs Effort to Fund Documentaries Covering Post 9-11 Themes
Washington, D.C., March 1 , 2004 — As America continues to wrestle with the changes to the world after 9/11, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) today launched a major initiative to advance the national debate on the most pressing issues of the day, Robert T. Coonrod, CPB President and CEO announced.

“In these extraordinary times, it’s worth remembering that public broadcasting was established to create in-depth and quality television programming that informs, engages, and enriches the national dialogue,” Coonrod said. “America at a Crossroads demonstrates CPB’s commitment to that mandate, as well as CPB’S intention to channel the resources necessary to attract the nation’s best talent to help us grapple with the challenges facing America and Americans in today’s world.”

America at a Crossroads will fund the production and national broadcast of incisive, innovative television programs on some of the most pressing issues of our time: the nature and direction of international terrorism, the war against it, the use of American power against states that harbor or “sponsor” terrorists, America’s image abroad, radical Islamic movements, preemptive military action, unilateralism, regime change, conflicts between homeland security and civil liberties, and other still-emerging questions resulting from the 9/11 attacks.

CPB will commit up to $20 million to the Crossroads initiative over the next several years and will take the leading role in underwriting individual films. This unprecedented financial commitment is intended to attract America’s most outstanding documentary film makers to the project; to accelerate the “production design-to-broadcast” cycle; and, to enable producers to focus their creative energies on producing quality television products rather than on seeking funds.

“We will seek innovative, provocative ideas from multiple sources. We intend to bring in new voices who will advance and enrich the discussion, not rehash the same old conversation,” said Michael Pack, CPB Senior Vice President for Television Programming.

A separate initiative to teach middle school and high school kids about American history and civics is also under development.

Further information about America at a Crossroads can be found in the relevant Request for Proposal (RFP) posted at http://www.cpb.org/tv/funding/crossroads/.

Contact Information:

Producer contact:
Nick Freshman

Press contact:
Jeannie Bunton

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