« 이전계속 »
Mr. LOOMIS. There is always the normal advertising, but also when you get to this kind of specialized function, you will find there will be organizations that deal with the specialty.
The Izaak Walton League will be dealing with fishing, for example. Chairman METCALF. Let us consider that, for example.
I am a member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. We meet four or five times a year and use our funds to purchase wildlife refuges. We meet and approve refuges in, say, 6 or 10 States.
Suppose we are considering the purchase of land in Texas and the purchase of land in Oregon. How would we inform people? Would we have to go to the Wilderness Society?
Mr. Loomis. First, we would be informed of a committee meeting there, so we would inform the stations concerned, particularly if we knew there was a possible real estate transaction in Oregon. We then would inform the public broadcasting station in Oregon, and the one in Texas.
They would undoubtedly inform their local contacts, the local press, the commercial radios, and the other interested parties.
We also have an Advisory Council of 49 national organizations that advises the Corporation on a series of things. Most of the important subjects would undoubtedly be under the purview of one or another of these 49 national organizations. They would let their local chapters know. The case you cite is an example when flexibility is liecessary. Undoubtedly, there would be many nature lovers, irrespective of where they were located, who would be interested in at least a summary of the proceedings, while the individuals in the State or proximity of the specific piece of real estate would want to hear every word that everybody said so they would know what was going to happen.
I think what we should have, and hopefully would have, is the flexibility to provide both the general coverage or general specialization in wildlife and the specific coverage for those very much personally involved in the decision.
Chairman METCALF. Now, as you brought out in your statement, Mr. Loomis, some of the financing of public television and public radio is part of an appropriation by Congress.
Do you see any difficulty in expanding your coverage of Congress and possible conflict of interest because of congressional financing of public television ?
Mr. Loomis. This is a difficult issue. We have given some thought to it, and we have some precedence at the State level.
The money that the Federal Government gives to the Corporation is of course for all purposes, and we have entered into agreements with the local licensees that much of it goes by a formula directly to the licensee. There is some left for national programing, but we do not make unilaterally the decisions as to what that programing will be. We work with the stations to make that decision.
In fact, in the agreement with the television stations, there is a specific clause which says we cannot pay for the production of a program that the stations do not want, so we cannot force anything, nor should we be able to force anything, on the stations.
Now, in the case of at least a few of the State legislatures that I am aware of, and in the case of some city councils, the issue of conflict of interest comes up at a different level. Let me give you an example. which you may hear about further, because that station will be represented. It happens to be Jacksonville, Fla. The concept of gavel-togavel coverage of the city council was advanced, and that sounded like a reasonable idea. The station was able to get support for it from a foundation, and the foundation supported it for several years. Then the support ran out, and the station had no other resources, so it stopped the coverage.
The public outcry was sufficient to give them the support that they needed.
Now, it is also true in Florida, that the State legislature has given a special appropriation for expenses for the coverage of the legislature. This support is over and above and distinct from the general support that has supported public television through the State educational system. In the case of the coverage of the Connecticut Legislature it was funded at least initially, by the Benton Foundation.
These examples raise, to me, a rather fundamental question of principle of whether we should be relying on the generosity and foresight of a private institution to support the coverage of public institutions ?
This is fraught with many delicate problems of a constitutional and legal nature. But I think they can be overcome if it is clear to all concerned that there is complete arms-length, that the Congress does not attempt and could not succeed controlling or influencing what goes on the air.
Chairman METCALF. I can see more problems and more difficulties in broadcasting the Congress than a State legislature or a city council meeting,
I have served in the State legislature. I walked into the legislature. sat down at my desk in the chamber, and I was in my office for 60 days. You are always there on the floor. But here I am, while Senator Mansfield is on the floor. Senator Fulbright is conducting the Foreign Relations Committee, and so forth, and you people are going to have to edit and choose, because there are only so many hours a day. And maybe somebody on the Appropriations Committee can say, “Look, you did not give us our fair share of coverage, and so we are going to cut the appropriation for public television."
Now, can you see something of that nature happening?
Mr. Loomis. Yes, sir, but if the United Nations method were adopted, there would be a congressional staff that did the physical televising.
What you would be providing would be for a cost. We would have to come up with the costs, but we would have access to the raw data. That means at some future time, if we wanted to do a documentary on the problem, to use this committee as an example of the coverage of the Congress itself, we could then have a file to go back to take a look at the hours of testimony, and select out of it those significant parts that tied into an overall documentary. We might add to that some statement from a judge on the problems of the first amendment. You might have a statement from the Justice Department, and so forth tying it all together. Right now, we do not have the raw data, we do not have what Congress did on the subject, and therefore, the documentary is a commentator saying the Congress did such and such, and the point of view of Senator so and so was as follows, which is not nearly as effective as the individual legislator stating it himself.
Chairman METCALF. Well, now, this brings up another question.
Suppose public television participates in this rather broad and exensive coverage, which you can do because you do not have commerial sponsorship, and somebody from CBS, ABC, or NBC comes to you nd says, “We are doing a documentary, and we want to have access o that film."
Would you be able to make it available to commercial stations?
Mr. LOOMIS. Yes, I think the data is like the Congressional Record. Che Congressional Record is available, and any commentator or newsJaper can write anything they want and use any excerpt they want.
Chairman METCALF. In these days of energy shortages, the Conpressional Record makes excellent fuel. But there would be a pool and in opportunity for others to come in and use the film or whatever you sad assembled.
Mr. LOOMIS. Yes, I certainly do not think that public television should have exclusive coverage, not at all.
I think if you use the United Nations concept, the material is the property of the Congress. It is then made available for a fee to anyone who wishes to buy, and I believe the United Nations recovers something like half of its actual cost, when it sells the material to the television and radio stations of any country that is a member of the United Nations. You can do the same thing here.
You might find out there are certain types of coverage that are not worth much-nobody wants to buy it; nobody needs it or wants it; or there may be some way in which you want to judge, with the networks and ourselves beforehand, if there would be enough interest, either now or in the future, to justify coverage.
I think one of the differences between our coverage and what you have been hearing earlier in the morning is that most of the network interest is in current things, something on the news tonight, or a documentary right now, while the energy crisis is important.
Our documentaries might well be covering a longer span, and have less immediacy. We might also cover several subjects in addition to those that are No. 1 in the news, such as the energy crisis.
Chairman METCALF. Certainly, I appreciate your appearance here, Mr. Loomis. You have given us a different concept of television coverage, an important and significant one too.
I certainly wish you would consider a pilot program with public television, which would be an exploratory way to determine what Congress should do and could also help us work out problems we may face with commercial television coverage.
Mr. LOOMIS. We are doing one now on radio called "The Anatomy of a Bill," where we are following the no-fault insurance bill.
It is a civics lesson, if nothing else, as to how a bill starts and its trials and tribulations on the way through the Congress.
We can do this in radio, because as we stated, radio has much more access to committee hearings than television, and of course it is much cheaper and more flexible as a medium. I think, if we had access, this is the kind of coverage that we would propose to the television stations as well.
Chairman METCALF. I thank you very much for your testimony. It is very much appreciated. Mr. LOOMIS. Thank you. Chairman METCALF. We will take a short recess. [Whereupon, the committee was in short recess.]
Chairman METCALF. The Joint Committee will be in order.
We have heard from the top executives of the Nation's commercial and public networks, both television and radio. They have given us a very useful picture of the concerns and interests that guide their broadcast coverage of Congress. But there is another dimension that must be taken into account: the concerns and interests of the working journalists who daily cover the activities of Congress.
We have asked that four chiefs of broadcast news bureaus in Washington provide the Joint Committee with a sense of their concerns and priorities.
We have with us three network bureau chiefs-Frank Jordan of NBC News, John Lynch of ABC News, and William Small of CBS News--and the bureau chief of a leading group broadcaster, Sid Davis of Westinghouse.
Several additional points are in order: Bill Small, as you probably know, has recently been appointed a vice president of CBS News and assigned to New York on a full-time basis. Thus, we should refer to Mr. Small as the former bureau chief of CBS News in Washington.
Second, it is my understanding that Mr. Jordan, Mr. Small, and Mr. Lynch have prepared a joint statement from the perspective of the commercial networks and as the network media committee that regularly meets to coordinate Presidential broadcasts and such congressional presentations as the state of the Union response. Mr. Davis has agreed to participate in the panel so that the perspective of a group broadcaster could also be presented to the Joint Committee members.
We appreciate the cooperation of Mr. Jordan, Mr. Lynch, Mr. Small, and Mr. Davis in agreeing to this format in order to conserve time and to make it possible for Joint Committee members to question the panel at one time.
The purpose of this discussion is to provide a maximum amount of information and opinion in as brief a period as possible.
We hope the discussion will be informal and flexible. A free-flowing exchange of information is the objective; and with these words of introduction, I call upon the network bureau chiefs for their statement, to be followed by the comments of Mr. Davis. Mr. Jordan, you may proceed. FRANK J. JORDAN, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, NBC NEWS
Frank J. Jordan, Chief of the Washington Bureau of the National Broadcasting Company since early 1969, joined NBC news in 1956 after 5 years as a reporter for United Press International. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Mr. Jordan has specialized in political coverage and other areas. He has traveled around the world as a "pool" producer during President Nixon's trips. WILLIAM SMALL, VICE PRESIDENT OF CBS NEWS, FORMERLY
WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF
William J. Small, recently named senior vice president and director of news for the Columbia Broadcasting System, has for the past 12 years been Washing
ton Bureau chief for CBS News. He joined CBS in 1962 after working as news director for radio station WLS in Chicago for 5 years. The author of two books on broadcast media, Mr. Small has been active in the national journalism society, Sigma Delta Chi, of which he currently is first vice president, A past president of the Radio and Television News Directors Association.
JOHN F. LYNCH, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, ABC NEWS
John F. Lynch, chief of the Washington Bureau of the American Broadcasting Company since early 1966, has worked in broadcast and print journalism for more than 30 years. He joined ABC news in 1961 after working as a reporter in North Dakota, Chicago and New York with UPI, NBC and CBS, Mr. Lynch is a past president of the Radio-Television Correspondents' Association in Washington.
SID DAVIS, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, GROUP W NEWS
Sid Davis, 46, chief of the Washington Bureau of Group W News (Westinghouse Broadcasting Company), is a former radio and television reporter in Youngstown, Ohio. He joined Group W as a White House correspondent in 1959 and continues to write and cover special assignments in addition to directing national programming of major news events.
Mr. JORDAN. Mr. Chairman, I am Frank Jordan, the Washington Bureau chief of NBC News. With me are John Lynch, Washington Bureau chief of ABC News, and Bill Small, who until he was named senior vice president, CBS News, earlier this month, was Washington Bureau chief of CBS News.
We compete with each other in our news-gathering activities, but there are times when for logistical or operational reasons we must pool our efforts. For that reason there exists a network committee in Washington for operational coordination, of which I happen to be the current chairman.
I shall therefore read this joint statement, but each of us stands ready to answer your questions for himself.
The presidents of our three companies have testified or will testify before this Joint Committee. It is not our intention to duplicate their testimony. We think we can best contribute to the work of this committee by dealing with the day-to-day problems of broadcast reporters in covering the Congress and by answering any questions you might have.
Before we do that, we wish to express our appreciation for your having commenced these hearings and for inviting us to assist you in your considerations.
You have heard and will be hearing more testimony about allowing television cameras to cover floor proceedings of the Senate and House of Representatives. We not only endorse opening the Chambers of the House and the Senate to our cameras, but we assure you such coverage is well within our capabilities from a technical standpoint, and that, furthermore, such coverage need not be unduly intrusive or bothersome.
We can discuss that with you if you desire, and in such detail as you may wish. It is, however, a complicated subject with many facets, Therefore, we suggest that matters of arrangements and responsibilities for coverage of floor proceedings be considered through informal consultations between this committee, or its designees, and a group of experienced broadcast journalists, including ourselves. We stand ready