CONTACT: Cara White, 843.881.1480, firstname.lastname@example.org Mary Lugo, 770.623.8190, email@example.com
Randall Cole, ITVS, 415.356.8383, ext. 254, firstname.lastname@example.org
More information and registration is available at www.input2005.org
(San Francisco, CA) — Sally Fifer, President and CEO of the Independent Television Service (ITVS), announced that ITVS will host INPUT 2005, the annual international public television conference held each year in May in a different country. This year's conference will take place in San Francisco, from May 1-6, 2005. Combining a global creative exchange with a public media think tank, INPUT (derived from “INternational PUblic Television”) features screenings, panels, meetings and special events that showcase the most creative, important and provocative independent and public programming today from around the world.
Says Fifer, “INPUT provides participants with opportunities to be reminded of the important role played by public media in this country and globally. It also gives attendees a crash course in the current state of world public television while bringing together a diverse and decentralized network of producers and media professionals to plan the future of public broadcasting.”
That future, and the goal of INPUT, is to bridge the global divide through public media. INPUT 2005 will help audiences, producers and leaders come together through television programs that go beyond stereotypes and sound bytes, carrying stories and perspectives that promote better understanding between different cultures. One other aim of the INPUT 2005 conference is to inaugurate a new global era of collaboration in public broadcasting and to stress the importance of bringing international perspectives to the United States as well as sharing American-produced programs with international audiences.
As countless news articles and surveys have shown, many Americans live in a virtually closed media system, one that is sorely lacking in a diversity of international viewpoints. Adds ITVS Vice President, CFO Judy Tam, the Executive Producer of INPUT 2005, “Studies have show that most Americans get their news from only one source, primarily television. In a world where the percentage of hard news covered by commercial television is slipping, public television is poised to correct this imbalance and what better way to do that than by sharing original public television broadcasting from around the world?”
INPUT is the only event that unites over 1,500 public and independent television professionals from over 60 countries each year, all dedicated to producing and distributing programming that serves the public interest. Attendees include independent producers and the top executives who fuel the world's national broadcasting systems in the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. INPUT also attracts professionals from the realms of education, philanthropy, and others who use public media as a tool for communication and social change in the fields of environmentalism, health, economic development and justice.
Under the leadership of ITVS, whose signature series Independent Lens has often looked beyond American shores for its stories, and some forty international media and broadcasting organizations, INPUT 2005 will include:
− Screenings of over 80 hours of the best of the world's public television programming, along with panel discussions with the filmmakers and leading figures in the world of television, journalism and public affairs.
− In collaboration with the Kaiser Family Foundation and led by PBS President and CEO Pat Mitchell, INPUT 2005 will be the site of an invitation-only Leadership Summit, a meeting of the world's foremost public media giants to establish the basis for improved international communication and resource sharing, with CEOs of public media networks from around the world attending. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation also provided funding for the Summit.
− INPUT will be working with the prestigious Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the Center for Public Integrity. The Center will enable qualified journalists to attend the conference in an effort to raise the level of discourse regarding the importance of public media to free and democratic societies around the world, and the importance of bringing international issues to the attention of citizens.
− INPUT 2005 will feature panels on topics including Indigenous Peoples, Independent Filmmaking, Outreach for Public Media Programming, Commissioning editors/Co-production opportunities, a journalism panel on “The State of International Public Television,” and “How Public Television Handles Diversity Internationally,” hosted by the U.S. Minority Consortia.
Held in a different country each May, INPUT 2005 will take place—for the first time in its 28-year history—in San Francisco, a center for independent media and home to ITVS. Supported by new planning and funding initiatives developed ITVS, the 2005 conference, whose theme is “The Power of Public Media,” will make an unprecedented commitment to diversity, collaboration and international exchange. While the first INPUT conference featured 240 delegates from 12 countries, INPUT 2005 expects to host close to 2000 delegates from over 60 different countries. INPUT 2005 will include delegates from Iran and Nepal for the first time ever as well as an increased presence from Mexico and Nigeria. A program of International Scholarships is being developed in partnership with 55 consulates, major international exchange organizations and culturally-focused groups. Through fellowship support, ITVS will be able to provide assistance for travel and conference expenses to independent producers and public media executives from countries and regions of the world previously under-represented at INPUT, notably from Eastern Europe, Russia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.
Besides the “business” of INPUT, several social and cultural events will bring delegates together including an opening night reception at the Hilton Grand Ballroom featuring several local dance troupes and a celebration at San Francisco's historic City Hall.
Concludes Sally Fifer, “In an environment in which media has become increasingly slanted, confrontational, and sensational, public media has a unique opportunity to step into the fray and provide clarity, reason, differing viewpoints and a more complete picture of our world. With INPUT 2005, we plan to bring together the world's public television community and create a new model of sharing that will give viewers in all countries a deeper understanding of the world we all share.” For information on attending the conference, submitting programs for screening, and for a complete schedule and registration information, go to input2005.org.
INPUT, founded in 1978, is the acronym derived from “INternational PUblic Television.” It exists to encourage the highest quality television programming worldwide, to support television as a service to the public, to promote discussion and debate about the television craft, and to serve as a global meeting point for those who make television. It recognizes television's potential to promote better understanding among the world's different cultures. INPUT is a volunteer organization, supported by conference registration fees, public television organizations, individuals and various institutions, agencies and foundations.
At INPUT, the lights go down in three big screening rooms in that year's host city. Three different programs roll. When the lights come up again, an INPUT moderator introduces the program maker, and the debate ensues. While many valuable professional contacts have been made at INPUT, and many co-productions, joint ventures and sales have been conceived at INPUT gatherings, INPUT is far more than a professional television market. For many television professionals, the annual INPUT conference is an oasis where they refresh their ideals and renew their determination to truly make television in the public interest.
In addition to the annual conference, INPUT organizes many other activities throughout the year to promote high quality television and provide television program makers with professional development opportunities. PREPUT takes place three days prior to the conference and mini-INPUTs take place throughout the year.
INPUT is much more than a television festival. It is a volunteer organization governed and administered by men and women working with public television, public television organizations, individuals and interested institutions, agencies and foundations.
Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web and the Emmy® Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens on Tuesday nights at 10 P.M. on PBS. ITVS is a miracle of public policy created by media activists, citizens and politicians seeking to foster plurality and diversity in public television. ITVS was established by a historic mandate of Congress to champion independently produced programs that take creative risks, spark public dialogue and serve underserved audiences. Since its inception in 1991, ITVS programs have revitalized the relationship between the public and public television, bringing TV audiences face-to-face with the lives and concerns of their fellow Americans. More information about ITVS can be obtained by visiting itvs.org. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American People.