Partnership Will Bring Together Public Broadcasters from Four Nations to Bring Attention to the Global Water Crisis

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San Francisco, CA—The Knight Center for International Media at the University of Miami School of Communication and Independent Television Service International (ITVS) announced their partnership today to engage public broadcasters from Bahrain, Colombia, India, and South Africa to create television programs addressing the global potable water crisis. The partners launched the venture at the International Public Television (INPUT) Conference in Johannesburg where the partners are participating with the globe’s broadcasters and filmmakers at a Leadership Summit to coordinate and plan the next steps for this collaboration. 

Each country will produce a film about a nationally relevant water issue with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The University of Miami, for its part, will provide a visually compelling non-verbal film entitled 1H2O aimed at introducing audiences in each participating country to human beings’ relationship to water around the world. 

“One of the exciting aspects of this project is that it convenes independent producers and an international team of public broadcasters to share programming, ideas and strategies about an issue that affects every part of the world. This kind of collaboration is very new. In the long term, ITVS hopes it will plant the seed for more collective approaches between independents and public broadcasters about our most pressing global issues,” said, Sally Fifer, president and CEO of ITVS. 

Each one-hour time slot will consist of the non-verbal 1H2O coupled with the film made by a filmmaker from each of the participating countries. Public broadcasters in each country have agreed to provide airtime for this unique effort around World Water Day, March 22, 2009. The partners will invite international organizations, government agencies and nongovernmental organizations to organize water-related events and activities around the national broadcasts. 

“The world will never solve its most difficult problems until nations learn to communicate better across national borders. This initiative uses experimental documentaries to help focus attention on the world’s most pressing problems,” said Eric Newton, vice president of the journalism program at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. 

The Knight Center/ITVS partnership was preceded by the completion of the motion picture One Water at the University of Miami. More than five years in the making, One Water aims to bring attention to the world’s water crisis through the creation of compelling, journalistic stories around the world. “We see the completion of One Water as an occasion for the creation of more media on multiple platforms worldwide,” said Sanjeev Chatterjee, executive director of the Knight Center for International Media and the film’s producer, co-director and writer. 

The Knight Center for International Media/ITVS partnership has also created a web site: The recently launched site publishes work by international journalists, citizen journalists, filmmakers and multimedia authors interested in producing journalistic materials that help illuminate the world’s potable water situation. 

About the University of Miami Knight Center for International Media The mission of the Center is to integrate scholastic and creative energies to serve and transform the global journalism and communication profession. The Center is engaged with media projects that are aimed at having impact across national borders. Please visit 

About ITVS 

The 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 PM 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 is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. 

About Knight Foundation 

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of the U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Since 1950 the foundation has granted nearly $400 million to advance journalism quality and freedom of expression. Knight Foundation supports ideas and projects that create transformational change. 

CONTACT: Voleine Amilcar, ITVS 415-356-8383 x 244

Posted on May 9, 2008