Dow-Funded PBS TV Series Promotes Dow and Its Product Lines

A new, four-part PBS television show airing this month called “America Revealed” is sponsored by the Dow Chemical company, whose products and commercial interests the program showcases. The arrangement leaves PBS open to charges that it is serving as a cheerleader for big industry in exchange for cash. The first episode aired on April 11, and was about large-scale agriculture — an area in which Dow is a leading business. The show examined the corn industry and portrayed controversial genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in a positive light. Dow manufactures genetically-modified seeds. Similar, self-serving segments follow in other areas in which Dow also has commercial interests: Infrastructure/Transportation, Energy and Consumer/lifestyle. Part two of the series, titled “Nation on the Move,” was about transportation, the third segment is titled “Electric Nation” and the final episode is about manufacturing in America.  Under PBS’s underwriting guidelines, that describe conflicts in the areas of editorial control, public perception and commercialism, the series should never have made it onto their network, since it fails all of their stated tests regarding acceptability.  Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) is urging PBS viewers to contact PBS and ask why Dow Chemical has been permitted to fund a series about issues that are so closely linked to Dow’s commercial interests.

Source: FAIR, April 23, 2012

1 comment for “Dow-Funded PBS TV Series Promotes Dow and Its Product Lines

  1. Daniel Fox
    April 23, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    “Commercials” on public television make it hard to distinguish from commercial television. One difference which remains makes it easy to find program listings and logs for commercially-sponsored programs on the commercial channels, and dreadfully hard to to find even for sponsored programs on the “public” channels.

    For instance: The News Hour will announce that a “Frontline” program, for instance, will be visible on public stations that night or later. The program you want is usually carried on a sub-carrier channel to a public station with perhaps four channels. But you cannot find anything which tells you where to look in a newspaper or even in a television “log”.

    So you miss watching the program. Some of those documentaries are very good and add to sensible public discourse, but they are completely buried.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *