The Carnegie Corporation and Public Broadcasting

Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society (Duke)



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Carnegie Corporation officer Art Singer knew that the Corporation, one of the nation’s largest private foundations, had in the past effectively used its convening power and financial resources to bring objective voices and policy influence to bear on problems of national importance such as medical education and race relations. On the issue of public television, Singer thought, various questions presented themelves. Should the Carnegie Corporation even take on this complex issue? Was a Carnegie-led commission the best way to contribute, or would some other form of involvement be better? If new public policy and legislation were needed, would the political waters be navigable?
Other key questions centered on people and process. Who should serve on the committee, lead it, and staff it? Should the recommendations of the Commission be allowed to emerge organically, or should officers at Carnegie and the Commission’s staff set up and guide the Commission to produce a predetermined desired result?



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