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PBS #1 in Public Trust, Respect According to New Roper Poll

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PBS Gets Top-Ranking for Trustworthiness and Is Seen As Excellent Use of Tax Dollars

ALEXANDRIA, Va., February 5, 2004 -- In a survey just completed by the non-partisan, international research company RoperASW, the American public called PBS the most trusted institution on a list of nationally known organizations in the country and the best use of tax dollars, second only to military defense. The recent national opinion study, which included 1,000 randomly selected participants across the country, also found Americans are more satisfied with programming on PBS compared with commercial broadcasting or cable networks and consider PBS news and public affairs series the most trustworthy. The majority of people surveyed believe that public broadcasting receives "too little" funding from the federal government and that money given to PBS stations from the government, corporations and individuals is "money well spent."

"We were pleased to work with PBS on this national survey," said Ed Bergstein, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Media, of RoperASW. "These results show that the American public places great trust in PBS and that they believe that they are getting their money's worth in return for the public and private funds that are invested in the service."

"These results confirm what we have known for a long time, that Americans trust and value PBS," said PBS President and CEO Pat Mitchell. "We deeply respect the high standards to which we are held, which is why we work so hard to provide unparalleled quality in PBS programs, and after programs have aired, to make sure the value of that investment continues. We work every day to serve the American people through the power of media, and the results of this survey tell us that work is paying off."

Highlights of the survey:

PBS is the most trusted of the seven national institutions asked about: 50 percent of respondents trust PBS "a great deal." Courts of law are second with 28 percent.


PBS is the most valuable service tax payers receive, second only to military defense. 20 percent stated PBS was an "excellent" use of their tax dollars. Military defense alone outranked PBS, with 36 percent giving it the highest rating.


Americans are most satisfied with programming on PBS compared to cable and commercial broadcast. 34 percent of respondents are "very satisfied" with current PBS programs, compared to 24 percent for cable and 16 percent for commercial broadcast.


The majority of Americans (59 percent) believe having PBS is "very important." Commercial broadcasting and cable networks were considered very important by only 40 percent and 36 percent of respondents, respectively.


PBS has the most trusted news and public affairs programs. Forty percent trust PBS programs "a great deal." CNN was second at 33 percent.


Most Americans (79 percent) believe that funding given to PBS from governments, corporations and individuals is "money well spent."


The majority of the public (51 percent) believe the federal funding PBS receives is "too little."


The telephone survey of 1,000 adults between the ages of 25 to 75 years old was conducted by RoperASW between December 22, 2003 and January 15, 2004. It was commissioned by PBS and will be administered annually beginning with this study. For a full copy of the survey, please contact Jan McNamara at PBS (phone: 703-739-5028 / email:

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations. Serving nearly 90 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.

RoperASW, an NOP World company, is a leading global marketing research and consulting firm with headquarters in New York and offices in London, Manila, and throughout the U.S. NOP World is among the ten largest global market research companies in the U.S. and the world. Bringing together some of the most renowned U.S. and European research firms in a unified global network, NOP World is a wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based United Business Media plc.

United Business Media ( is a leading provider of business-to-business media solutions. Its products and services help companies around the world meet their market information needs. In addition to NOP World, UBM's businesses include PRNewswire, the world's leading news distribution service, and CMP, the business-to-business media and exhibition group operating in focused market sectors such as hi-tech, healthcare, property, entertainment, jewelry and fashion in the U.S., U.K., Asia and Europe.


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Lea Sloan, 703/739-5021,
Jan McNamara, 703/739-5028,