I'm writing to let you know of a programming decision made by Houston Public Media and share a statement from PBS about a story that broke today involving a former employee.
Houston Public Media has suspended broadcast of The Daily, a production of the New York Times.
Recent discoveries have led us to question whether The Daily, a national podcast, adequately represents Houston Public Media's core values and standards. Reports that The Daily host, Michael Barbaro, did not appropriately disclose material facts about his connection to the controversial Caliphate series during a recent broadcast are not consistent with Houston Public Media's commitment to transparency and journalistic standards.
Houston Public Media strives to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. To that end, we have decided to remove The Daily from our lineup until further notice. News 88.7 will air BBC Worldwide weeknights from 10 pm to 11 pm effective immediately.
PBS Statement about Project Veritas from CEO, Paula Kerger
We recently learned that a staff member in PBS's legal department was targeted by Project Veritas, an activist group known for producing deceptive videos. A video of that individual's personal interaction with an undercover member of Project Veritas was released today.
"This employee no longer works for PBS. As a mid-level staff attorney, he did not speak on behalf of our organization, nor did he make any editorial decisions. There is no place for hateful rhetoric at PBS, and this individual's views in no way reflect our values or opinions. We strongly condemn violence and will continue to do what we have done for 50 years – use our national platform and local presence to strengthen communities and bring people together."
Houston Public Media is committed to meeting the highest journalistic and ethical standards for all programs we produce and air. Earning and keeping your trust is our highest priority. Our organization also endeavors to create a work environment that values diversity, equity, and inclusion. Racism and discrimination of any kind have no place at Houston Public Media. These are challenging times, and we believe that it is precisely these moments that reveal true character.
With your continued trust, we will keep our standards high, let you know when we stumble, and get right back to doing the work you have so generously supported.
Please don't hesitate to contact me with your questions and feedback. We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve you and our community.