Public television stations are one of the only places most people can see flamenco dancing like this.
Painting by Thornton Oakley, National Geographic
  • On May 25, 1953, KUHT, the first public television station in the U.S., broadcasted its first program. KUHT was a part of the University of Houston, Texas, and remains part of the system today. The first program broadcast was a local variety show aimed at young women, It’s Five.
    Public television stations serve the public interest, not individual advertisers or station-owners. Public television stations are funded by corporate sponsors, taxes, and individual contributions from “viewers like you.” Many public television stations, such as KUHT, are affiliated with universities or colleges in the area they serve. 
    Public television stations are dedicated to broadcasting programs not available on commercial networks. Many of these programs appeal to underrepresented communities, such as youth, those with minority or marginalized identities, or the poverty-stricken. Popular public television broadcasts include children’s programming, such as Sesame Street; dramas, such as Masterpiece Theater; documentaries, such as American Experience; or news programs, such as Frontline.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    advertise Verb to praise a product or service in order to encourage people to buy or use it.
    affiliate Verb

    to associate or connect to something else.

    broadcast Verb

    to transmit signals, especially for radio or television media.

    commercial Adjective

    having to do with the buying and selling of goods and services.

    contribution Noun

    resource donated to a cause.

    corporation Noun

    business made up of a group of stockholders, or people who own interest in the business.

    fund Verb

    to give money to a program or project.

    marginalize Verb

    to reduce the significance or importance of something.

    poverty Noun

    status of having very little money or material goods.

    public Adjective

    available to an entire community, not limited to paying members.

    sponsor Noun

    person or organization that finances a project.

    tax Noun

    money or goods citizens provide to government in return for public services such as military protection.

    variety Noun

    diversity or many different types.