PBS Guam, a public, nonprofit provider of educational television programs, will launch its own local news program, officials said.
Ina Carillo, station manager of PBS Guam, confirmed on Tuesday a “new program in the works” in which the station “will offer a format similar to that of news to the community.”
It will be modeled on the famous PBS NewsHour.
“PBS-affiliated stations across the country produce an information product every day. Most PBS licensees are operated by local universities, educational institutions, or local state government. The fact that (it’s) an election year has nothing to do (with) the launch, let alone timing,” Carillo told the Guam Daily Post.
PBS Guam recently received some $500,000 in state-of-the-art equipment and other upgrades to help modernize the Mangilao facility, as well as comply with Federal Communications Commission requirements.
Adelup and PBS Guam said the money used to buy the equipment came from a U.S. Department of the Interior technical assistance grant that Carillo applied for in 2019 with help from the Guam State Clearinghouse.
“There will be no bias and our coverage will be fair to all,” Carillo said, responding to a question about a government-run PBS news program during a gubernatorial election year.
Although PBS Guam is a government agency, it also reports to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which also funds the station, Carillo said.
She also said that PBS NewsHour is one of the most trusted television news programs in the country.
“They have journalists on the ground in Ukraine and other parts of Europe as we speak, covering critical and unbiased issues for the world. While our coverage is obviously local, our plan is to maintain this standard while delivering our content to the community,” said Carillo.
Vice President Tina Muña Barnes also shared the information on the PBS Guam news program during the April 8 presentation of new studio equipment.
“I understand that, based on the words of the Lieutenant Governor and solely on behalf of the PBS family, you will launch PBS News, joining our PBS counterparts in providing fair, unbiased, accurate and timely information to our people. And what best gift you can give back to the community?” said Barnes.
PBS began recruiting professionals from other media organizations to work on the news format show.
Krystal Paco-San Agustin, the governor’s director of communications, said Tuesday that “some of the best and brightest local news outlets are interested in contributing to the future of PBS speaks volumes about the level of professionalism in this small displays team of industry members.”
“Adelup doesn’t get into the news,” she said.
“Across the country, PBS stations have news programming, for example Amanpour. They are licensed and must remain fair and balanced. We have no reason to believe that our local PBS would not behave in the same way .”
Carillo said Tuesday that the station will release more information about the new program when it’s ready to launch.
“My team has worked very hard to bring the station to a place where we can finally produce sustainable, viable programming for our station, and it’s an achievement we’re all proud of,” she said.
PBS can be reached at 671-734-5483 or by visiting pbsguam.org.
During the April 8 equipment presentation, Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio said the type of education that public television provides to the people of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands is irreplaceable.
At the height of the pandemic, officials said, PBS partnered with the Guam Department of Education and launched PBS University and PBS University Higher Learning, which have become invaluable resources for students during shutdowns and other times. restrictions related to COVID-19.
The station also launched its second TV channel called PBS Kids 24/7 and an online resource called PBS Learning Media during the first lockdown.
“There has been a sea change here at PBS Guam,” PBS Chairman of the Board Donovan Brooks said at the April 8 event. “It started when Ina Carillo took over the management of the station.”