Financial outlook dims for indies in public media

Independent journalists in public media are having an increasingly tough time earning a living as producers for public TV and radio, according to a survey commissioned by the Association of Independents in Radio and the Independent Television Service.

Over the past three years, 66 percent of radio indies who responded to the survey reported worsening financial problems.

The survey by Market Trends Research, backed by CPB, drew responses from 206 indies who have created content for public TV, radio or affiliated websites in the past two years.

The income outlook among radio indies, who made up 75 percent of survey respondents, is somewhat brighter than for those working in television, film and web production. Forty-one percent of TV and film indies said they expect to work with nonprofits and foundations as a source of future income, and nearly one-third see opportunities in education.

Radio indies participating in the survey expressed optimism about their ties to local stations. Nearly half reported “strong” or “very strong” relationships with their local public radio stations. Among indies working in TV and film, 77 percent reported that they had no relationship or weak or very weak ties with local public TV stations.

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