Selections from the newspaper about
public TV and radio in the United States

What is Current?

For 30 years, Current has been the newspaper about public media in the United States; for 15 years it's been a website, too.

The paper comes out 23 times a year, usually biweekly, every other Monday.

It's read by people involved in public TV and public radio — station employees, independent producers, local volunteers and board members, viewers and listeners, state and national policymakers and others.

In a field of autonomous stations and independent producers, split between TV and radio and spread around a very large country, the most widely read periodical serves as one of the few shared resources—public broadcasting's meeting place.

As of Jan. 1, 2011, Current became an editorially independent journalistic service of American University School of Communication, Washington, D.C. Current reported the transfer in December 2010.

Assistance from the Wyncote Foundation, based in Philadelphia, made it possible to make the transition from ownership by (formerly Educational Broadcasting Corp.), operator of public TV stations WNET and WLIW in New York City. WNET was Current's parent organization for most of its first 30 years.

The newspaper was founded in 1980 by the National Association of Educational Broadcasters, the historic forerunner and parent of both PBS and NPR. NAEB was to last only two years longer, however, and a publishing committee of pubcast stations raised funds to resume publication at WNET.

See our timeline of the newspaper's history and the 20th anniversary message from the editor.

Dear former DirectCurrent users:

Thanks to participants for your conversations in the Ning contraption that we attached awkwardly to We’ll save some of the dialogue for possible later republication.

Usage dropped off sharply early in 2010, except among the hundreds of spammers, who began inserting their ads for psoriasis remedies among your fine colloquies, mind-melds and rants.

We hope to offer better interactive options on our site sometime soon, and we'd welcome your suggestions.

Until then, there's always e-mail:

—The Editors

Web page posted Jan. 2, 2011
Copyright 2011 by American University School of Communication,
Washington, DC
Office in Takoma Park, MD

Are all of Current's stories on this website?

No. Since 1995 we have posted many of our articles on this site, but we haven't been able to put all of our content on the Web.

The newspaper and website are supported only by the newspaper's subscribers and advertisers and have no other major ongoing revenue source.


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Portions of four front pages of "Current"