Ignatian Values: Public Broadcasting Service
Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is a non-profit American broadcast television network, and is one of the most prominent providers of television programs to public television stations in the United States. Today, PBS is well known for distributing popular and successful programming such as Sesame Street, PBS NewsHour, Masterpiece Theater, Frontline, and Antique Roadshow. With 356 member stations, PBS offers all audiences, from all walks of life, the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online access. Each month, PBS reaches more than 115 million people on-air and online, to experience diverse subjects such as science, history, nature and public affairs with diverse viewpoints; and enjoy world-class performances as never before. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and Web site, PBSKids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in adults and children.
Since its inception, PBS has always remained thoroughly committed to an inspiring vision. This is illustrated by the organization’s mission, which states: “PBS’ mission is to create content that educates, informs and inspires. To do this, PBS offers programming that expands the minds of children, documentaries that open up new worlds, non-commercialized news programs that keep citizens informed on world events and cultures and programs that expose America to the worlds of music, theater, dance and art.”1
PBS’ journey in developing a broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. A national survey by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media, a non-partisan international research company, has placed PBS as America's most-trusted national institution for the sixth consecutive year2. According to the study, “Americans consider PBS the nation’s most trusted institution among nationally known organizations and the best choice in children’s programming...43% trust PBS programs a “great deal.” CNN came in second with 28% and FOX News third at 27%.
It is for these reasons and distinctions that I have chosen PBS as an exemplary organization that I believe demonstrates Ignatian values and spirituality in their business management policies and strategies. Before I delve directly into examples of PBS’ business practices, I provide below, a brief overview of my understanding of Ignatian Values.
Ignatian values and Spirituality
Ignatian values are a set of principles that contribute to an “integrated way of living”. Lowney describes the four principles as the pillars characterized by the Jesuits in their successful leadership style or “way of proceeding” based on a spiritual philosophy of magis. Magis is the Latin expression for aspiring for more, that is, to “choose and desire the strategic option that is more conducive” to one’s goals. Lowney calls this the...