The Corporation for Public Broadcasting will spend $20 million over the next several years on programming to expand the national debate over the direction of the country’s post-9/11 domestic and foreign policy.
The America at the Crossroads initiative will be a series of documentaries dealing with such topics as the nature of international terrorism, America’s image abroad, radical Islamic movements, preemptive military action, unilateralism, regime change, and conflicts between homeland security and civil liberties.
Typically, CPB funds are an important "fraction" of a project. CPB says it will fund a greater portion of these projects than in the past. Why? "There is an appetite for better understanding of the big issues of the day," says CPB spokeswoman Jeannie Bunton.
There will also be a separate initiative to help teach civics and history to middle school and high school kids. Bunton calls the school initiative an attempt to fill in gaps in public TV’s educational mission, or what she calls "addressing our historical amnesia," citing as an example the fact that some children don’t know when the civil war was fought.
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