Stand like a rock and put something good in your brain
Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "In matters of style, swim with the current; In matters of principle, stand like a rock." For me - not to be overly dramatic - this principle seems to sum up how I feel after 31 years in the public media business, including nearly 19 years at AETN. Working in public television during these three decades has convinced me that we do well when we try to keep up with new technologies and ways of doing our work BUT ONLY if we stick to our mission and principles. For AETN it is summed up for me in our name, the "Arkansas Educational Television Network." We are now more than just television, of course, but that word "education" holds the key for us...and hopefully for you as well.
Understand that all media is educational; the question is just what is it teaching? I feel comfortable with our perception of education at AETN: kids, schools, heritage and culture and, of course, Arkansas. From FRONTLINE to NOVA; AMERICAN EXPERIENCE to Ken Burns; SESAME STREET to SUPER WHY, CURIOUS GEORGE and CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG; ARKANSAS WEEK to EXPLORING ARKANSAS WITH CHUCK DOVISH; and from GREAT PERFORMANCES, MASTERPIECE and AUSTIN CITY LIMITS to AETN PRESENTS; I can go home each night knowing that no matter how stressed our budgets are or worrying how we can stay up with the ever-changing technology we at AETN have provided programs and services useful to Arkansans. And, importantly, we do it without shouting across the screen and trying each day to respect our audience.
I hope you believe this television business is more than simply a collection of wires and lights inside a box designed to make somebody money, as important as that is in our day and age. So we try to be something different, something more, something that just does not only occupy your time but, hopefully, now and again, occupy your mind and take you to new places, to new sounds, to new voices, to new ideas. Sometimes we may fall short but I am proud of how many times we exceed our hopes by bringing you something very special.
If you agree, we hope you will consider continuing, renewing or making a decision to support AETN with your dollars. Believe me, I know how difficult that is for each of us but I guarantee you we will do all we can to continue to earn your trust!
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