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March 17, 2015

Documentary Filmmakers Fear Being Marginalized on Public TV

WNET's plans to move its documentary film programming to a lesser-known station has caused an outcry from filmmakers who say the station places more emphasis on what’s popular than on mission-driven programs, NPR reports.

Documentary filmmakers feel they are being marginalized and fear that other stations might follow WNET’s lead. They're airing their compaints at the SXSW conference in Austin, and some are saying the station cares more about wealthy white people than minorities.

The station said it would move POV and Independent Lens — programs that have tackled controversial topics like sexual assault in the military and health care — to its lesser-known station, WLIW. Three fourths of the "Antiques Roadshow" audience drops off when documentary programs follow it.