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PBS Standards

Core Principles

The PBS Editorial Standards are the cornerstone of our commitment to serving the public interest and preserving trust. Click on each of the six core principles to learn more:


Content distributed by PBS must be free of undue influence from third-party funders, political interests, and other outside forces.


Content should be produced in a way that allows the audience to evaluate the credibility of the work and determine whether it is trustworthy.


Accuracy includes more than verifying whether information is correct. Facts must be placed in sufficient context so the public is not misled.


PBS strives to contribute to informed debate by presenting, over time, content that addresses a broad range of ideas and perspectives.


Producers must consider all relevant facts and perspectives and present information in a responsible manner, without favoritism.


Producers must respond to relevant inquiries about their work. They also must adhere to the highest professional standards of conduct.

More Resources

Click on the icons below to explore the following topics and resources in more detail:

Inclusive Language

Words matter. Learn more about how to inclusively cover people and events.

Media Law 101

The basics about candidate appearances, defamation, fair use, and privacy law.

Political Expression

Best practices for applying the core principles to content on social media platforms.

Training Course

Best practices for applying the core principles to content intended for children.

The PBS Standards & Practices training course is available
at Public Media Learns

Journalism ethics resources for teachers are available
 at PBS LearningMedia