“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela

Ideals. Welcome Here.


This is one of my favorite quotes about freedom because it provides the best answer to an age-old dilemma here at Colorado Public Television. As a PBS station with a long history of including independent productions in our program schedule, we celebrate free speech by embracing diverse perspectives. We believe in a free press and are strong advocates for free speech, and we want our programming content to represent those values. Until we don’t.

Rarely, but on occasion, we are asked to broadcast programs from hate groups demanding access to our audiences as an extension of their right to free speech. We don’t give any consideration to content that promotes hate or intolerance. Ever. So we’ve struggled over the years with how to align our commitment to free speech with the fact that we actually do close the door to certain viewpoints. So thank you, Nelson Mandela, for giving us the right words with which to weigh our programming decisions at Colorado Public Television.

Our programming choices for our broadcast and online content reflect our values and our commitment to having a positive impact on Colorado. As stewards of the confidence and financial support given to us from our viewers, and we understand that your support – advocacy or financial – is given in the spirit of building a better Colorado, together.

This month, our country celebrates 243 years of freedom, owing to those who lived their lives boldly so that future generations could benefit from the common good that freedom brings. It is our turn to take the baton and follow Mandela’s charge to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. Respecting the rights of others does not diminish the rights of anyone else, and failure to live by this value hurts every single one of us.

We do our best to live up to the highest ideals at Colorado Public Television by seeking stories that elevate our thinking and inspire us to be the better people we aspire to be. We hope you find that our programming reflects our values, programs such as Isaac Pope: The Spirit of an American Century, which airs on July 10th at 9pm. From the virtual slavery of sharecropping to the segregated battlefields of World War II, through the Jim Crow and Civil Rights eras to today, Isaac Pope stood at the front of the line and did his part to improve conditions for everyone. Now he is the subject of this award-winning documentary by filmmaker Paula J. Caplan.

Let us know what inspires you, and what you think we can do together to for the common good in Colorado!

Kim Johnson
President & General Manager