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web guidelines


PBS Guidelines | PBS Producer's Toolbox

Making the decision to promote your documentary on the web leaves you with the responsibility to create a high quality, multi-functioning web site for your program. On average, producers spend $20,000 (3) on Web site production. Although, it is not uncommon for a high profile, high budget producer to spend up to six figures on a site with high levels of interactivity and multimedia features.

PBS informs producers that they have specific policies, procedures and technical specifications in order for a Web site to qualify for PBS Online. Whether you are hiring an outside development group or serving as your own Webmaster, you must follow an established set of guidelines.


PBS guidelines

PBS Online is most interested in Web sites that go beyond the information presented in the programs they are intended to complement. Here are some important things to keep in mind while envisioning the content.

  • Accuracy. Is your Web site's content being developed in collaboration with experts in the field? Are you double-checking your facts? Is the content up to date? Could a student rely on the information for a research project?

  • Objectivity. Is your Web site's content biased in any way? Is it clear to visitors when opinions are expressed?

  • Design. Would the download time for your site frustrate visitors with slow modem connections? Are the graphics on your site relevant? Is navigation easy? Is the text color a high enough contrast with the background color for easier reading and printing? Does your site take advantage of the strengths of the Web?

  • Readability. Is the content interesting to read? Is it educational, yet understandable by a mainstream audience? Does the text of your site use headers or other structural cues to break up text and assist readers in digesting the information?

  • Usability. How can educators effectively use the content of both your TV program and Web site in their teaching? What have you done to help educators see the possibilities?

  • The "Coolness" Factor. Will visiting your Web site most likely to be compared to eating lima beans or chocolate chip cookies?



PBS producer's toolbox

For an extensive look at PBS Online's standards, visit PBS Online's Producer's TOOLBOX.



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