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APT executive director shares history and vision for public television

Alabama was the first state in the nation with an educational television network, Roy Clem, executive director of APT, told Alabama Media Professionals members during the group’s monthly meeting Feb. 14. Clem discussed APT’s journey and plans for future programming while also sharing his insights into broadcast journalism.

The Alabama Legislature created the Educational Television Commission to equalize educational opportunities in Alabama, especially in rural areas. APT began broadcasting in 1955 and has been a model for other states and for television broadcasters in other countries.

APT marries pictures and words in such a way that young children learn and adults are inspired, said Clem, who is also a member of the PBS board of directors and oversees the Alabama Educational Television Foundation Authority.

“I have the best job in the state,” Clem said. “I get to go to work with a mission-driven team dedicated to the children and people of Alabama.”

Today, APT continues to meet its educational goals with high-quality programming, interactive field trips (since schools are cutting traditional field trips), support of GED programs and training for parents, guardians and early-childhood teachers.

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