History of INPUT
In 1977, the Rockefeller Foundation brought together in Bellagio, Italy, a group of concerned public service broadcasters from ten European and North American countries. Not satisfied with the images carried across national borders by the popular entertainment programs, the group sought a new channel on international communication, one that would foster the exchange of programs and ideas. They sought a means to address their concerns: to vary the images we have of each other—through an exchange of our television programs—and to present to each other a more accurate representation of our respective cultures. The objective was a deeper understanding created through the celebration of our differences and a closer working relationship built upon our commonalities.
INPUT's purpose is to seek and open international channels of communication so that public service television professionals throughout the world can understand each other's work and develop relationships to improve their art, craft, and purpose. INPUT is a unique opportunity for working professionals to look beyond national borders and local horizons to find new perspectives, techniques, and ideas. It is not a market, a festival, or an awards competition. It is, rather, an immersion in ideas of professional excellence directed towards the ideals of understanding the impact of television programs on the people of all places.
The INPUT conference, held once a year alternately in Europe and North America, is now an established institution within public service broadcasting. The INPUT conferences since 1984 have opened the door for many American delegates with varying backgrounds and experiences to new production techniques, new points of view, new ideas for programming, and new perceptions of how other nations view America.
INPUT has no full-time paid staff. It is organized and conducted entirely through the voluntary efforts of the INPUT Secretary, its International Board of Directors and its many friends and supporters.
Historically the costs of INPUT have been borne primarily by the public broadcasting organizations of Europe, Canada, and—to some extent—the United States through subsidizing the travel costs for their producers and programmers to attend the Conference, absorbing the costs of subtitling the programs in English (the official language of INPUT), granting time and expenses to their executives who organize the conferences, assisting in program collection and selection, and hosting the various conferences to date.
Since 1984, the South Carolina Educational Television Commission (ETV) has served as the U.S. INPUT Secretariat.