South Dakota Public Broadcasting Production Proposal Guidelines For Independent Media Producers

SDPB maintains a staff of professional television production personnel to develop programming and other services to meet specific needs and interests of our viewers, listeners and online users. SDPB sometimes works with independent producers who can provide programs, expertise and knowledge that may or may not be available in house.

The resources of SDPB are, however, limited. Proposals and programs from independent producers are carefully evaluated before making any commitment. In most cases, SDPB cannot be a funding agency for independent productions. The producer who has a finished program or who already has the required funding for a proposal has a greater opportunity to work with the network.

To evaluate program proposals from independent producers, SDPB has developed the following procedures:

  1. Proposals must be submitted in writing with a signed Submission Agreement for Literary Property
  2. Proposals must be typed but not bound
  3. Be concise. Provide a 1-2 page treatment. We may ask for additional information if there is initial interest.

In addition, provide

  • Working title
  • Number of programs
  • Length of programs
  • Target audience
  • Role or involvement of SDPB
  • Summary of project elements
  • Budget summary
  • Production schedule
  • Sources of other funds or contributors
  • Projected revenue, if any
  • Distribution rights
  • Name, address and phone number of submitter
  • Additional, non-broadcast elements. Examples include teacher materials, online component, discussion guide
  • Any supporting documentation


Materials should be mailed to:

SDPB Programming Department

555 N. Dakota St.

Vermillion, SD 57069

SDPB Editorial Guidelines

South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s collaborative programming is, in part, produced in partnership with nonprofit and other public service organizations which share SDPB’s mission and values. SDPB is, however, held responsible by the Federal Communications Commission for each program it broadcasts. We have, therefore, established the following editorial and production "guidelines" which we will use to guide us in the program acceptance process..

Programming South Dakota Public Broadcasting will…

1. Never Mislead our Audiences: All aspects of SDPB / Collaborative content will be as truthful and complete as possible. We will never deliberately mislead our audiences.

2. Always provide full disclosure of partner interests: We will always tell viewers who is shaping the content of a program and why. We will make clear that this programming is not related to SDPB’s News & Public Affairs programs.

3. Not be used for simple self-promotion: While SDPB and its production partners deserve appropriate credit and visibility for producing and presenting valuable content, that content must never be largely self-promotional in nature.

4. Not be used for advocacy on specific issues of controversy: SDPB’s programming may sometimes deal with specific matters of current public controversy, but it must never be used for one-sided advocacy efforts related to such specific issues. We must assure that alternative viewpoints are acknowledged and fairly characterized. This special care should extend to "history" programming… for which SDPB will seek the advice of respected academic advisors.

5. Take special care in the production of on-going Series: SDPB (and its partners) must take special care whenever dealing with any kind of regularly-scheduled "series" because of the on-going obligation implied. We will need to agree on a specific set of written goals and guidelines for each such series. Obviously, many of these guidelines are subjective in nature. Current events, changes in the law and other matters may impact the broadcast of content on South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Close communication between SDPB and its partners will be essential in order to avoid problems. The sole authority for reviewing and approving sensitive or disputed broadcast decisions will be held by SDPB under the direction of the Executive Director.