Why We Can't Give Up Funding Public Broadcasting

21 March, 2017, 22:46 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
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This funding is especially important to stations in rural areas of our country, where families rely on over-the-air television service-and PBS is often their only source of educational media. The ongoing battle to defund public media has literally lasted decades-as a pet issue for Republican politicians who argue the programming has a liberal slant.

While these organizations have been a point of controversy for conservatives, such as the NEA's funding of photographic exhibits by Robert Mapplethorpe, no US president has proposed eliminating the endowments since they were created in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The agency granted almost 75 percent of its $445 million federal funds to local radio and television station in 2016, according to its federal appropriation report.

"We're celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act, what I think has been the most successful public-private partnership - how ironic it would be if we were defunded this year", Paula Kerger, chief executive for PBS, told the Associated Press on Saturday.

In the US, public broadcasting is decentralized.

But members of Congress should do themselves a favor and listen to the voices of their constituents instead of cozying up to the administration and its ill-advised plan to silence NPR and PBS.

My father instilled in me and his company the optimism that comes with believing that people are basically good, that we are all in this world together, and that we should look out for each other. Larger television and radio stations will also fare okay because they enjoy support from foundations and donors.

Kerger more thoroughly explains how PBS in particular is subtly different from, say, the broadcast networks in my full interview with her. "With its near universal footprint, CPB provides virtually all Americans with access to this educational content and top-caliber local, regional, and national news". More than 70 percent supports local stations. "So, if the contention is that eliminating the budget is somehow going to save the federal government money, then someone needs to check the batteries in their calculator". In 1969, the same year PBS was founded, he appeared before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee and gave a moving speech on what publicly funded TV programs could offer.

Schiller notes stations should move aggressively to pursue non-governmental revenue streams.

The president's budget proposal nearly certainly will not go into effect as proposed. Even before the budget proposal was known, hundreds of thousands of people had written their members of Congress to demand that they stand against any Trump plan to destroy public broadcasting. This means public radio and television broadcasters are still in hot water.

We are in a moment of deep polarization, but the American public overwhelming supports public broadcasting.

Separately, The Washington Post also notes that, according to 2014 data, $186.1 million went to stations in states that supported Trump in the 2016 election.


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