As those of you living in the States I’m sure know, the House of Representatives has recently passed a number of bills I don’t agree with, one of which cuts funding for American Public Broadcasting. I honestly can’t even believe this is an issue we are talking about with all that is going on in this country, actually I can’t believe this would be an issue even if nothing was going on in this country. This is absolutely outrageous. In 2010 80% of Americans polled said that the use of taxpayer dollars for Public Broadcasting was money well spent, and it is.
I grew up watching WTTW11 Chicago’s PBS station, Sesame Street was the only show I was allowed to watch when I was a kid + my parents still contribute that, along with their hard work, to the fact that my sister and I could read before we started school and have always read way above the national reading level per grade. I also remember rainy weekends spent watching The New Yankee Workshop, This Old House and Rick Steves’s travel shows. And don’t forget about Nova, American Experience and a zillion other shows. You know how the History Channel and the Discovery Channel are full of shows where everything is overdramatic and you never really learn anything? Yeah, PBS still rocks it. Even to this day, if I’m watching TV at all it’s definitely PBS. I know a lot of you also listen to NPR podcasts to pass the time in your studios, this is also affected by this bill. This American Life is produced by WBEZ here in Chicago, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from twitter, it’s that a lot of you listen to this program.
“I understand and respect the difficult decisions Congress must make related to the budget in these trying times,” the filmmaker Ken Burns said today.
“However, in times of hardship, with difficult decisions at home and abroad, and when traditional journalism institutions are collapsing and electronic news divisions are increasingly all talk or all entertainment, it is critical that we have an in-depth and independent media, along with news, cultural and educational programming that allow us to flourish as a people. The proposed elimination of funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will deny the American people access to news and information and, just as importantly, deny our children access to the best educational and science programs at a time when studies suggest such knowledge is at its lowest.
“This is always described as a left-right divide. But the myriad services of public broadcasting are enjoyed in every state of the Union regardless of political persuasion. Public television is particularly a crucial link in on-going adult education, something we desperately need as we retrain those without jobs. And education of the air programming, critical services only available on public stations, augment and supplement studies in schools from Oklahoma to Alaska, West Virginia to Arkansas.
“Public media delivers these services and does so in a non-partisan, fair, and, most importantly, in-depth fashion. We should not, at this time or any time, forfeit our commitment to the kind of journalism, public affairs, cultural and educational programming that can only be found on public radio and television.”
If you enjoy Public Broadcasting and haven’t done so already, please visit http://www.170millionamericans.org/
to show your support. 170 Million Americans is a collaborative site set up by public television and radio stations across the nation in an attempt to save their funding. They have a really great app set
up that allows you to send an email to your senators and let them know that you support funding and as usual, don’t be afraid to call them as well. Every little bit helps.