Federal funds for public TV
Public television is in funding trouble! In my opinion, public TV accomplishes its mission — “to ensure universal access to high-quality, non-commercial programming that educates, informs, enlightens and enriches.”
CPB focuses on the needs of under-served audiences many in rural areas like Warren County where 22.7 % of students live in poverty (2015) making public TV access a necessity.
Network TV offers little beyond the 1 minute news features and interminable commercial interruptions.
I am frustrated to find in-depth news with opinions on both sides of an issue on healthcare, history, science, human interest, etc. on regular cable. I find it readily on PBS Newshour, BBC News,
Frontline documentaries, etc.
Searching for quality entertainment on cable, I gravitate to PBS. Where else will lower and middle class Americans see Broadway, White House musical features, American Masters, Ken Burns specials, Masterpiece Theater, Nova, Nature and suitable kids’ programing than on PBS?
To me CPB/PBS prove themselves to be excellent by these 2016 awards:
Peabody Awards for FRONTLINE “ISIS in Afghanistan,” MASTERPIECE “Wolf Hall,” etc.
9 Daytime Emmy Awards for PBS KIDS.
8 Primetime Emmy Awards 2015-16 including Downton Abbey.
14 News & Documentary Emmy Awards, more than any other organization.
Many of these award winners deal with issues untouched by main stream media but significant to citizens.
As a public school teacher for 31 years the PBS programming was excellent and engaging for my students. The following recent awards recognize this:
6 Parents’ Choice Awards, TV, including gold awards for ODD SQUAD, PEG + CAT, DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD and SCIGIRLS; 15 Kidscreen Awards, including three for PBS KIDS;
1 GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Award INDEPENDENT LENS.
Financially speaking, each dollar of federal funding is matched six-fold from local sources like viewers and underwriters.. The amount of federal tax dollars is small in the overall budget.
Thankfully, Congress approved and President Trump signed the Omnibus Appropriations bill confirming funding for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017, which ends on September 30.
My particular advocacy of Public TV is that the news and documentaries provide me with information across the span of viewpoints and trusts that I have the discriminating ability to make my own opinions. I am not fooled by lop-sided propaganda or narrow-mindedness on issues important to me.
I firmly oppose the White House seeking to eliminate ALL funding to CPB in Budget 2018 FY. I believe in this current atmosphere of limiting White House press briefings, news reporters barred from being able to cover international visits by Russian officials and “fake” news that this NO-FUND strategy is another attempt to abolish my First Amendment right to free speech and discourse.