In the Republican proposal for next year’s spending, funding for National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) would be almost completely diminished.
The right-winged proposal came as a deterrent to NPR’s seemingly liberal news stance. At least it seems that way to Republicans.
In reality, NPR and PBS are one of the only neutral, independently owned sources of information, something that is becoming increasingly rare with the constant convergence of media, and to take that away would be an incredible disservice to all Americans.
The top stories at the moment? Sea level is rising in the island country of Kiribati, threatening people’s homes. And don’t forget about the “around the nation” story: “Scottish Deerhound is Best In Show At Westminster.” Surely a story far too right-winged to even be considered.
An article published on Foxnews.com stated that Republicans say, “[NPR’s] liberal agenda silences any other points of view.” But by silencing a media outlet based on their apparent bias, isn’t that, in essence, doing the same thing? NPR and PBS are in the unfortunate position of having a significant amount of their funding coming directly from the government, leaving them prey to damaging budget cuts. If these stations, the closest thing to impartial America can find, are wiped out, it only leaves way for outlets that are actually biased to take over.
But the thing about these stations is that they provide programming that no other station can mimic. NPR’s integration of world news and cultural programming is unlike any other. Regardless of news, NPR provides listeners with up-to-date information on music, personal performances and full-album previews of artists that would never be found on a typical top 40 radio station. One of the most unique musical features are the “tiny desk concerts” featured on the website, where musicians (some old, some new, some utterly obscure) are invited in to play a few songs in one reporter’s office, creating an intimate and exclusive performance audiences can watch for free.
And let’s not forget PBS. The thought that thousands of youngsters who would travel through their childhood without ever having seen an episode of “Sesame Street” is simply heartbreaking.
Log onto pbs.org and you’ll find everything from news about protests in Iran, to videos of Grammy performances, to a recipe for pork tenderloin.
More importantly, both NPR and PBS, in many cases, are the only news and information that people in lower-income areas receive. Vivian Schiller, the CEO of NPR, stated that the station provides “more than 38 million Americans with free over-the-air programming they can’t find anywhere else.”
The budget bill would reduce funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to zero for the remainder of the fiscal year, while funding for next year would be drastically reduced.
While its unlikely there will be a speech as passionate as Mr. Rogers’ plea to the senate in 1969, by logging onto pol.moveon.org you can sign the petition in hopes of saving NPR and PBS (again).