To fund or not to fund public broadcasting

There’s a conversation going on right now at a public radio online site about where the two presidential candidates stand on future federal funding for public broadcasting. Those federal dollars are allocated to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which then distributes the bulk of that appropriation (over 70%) directly to qualified local radio and tv stations like NCPR. Here’s a link to the CPB website page that explains public media funding.

The conversation among public radio professionals got started when someone shared this:

*Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is sticking to his position to cut federal funding for public media. In an interview with Fortune he says public broadcasting is one of the areas he’ll target as part of an effort to cap government spending. “Maybe Big Bird is going to have to have advertisers,” Romney told a crowd in Iowa earlier this year.*

Meanwhile, back in February, CPB’s CEO Patricia Harrison issued a press release in response to President Obama’s proposed budget:

“President Obama today submitted his Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget to Congress. In it, he requested full funding – $445 million – for CPB’s FY 2015 advance appropriation.”

I ask this of you from time to time and will ask again now:

Where do you stand on future federal funding of public media (public radio and tv stations, and possibly some public information sites on digital platforms)?


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2 Comments on “To fund or not to fund public broadcasting”

  1. Pete Klein says:

    I support public funding and I continue to do my part but…..
    I got to tell you, Ellen, you all at NCPR do a good job of fund raising. You almost make it fun.
    But WMHT needs to learn from you. They are a pain when they do fund raising, especially when they troll for dollars during a special program. They make you wish they went to advertising. At leas advertising is sometimes interesting and even amusing. But their 10 to 15 minutes of begging is enough to make you not want to give and switch the channel.
    Thankfully, you don’t do that.

  2. Ellen Rocco says:

    Pete–It’s not easy to come up with interesting ways to say, “Give us money, now.” After a few days of asking for money on air, what one really wants to say is, “C’mon, guys, you know how this works, can’t we just ask once and be done?”

    Across the public broadcasting system people are talking about finding new ways to raise money without interrupting programming two or more times a year. The problem is this: it’s the best way to reach people who listen and have never given money to a radio station. (For those who have given, we have other ways of reaching you once we have postal address or email.) We are also exploring innovative uses of digital platforms to encourage new donors.

    We have a few on-air fundraising principles at NCPR: have fun; never whine; and, “please” and “thank you” can never be said too many times.

    To everyone who contributes to NCPR: thank you for supporting us and thanks for your patience as we try to convince others to do the same.

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