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The importance of Public Broadcasting

on April 9, 2013

http://www.current.org/2013/04/maine-public-broadcasting-cuts-staff-puts-show-on-hiatus-after-more-funding-cut/

 Big Bird is dead. At least, without Public Broadcasting, he and characters known and loved by all may never exist for children. Public Broadcasting is an integral part of our society as we know it, but stations and fans know how much more Public Broadcasting really does. Without Public Broadcasting, quality programs such as Sesame Street, Bill Nye, Frontline, and other shows would never exist, taking away not only entertaining and educational figures in the crucial young learning development of children, but also other shows loved by the community.

The Public Broadcasting Service is a nonprofit American public broadcasting network with 356 member stations.While public broadcasting has existed in the United States since the early 20th century, today’s iteration of public broadcasting was created by the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The Act, which was envisioned to, in President Johnson’s words “enrich man’s spirit,” founded the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) as the steward and dispensary of public money to local broadcasters. Since 1968, CPB has maintained its position as the largest single source of funding for American public television and radio stations, spending about $1.40 per American per year. Public media receive between 2 and 15 percent of their revenues from CPB’s federal appropriations. <intellectualtakeout.org>

PBS is a private, nonprofit corporation, founded in 1969, whose members are America’s public TV stations—noncommercial, educational licensees that operate member stations and serve all 50 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa. The nonprofit organization also reaches almost 117 million people through television and nearly 20 million people online each month.

Unlike other programming on television, PBS does not have the bias of commercials or extreme media influence. PBprovides its member stations with programming in cultural, educational, and scientific areas, in children’s fare, and in news and public affairs but does not itself produce programs; the programs are produced by the member stations, independent producers, and other program producers worldwide. Programs that bring news, such as Frontline, brought only by PBS and used frequently in schools and universities, bring an unbiased and factual opinion into the world of news. There is no agenda for programs like this, and unlike many other news sources that report from a left or a right-wing perspective, Frontline gives viewers the facts to make their own opinion about topics important to the world.

 PBS has been around for almost 45 years and in that time it has made not only a difference in the individual lives of many people, it makes a great difference in our society. The main thing that PBS promotes is providing quality educational programming to everyone. PBS makes for great programming because They  work with each other and with hundreds of national and local producers and community partners to ensure that Americans have universal access to high-quality non-commercial programming with a particular focus on the needs of underserved audiences, including children, minorities, and low-income Americans. This ensures that everyone can have access to free education.

PBS makes public events to promote learning, reading, and public broadcasting. Libraries, malls, and other community centers are frequently visited by staff and employees of PBS, adorned in costume or not, to promote learning, to promote station support, and to involve the community. This increases viewer support, which allows for more donations to PBS, which allows for even better quality programing.

As you can see, PBS does a lot of good for the community by educating the public but there are many people who believe government should not fund Public Television and even wish to have it cut out entirely. Because of this we must take action.

Truly without donations from viewers like you, PBS could not survive. The government provides a small amount of funding to stations, but primarily, those only cover some operational costs. Viewer support is the biggest way to strengthen your local PBS. The more donations from viewers, the more programs, higher quality, and more community events the station will be able to produce.

Beware politicians and officials with views that cut “social programs.” Some people don’t believe that PBS serves a purpose, or should be funded uses tax dollars or government funding. These values are not consistent with the truth, individuals such as Mitt Romney, who had openly stated that they would cut the program, don’t understand how much PBS does for the community, and only want to cut funding to save a few dollars in a budget. Electing people who wish to cut social programs such as PBS could be damaging to not only the station, but to the entire community without the free programing and educational television enjoyed by many.

Public Broadcasting brings families rich and poor, young   and old, in just about all corners of America free, quality, educational programming. We need to defend this service before it is taken away forever, as too many people don’t appreciate these programs, it’s truly time now more than ever to grow support from viewers like you. 

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