NPR says a proposal from the co-chairs of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to eliminate federal funding for public media would have a profound and detrimental impact on all Americans.
As Radio World’s sister publication Broadcasting & Cable reported, the co-chairs recommend zeroing out funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as a way to help the government save some $200 billion. They recommend cutting about $500 million from the CPB funding that NPR and PBS combined receive for member stations.
In a statement, NPR said Thursday that “public radio is the last remaining source of independent, non-commercial and thought-provoking broadcast media in the country” and the only source of such programming in some small towns, it added. Federal funding is a central component of public radio’s ability to serve listeners. It’s imperative that this funding continue, according to NPR.
“In a time of media decline, especially in local, international and investigative reporting, public radio’s role in fostering an informed society has never been as critical as it is today. The public radio audience is one of the few in media that has consistently grown — doubling in the last decade alone,” states NPR, which claims 37 million listeners tune to public radio stations each week, reaching more citizens than the circulation of the top 120 national newspapers combined.