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NPR to CPB: Maintain Firewall Between Funding, Politics

NPR to CPB: Maintain Firewall Between Funding, Politics

The recent changes within the Corporation of Public Broadcasting have not gone unnoticed within public radio. Last week, the NPR board passed a resolution urging CPB to maintain its statutory and historical role to act as a “firewall between partisan politics and public broadcasting.”
NPR board member and CEO Kevin Klose endorsed the resolution, along with the board.
CPB has “dismissed its President and CEO under uncertain conditions … (and) appointed two ombudsmen without consulting with the public broadcasting system, raising legitimate concerns of an institutionalized process for potential interference in content,” states the NPR board in the text of the non-binding resolution.
“Such a process within a funding agency is fundamentally inconsistent with the principles of ombudsmen in reference to news organizations.”
The NPR board resolved that “CPB should follow statutory requirements and do nothing to diminish the firewall between the federal funds appropriated by the Congress and the public broadcast programming it funds; and CPB should follow statutory requirements and refrain from interfering in constitutionally protected content decisions.”
Before making changes in funding priorities, stated the board, CPB should consult the public radio system about its priorities “and defer to the reasonable and legitimate choices of broadcast professionals to build services of value within the local communities they serve.”
NPR sent a copy of the document to CPB, a spokeswoman for the network confirmed.

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