Usually around election time or when congress goes through one of those pleasant and courteous Federal spending and budget negotiations, the question always arises should the Federal Government dole out and support with tax payer money, PBS and NPR?
With a possible change in government this November, the prospect that funding for public television and radio could be drastically reduced or even end is a real possibility.
What do you think?
Here’s some facts (the short version):
- Public Television gets approximately $430-$455 million annually from the Federal Government. That works out to be about 0.01% of the total Federal Budget and is approx 15% of PBS’s operating budget.
- While NPR is a little different, they generally receive approximately 2% of its operating budget from the Feds. The rest is offset by contributions from private listeners/viewers, corporations, foundations and grants.
While most people agree that PBS and NPR would not completely shutdown and would continue broadcasting in some form or another without this support, a lot of stations would have to close- especially in rural areas where government support can reach up to 50%.
Is that too high a price to pay for supporting quality educational, children, scientific and other programming that the commercial sector doesn’t offer? Does the accessibility to free (not a monthly subscription or fee for cable or satellite service) broadcasts factor in your thinking?
Let us know!
Do you favor keeping current levels of funding for PBS and NPR? Do you favor eliminating all support for public broadcasting? Please leave your comments below and thank you for you participation!