Houston, we have a problem.
The legislature has been considering cutting the budget for Public Broadcasting. The loss of NPR funding would mean several things. Radio stations in rural areas, it seems, would be affected the most, other than me of course. I kid, I kid. I would simply lose some of my favorite programming.
See, federal funding makes up a large part of many public stations’ revenue. Without NPR, the listeners in those areas may lose their only information source. That means way less news is being provided in places that have very few outlets. Saying goodbye to NPR would also eliminate jobs. And that’s definitely something we do not need with this economy.
Let’s bring this issue home. Take WXPN for example, my favorite radio station in Philadelphia that’s run by the University of Pennsylvania. It’s a member supported radio station. They take donations, have fund drives, etc. However, 8% of their budget comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which is funded by government. Not to mention WXPN’s signature program, World Café Live, which is distributed by NPR and played by a number of affiliate stations. This show alone is a huge platform for up and coming artists. I discover new music from WXPN on a daily basis. It would be a major deficit to this station if it had to cut its programming as a result of losing NPR funding.
Some say that the need for public broadcasting is insignificant because of the multitude of media sources that are readily available. Just because most Americans own a TV and have Internet access via computers/cell phones, does not mean that federal funding for public media isn’t needed. Personally, I don’t like watching the news. I get a lot of my information from NPR. Public broadcasting is a very small percentage of the federal budget anyway. It’s been said that de-funding may not even make that much of a difference to the economy in the grand scheme of things. So leave us radio folks out of this. We have work to do and we need radio stations to make it happen.