We again find ourselves in the unenviable position of going to press with the WTVP Program Guide as events are still playing out that could have significant and deleterious effect on the future of what you see and hear on public broadcasting.
As I write this, a Continuing Resolution is being introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that calls for total elimination of funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
"Not again," I hear you say, "I thought we put that to rest a couple of years ago."
But alas, yes, there is yet another effort underway in Congress to kill public broadcasting, and your help is desperately needed. This latest effort is the most recent in a string of such actions that goes back to passage of the Public Broadcasting Act in 1967. Through the years public broadcasting has been a favorite target in a political game of kick the can, we being the "can." That we have managed to survive and provide memorable programming at both the national and local level is a tribute to you the members of your favorite public television and public radio stations. You have always stepped up to let your feelings be known about the value you place on the programs and services you receive from public broadcasting, and we're asking you to do it one more time.
Please call your Congressman to educate him about your feelings, positive or negative, about public broadcasting, and about continued federal support for your local stations. Letters and emails are nice, but nothing has the impact of a phone call. Numbers for the Congressmen who serve in the WTVP viewing area are listed below.
Here are some points you may want to mention:
- Public broadcasting is America's largest classroom - closing the achievement gap through innovative, standards-based educational content and resources for parents, teachers and students. Eliminating funds for public broadcasting eliminates the safe harbor of children's educational programming.
- Public broadcasting serves as a trusted partner and agent of better citizenship in the world's greatest democracy. For the seventh year in a row, the latest Roper Poll has found the news programming of public broadcasting to be the most trusted in America, across all ideological and partisan lines.
- Public broadcasting is not "a luxury we can't afford" but an essential service regularly depended on and enjoyed by 170 million Americans in all 50 States.
- Cutting or eliminating federal funding for public broadcasting will have a severe negative impact on local services and economies in all 50 states. Public broadcasting directly supports 21,000 jobs, and almost all of them are in local public television and radio stations in hundreds of communities across America.
- Eliminating the $445 million investment in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting would only reduce the $1.5 trillion federal budget deficit by less than 3 ten-thousandths of one percent, but it would have a devastating impact on local communities nationwide.
With your help, Congress can be educated and informed on this issue and can then make intelligent decisions based on facts. More information can be found on our website or on www.170millionamericans.org.
I am always reluctant to post messages like this because I don't want to be perceived as crying wolf when the danger is not real. In this case, I'm afraid it is, and your call to educate your Congressman is very necessary. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to him.
President & CEO, WTVP (Retired)
President & CEO, WTVP (Retired 2014)