FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 5th, 2012
WTVP Statement Regarding October 3 Presidential Debate
In light of comments made during
the Oct. 3 presidential debate, we think it is important to set the record straight and let the facts speak
FACT: The federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of
one percent of the federal budget. Elimination of funding would have virtually no impact on the nation’s debt.
Yet the loss to the American public would be devastating.
FACT: Over the course of a year, 91% of all U.S. television households tune into their
local PBS station. In fact, our service is watched by 81% of all children between the ages of 2-8. So, not
only does PBS reach the vast majority of Americans, its educational programming and services are critical to
underserved audiences, such as children who cannot attend preschool and citizens living in rural areas.
FACT: Each day, the American public receives an enduring return on its investment that
is heard, seen, read and experienced in public broadcasting broadcasts, apps, podcasts, and online – all for
the cost of about $1.35 per person per year.
FACT: Moreover, it is key to note that public television and radio stations are locally
owned and community focused. For every $1 of federal funding invested, these local stations raise an additional
$6 on their own – a highly effective public-private partnership.
FACT: More than two-thirds of American voters (69%) oppose proposals to eliminate
government funding of public broadcasting, according to a national survey in 2011 by the bipartisan research
firms of Hart Research and American Viewpoint.
Indeed, for nine years running, a Harris Interactive poll has confirmed that Americans consider
PBS the most trusted public institution and the second most valuable use of public funds, behind only national
BOTTOM LINE: For more than 40 years, Big Bird has embodied the public broadcasting mission
– harnessing the power of media for the good of every citizen, regardless of where they live or their ability to
pay. Our system serves as a universally accessible resource for education, history, science, arts and civil
While the federal investment in public broadcasting is relatively modest, the absence of this
critical seed money would cripple the system and bring its services to an end. .
Find out more at 170millionamericans.org
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