Public Broadcasting… to fund or not to fund

One opinion in favor:

Reducing this funding will do nothing to the NPR or PBS shows which proponents of this reduction feel are too political. The liberal stations exist in the big cities for the most part where there are plenty of liberals to support them. It is the local rural more conservative stations this will actually be hurt. I don’t know about NPR but the Public Television stations perform a vital role within local communities all over the U.S. They allow for locally centered programming and provide a voice that will speak for local concerns when corporate run stations controlled from many states away will not. They provide for services that corporate run stations don’t really care about, such as free over the air waves TV, service to the elderly and demographic groups beyond the groups that corporate TV cares about. They provide services for children within local communities, and local jobs just to name a few of the things these stations provide. Your local PBS station is locally owned by the public and run by a locally elected board, cutting this funding will change nothing about NPR. In fact, 80% of Americans think the money spent by the government to help fund PBS is money well spent. According to the recent (Mar.1, 2011) bipartisan Hart Research and American Viewpoint national survey there is also overwhelming public opposition (69% to 27%) to proposals to eliminate government funding of public broadcasting. More than two-thirds (68%) of voters say that Congressional budget cutters should “find other places in the budget to save money.” I am personally conservative and think NPR is biased but to blame all of Public Broadcasting is silly and it will not stop any agenda NPR has. It will however, open up rural markets so that the more liberal big city stations can expand. Not good; we need to think not just cut.

My opinion against:

I just went over the survey you captioned. It is without a doubt one of the most biased surveys I have ever seen. It is comprised of loaded questions slanted to positive responses in favor of public broadcasting. The questions are posed in a fashion that makes it nearly impossible to give a negative response to continued funding without seeming anti-intellectual and small minded.
Biased surveys aside, the question boils down to whether or not we should be funding any type of broadcasting at all; and the answer is no.
Public broadcasting started small with independent productions funded by individual producers and groups, The very nature of the funding scheme dictated that the station itself had virtually no funds to award to any one entity and therefore had to depend on outside sources to provide product. Product was submitted and broadcast without the interference of a network bias (very similar to the “public access” channels on cable).
As the government subsidy was increased the network became the big business that it is today. Millions handed out to subsidize board approved product. Millions for projects that fit the corporate “philosophy” of what is essentially a closed system that has no motivation for change because it does not need to compete.
Let’s give them the motive; let’s let them compete with all the other money making networks who have to present a competitive face to succeed.

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