Thursday, March 17, 2011

NPR Funding - Up for a Vote Today

Here's an e-mail just received from my local NPR station --

Dear Friends of WPSU,

The House of Representatives will be voting mid-afternoon today on a bill, H.R. 1076, that would prohibit local stations, like WPSU, from using federal funds to purchase radio programming. The ostensible target of this proposed legislation is NPR which produces public radio's most popular daily news programming. However, this bill would also prohibit stations from using federal funds to purchase other highly valued public radio fare like Car Talk, Living on Earth, and Prairie Home Companion. It does not allow the use of federal funds to buy any programs at all.

The bill is a direct threat to the viability of smaller public stations, especially in rural areas, who might not have sufficient non federal discretionary dollars to acquire these programs. It is also a misguided attempt to stifle an important and highly valued public service.

NPR has made some very public misteps in the past year. For that they rightly deserve criticism. However, they have also been the target of unethical attacks by individuals with the very narrow and specific agenda of destroying NPR.

That will not happen. NPR will survive, with or without federal funding. However, local public radio stations are directly threatened by this action. This bill undermines their autonomy as locally controlled public service entities, and their ability to generate needed support for their operations.

Below is contact information for the federal representatives elected from the WPSU broadcast area. I am asking you to please contact your legislator today, and share your concerns on this matter. Our representatives need to hear that constituents will support them in opposing House Bill H.R. 1076.

Rep. Kelley - (202) 225-5406

Rep. Thompson - (202) 225-5121

Rep. Shuster - (202) 225-2431

Thank you for your support of public broadcasting.
Ted Krichels, General Manager, Penn State Public Broadcasting

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