Threat to Public Media Funding - KWSO 91.9

Threat to Public Media Funding

KWSO is Public Media for Warm Springs and Central Oregon.  Public media is a system and network of non-profit, non commercial, public television and public community radio stations with a common mission and purpose under the banner of education.

Today’s current public media system began to take shape nearly 50 years ago, with the passage of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 and subsequent creation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The system now reaches more than 98 percent of the U.S. population with free programming and services.   KWSO is part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Community Service Grant which provides nearly half of our annual operating budget.

CPB is funded through the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education in separate appropriations bill.   CPB’s appropriation for FY 2017 is $445 million. If Congress makes no changes to CPB’s authorizing legislation and fully funds our request for a $445 million advance appropriation for FY 2019. To put the numbers in perspective, the New York Times says the amount is considerably “less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the United States’ annual federal spending.”

A “skinny” federal budget released by the Trump Administration proposes eliminating all CPB funding. A more detailed federal budget will be released later in the spring.  Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), made the following statement regarding the President’s proposed elimination of federal funding for public media: “There is no viable substitute for federal funding that ensures Americans have universal access to public media’s educational and informational programming and services. The elimination of federal funding to CPB would initially devastate and ultimately destroy public media’s role in early childhood education, public safety, connecting citizens to our history, and promoting civil discussions – for Americans in both rural and urban communities.

“Public media is one of America’s best investments. At approximately $1.35 per citizen per year, it pays huge dividends to every American. From expanding opportunity, beginning with proven children’s educational content to providing essential news and information as well as ensuring public safety and homeland security through emergency alerts, this vital investment strengthens our communities. It is especially critical for those living in small towns and in rural and underserved areas.

If you support KWSO or community & public media in general – please contact your representatives in congress and let them know you support CPB funding.  You can visit https://nfcb.org/resources/communitycounts/ to learn more.