The 2017 Champion of Public Broadcasting Awards
America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) presented the 2017 Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT).
The Champion of Public Broadcasting Award is given to political leaders and other individuals who safeguard the ability of local public television stations to provide education, public safety and civic leadership services to their communities.
Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO)
“Senator Blunt’s extraordinary leadership has been instrumental in ensuring that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, our new interconnection system, and the highly effective Ready To Learn preschool education program have been fully funded in the Senate Appropriations Bill each year of his chairmanship,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. "This funding has allowed public television to continue to serve everyone, everywhere, every day, for free, including those in rural communities and throughout the great state of Missouri. As a one-time history teacher and college president, Senator Blunt well understands the importance of preserving our nation’s history and culture and telling America’s story in a way that only public television can. It is our great honor to present the Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Senator Roy Blunt.”
“From children’s programming to public safety, our nation’s public TV and radio stations are an important resource, particularly in rural and underserved communities,” Senator Blunt said. “It’s an honor to receive this award, and I will continue working to responsibly prioritize resources for public broadcasting in the appropriations process.”
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
“Senator Leahy has been a long-time supporter and friend to public broadcasting,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. “His support has been so steadfast and so strong for so long, it is easy to take it for granted. But we don’t, and we deeply appreciate the Senator’s leadership in securing our federal funding over the past four decades. We are particularly grateful for his championship of the Rural Digital Program that helped ensure the delivery of our programming and services to all the people of Vermont and to millions of rural Americans nationwide. We could ask for no more faithful or forceful friend than Senator Leahy, and it is our great honor to present him our Champion of Public Broadcasting Award.”
“Public television is a refreshing, high-quality alternative to the lowest-common-denominator fare that dominates some of the television landscape," Senator Leahy said. "Public broadcasting consistently produces television at its best. In states like Vermont, community-based public television knits our towns and people together. Public television touches us and appeals to our curiosity, and to the best in us. It informs, challenges, entertains, and even inspires us. And for all of that we are a better nation. I always have and always will proudly support that tradition and that vital mission.”