WASHINGTON — February 19, 2011 — Today, the Public Media Association (PMA) expressed deep disappointment with the House vote to eliminate funding for local public television and radio stations. The House vote was 235-189.
“If this House-passed bill stands, it would endanger hundreds of public radio and television stations that serve as educational, informational and cultural lifelines for millions of people nationwide, and it would be a death sentence for stations serving rural and small-town America,” said PMA president Patrick Butler.
“Public broadcasting serves people everywhere, including hundreds of communities where such service would never be profitable,” Butler continued. “To dismantle a public broadcasting system that 170 million Americans regularly rely on for lifelong learning, in-depth news and public affairs programming, and world-class culture – all for the sake of reducing one year’s federal budget deficit by less than three thousandths of one percent – is to recklessly defy the will of the American people, who routinely rank public broadcasting just behind national defense as the best use of taxpayer dollars.
“We urge the Senate to reject this House action, and we hope the final decision on this matter will recognize the enduring value of public broadcasting as America’s largest classroom, its greatest stage, and its most trusted and comprehensive source of information for the citizens of the world’s greatest democracy,” Butler concluded.
The Public Media Association (PMA) is joint initiative between the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) and NPR to respond to the current federal funding crisis on behalf of local public radio and television stations.