End Taxpayer Support of NPR? - U2 Feedback

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Old 03-02-2011, 01:29 PM   #1
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End Taxpayer Support of NPR?

I love NPR. I'm a member. I listen every day, even during the membership drives.

But while I don't DEMAND that federal government cut public broadcasting funding, I'm not convinced that ending that funding would be the worst thing in the world.

Perhaps it would be good to have NPR etc be fully "public" funded, through membership alone.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:22 PM   #2
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it won't be nearly as good. the reason why NPR and PBS are so good is because there are no corporate masters to serve. journalists operate like a non-profit.

and it will save us maybe 1,000ths of a penny on the dollar. those calling for it's defunding are only out to score political points because of the notion that it's "liberal" or non-Fox or something.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:38 PM   #3
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Those calling NPR "liberal" have to recheck their political compasses.

Those calling for the defunding are the same ones that didn't want to cut the funding for the NASCAR sponsorship... this is not about financial responsibility, like Irvine said this is about winning points with the uninformed tea party crowd.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:40 PM   #4
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I don't want to see this funding go away, but I do like that the result could be a big "Fuck You" to people who say public broadcasting can't stand on its own.

A consequence that people don't realize is that public radio broadcasts in under-served rural areas that aren't viable for commercial radio. This will be one of the first things to go.

Anyway, I'm a long-time member of Minnesota Public Radio. Our recent pledge drive ended successfully. I believe we will lose approx. $4 mil with this Federal cut. Management is scrambling to plan for that loss. MPR and American Public Media produce loads of content for public radio stations nationwide, and they will survive pretty much intact. I'm very proud of Minnesota Public Radio.

I'm not worried, and I may up my monthly pledge if the cut goes through. This is just another piece of the bullshit pie that House Republicans are serving the American people while they serve their corporate masters.

As I have said a number of times, Congress needs to address corporate media ownership. There are monopolies that need to be broken up.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:37 PM   #5
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The thing is they wouldn't be cutting federal funding to NPR itself, as I understand it. The people would lose out would be local NPR affiliate stations who pay NPR for the rights to air specific programs.

The affiliate stations losing out would, of course, be the ones in lower-income areas that receive more federal money to make up for less member contributions.

So while your local NPR station in some sane part of the US that seems to make sense (the Northeast), the rural areas in the rest of the country may lose NPR affiliates.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:51 PM   #6
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Might as well plug this here:

170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting

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Annual federal funding amounts to $1.35 per American.


The Numbers

Every month over 170 million Americans use public media – through 368 public television stations, 934 public radio stations, hundreds of online services, education services, and in-person events and activities.

Every month over half of all Americans use public media.

* Public television has a monthly broadcast audience of 121.9 million people. Each viewer is counted only once, whether they watch one program or many. (Source: Nielsen NTINPower October 2010 Total Day 6a-6a Reach US Persons 2+)

* Public radio has a four-week broadcast audience of 64.7 million people. Each listener is counted only once, no matter how many times or public stations they tune in. (Source: Arbitron Spring 2010 National Regional Database, CPBStation Composite, Persons 12+, M-Su 6a-12m, US Total, compiled by the Radio Research Consortium)

* Network websites reach 13.7 million unique visitors per month at npr.org (Omniture SiteCatalyst, 3 month average, Aug-Oct 2010),10.8 million unique visitors per month at pbs.org (Google Analytics, October 2010), and 9.5 million average unique visitors per month at pbskids.org (Google Analytics).

* Station websites serve growing numbers of users – from a few thousand unique visitors per month in smaller communities to several hundred thousand unique visitors per month in major markets. Google Analytics, reported by Public Media Metrics

* Other digital media reach millions of people each month – through podcasts, mobile devices, smart phone apps, and satellite channels. Examples include 972,000 monthly unique users of NPR Mobile Web and 692,000 monthly unique users of the NPR News iPhone App. OmnitureSiteCatalyst, 3-month average, July-Sept. 2010

* Public media educational technologies and services are resources for millions of teachers and students through instructional TV content, interactive video and distance learning systems, online professional development for K-12 teachers, and workshops and services for childcare providers, pre-school instructors, and classroom teachers.

* In-person connections. Stations and producers connect in-person with regular activities and special events including, concerts and performances, lectures and forums, workforce development programs, and oral history projects. Many of these activities are partnerships with local school districts and educational institutions, museums and libraries, and national institutions, including the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:56 PM   #7
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A consequence that people don't realize is that public radio broadcasts in under-served rural areas that aren't viable for commercial radio.
Yes. I've lived in rural areas most of my life and NPR was/is proportionally far more popular there than in urban and suburban areas I've lived in. It's what everyone listens to in the car, while getting dressed in the morning, while out fishing or working on projects in the garage or barn, etc. For people who don't have hours of leisure time to just sit and watch TV or read papers, they can get in ten minutes what would take two hours of slogging through inane talking-points presentations, fluffy filler stories, shrill histrionics from 'anchors' who think it's them you should be interested in, and all the other mind-rotting bullshit otherwise getting in the way of a straightforward rundown of the day's events. An informed citizenry is a public good.

It's certainly not as important as educating our children or caring for the elderly, as far as it goes, but that isn't the kind of choice we're actually facing.

My concern about relying solely on individual listener support would be that most people won't pay anything for a resource if they don't have to. And by "have to" I mean accessing it right now, while perhaps telling yourself you'll contribute something "later," by which point it may be too late.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:00 PM   #8
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What makes NPR decent enough to listen to for news is that they live in a paralell world where the Fairness Doctrine was not repealed by Mark S. Fowler (Reagan appointee).

This is a big reason why U.S. news 'opinion' radio sucks big donkey dick these days.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:51 PM   #9
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Ironically, what made me question whether federal funding should continue was not the arguments from the right but the piss poor arguments by the guy advocating for continuation of the funding on one of our local public radio program, All Sides with Ann Fisher.

You can check out this link and scroll down to the March 1 broadcast: All Sides | WOSU Public Media

It's long but you only have to listen to a few minutes before you notice that the guy really isn't doing a good job of explaining why NPR should keep federal funding.

I know that this is a lame partisan ploy by the Right--this business of cutting NPR funding. But I'm just uncomfortable with my only reason for supporting federal funding is because I happen to think the product is great. There should be a reason why it's in the country's best interest for the government to fund this service. During pledge drives we're constantly reminded that we need to give because public funding makes up just a tiny percentage of the budget to keep NPR on the air. But now we're being told there will be drastic cutbacks if federal funding is lost.

I could understand if you had to pay for all other forms radio or television and public media was the only way that poor people could get access to the news, but that's not the case.

I like the idea of a media source that is not beholden to corporate interests. . .I just don't see how that is ONLY possible if the federal government provides funding for it.

I don't want to see public media outlets cut in rural areas of course, but I don't see how that sentiment alone should be reason enough to argue for continued federal funding.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:20 AM   #10
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I don't want to see public media outlets cut in rural areas of course, but I don't see how that sentiment alone should be reason enough to argue for continued federal funding.
That's true, but I wish more people in rural areas would understand just how subsidized their lifestyles are. Everyone pays more for phone and internet service to help fund stringing lines out to almost nowhere. If we've agreed (or at least are passive about) phone/internet/U.S. Mail/etc. subsidies are fine, why not public radio?
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:45 PM   #11
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That's true, but I wish more people in rural areas would understand just how subsidized their lifestyles are. Everyone pays more for phone and internet service to help fund stringing lines out to almost nowhere. If we've agreed (or at least are passive about) phone/internet/U.S. Mail/etc. subsidies are fine, why not public radio?
Because public radio is not the only way people living in rural areas can access radio. It's not as if they won't be able to listen to radio at all if funding is cut--just that particular station.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:49 PM   #12
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Because public radio is not the only way people living in rural areas can access radio. It's not as if they won't be able to listen to radio at all if funding is cut--just that particular station.
Oh no, I agree. A subsidy that only benefits a few is a fair start for the budget chopping block.

I was just stating that it seems as if people who benefit from these subsidies rarely acknowledge that they get them.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:07 PM   #13
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Oh no, I agree. A subsidy that only benefits a few is a fair start for the budget chopping block.

I was just stating that it seems as if people who benefit from these subsidies rarely acknowledge that they get them.
True. This has always been one of my beefs with the Tea Party. They're not really against government spending. . .just government spending on Other People. I mean, I get it. . .it's basic human nature to feel that way, but it's a lousy argument and hypocritical not to acknowledge thats the argument you're making.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:56 PM   #14
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true. This has always been one of my beefs with the tea party. They're not really against government spending. . .just government spending on other people. I mean, i get it. . .it's basic human nature to feel that way, but it's a lousy argument and hypocritical not to acknowledge thats the argument you're making.
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true. This has always been one of my beefs with the tea party. They're not really against government spending. . .just government spending on other people. I mean, i get it. . .it's basic human nature to feel that way, but it's a lousy argument and hypocritical not to acknowledge thats the argument you're making.
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true. This has always been one of my beefs with the tea party. They're not really against government spending. . .just government spending on other people. I mean, i get it. . .it's basic human nature to feel that way, but it's a lousy argument and hypocritical not to acknowledge thats the argument you're making.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:37 PM   #15
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I don't understand why the federal government should use tax payers money to fund a radio station.
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