Save the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Save the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting works with hundreds of national and local producers and community partners to ensure that Americans have universal access to high-quality non-commercial programming with a particular focus on the needs of underserved audiences, including children, minorities, and low-income Americans. Cutting off federal dollars would have a cascade effect that would be catastrophic to the millions of people who use public broadcasting every day and to the union jobs that support them.

Why Public Broadcasting?

  • Public broadcasting is local: In an increasingly global world, attention to local communities is desperately waning. But, PBS stations are locally licensed and governed, locally programmed, and locally union staffed. In many rural areas in America, public broadcasting is the only source of free local, national and international news.
  • Public broadcasting is a great investment: Unlike public broadcasting systems throughout the world, America’s public broadcasters do not rely upon the government as their primary source of funding.  Federal funding amounts to less than 14% of a station’s budget on average- 86% of funding is derived from local sources.
  • Public broadcasting reflects viewers, not advertisers: Today’s rapidly changing media environment is more and more driven by private interests. In the world Fox News and Citizens United, viewer driven public broadcasting is a vital source of unbiased news, local cultural programming, and non-commercial educational programs.

Americans are Watching, Listening, and Learning

  • Public television has a monthly broadcast audience of 121.9 million people.
  • Public radio has a four-week broadcast audience of 64.7 million people.  
  • Network websites reach 13.7 million unique visitors per month at npr.org, 10.8 million unique visitors per month at pbs.org, and 9.5 million average unique visitors per month at pbskids.org.
  • Other PBS digital media reaches 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

It’s Not Just Big Bird’s Job at Stake:

This not simply an entertainment issue- it is a jobs issue. There are more than 1,000 local public television and radio stations in America, representing some of the last locally-owned, locally-staffed and locally-programmed media outlets in this country. These stations are in every community across the country and employ some 21,000, and thousands of members of the Communications Workers of America who will be left unemployed in this bitter economy should Congress act to kill Big Bird.