170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting
According to the US national debt clock, at 2:05 pm on Wednesday, Feb. 16th, the US national debt reached $14,156,031,421,823. Facing such a staggering number, members of both Houses have made plans to put public media, which includes Public Television and Public (television and radio, including our very own WCTE) on the chopping block in the 2011 Congressional session. Over one-hundred seventy million Americans (more than half of the US population) watch, listen to, or use public media every month, and without your help, its future may be in danger. Various economics bloggers claim that if the US government went out today and “took every single penny from every single American bank, business, and taxpayer, they still would not be able to pay off the national debt” (eg: theeconomicollapseblog.com). On the other hand, annual funding for public broadcasting in the US amounts to $1.35 per person, less than the cost of a cup of coffee (www.170millionamericans.org). Clearly getting rid of our public media is not the economic panacea we’re looking for.
Luckily, getting involved is as easy as joining 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting: a national, grassroots effort to rally the support and energy of listeners and viewers spanning from Alaska to Florida. The initiative was created on the belief that “now, more than ever, our country needs a strong public media system as a source of non-partisan news, local cultural programming and non-commercial educational programs.”
We can allow our representatives to truly represent us by showing them that our public broadcasting is not something we are willing to sacrifice. If you are one of the 170 million Americans that cares about public television and radio, call or write your congressional representatives, spread the word on facebook and twitter, or simply join the group online at http://www.170millionamericans.org/ by providing your name, email, and zip code, but please don’t be silent.
Becky Magura, President & CEO of WCTE
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