Turning Off the CPB
Howard Husock argues that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is superfluous with for-profit media now offering ethnically and ideologically diverse programming.
“It was 1967 when the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was established “to encourage public telecommunications services which will be responsive to the interests of people both in particular localities and throughout the United States, which will constitute an expression of diversity and excellence, and which will constitute a source of alternative telecommunications services for all the citizens of the Nation.” In an era in which television was described as a “vast wasteland,” CPB would “encourage the development of programming that involves creative risks and that addresses the needs of unserved and underserved audiences, particularly children and minorities” that wasn’t then available via commercial outlets.”
“But if that’s the mission, it’s mission accomplished now in the private sector. For-profit media produce programming that is ethnically and ideologically diverse. Audiences once considered underserved — whether that means children of color, political conservatives, devotees of independent film or science geeks — can find what they’re looking for on commercial radio and TV. Yes, public media makes outstanding contributions, from the films of Ken Burns to the enterprising foreign reporting of NPR. But one cannot assume that absent federal funding, there would be no sources of support for ‘diversity and excellence.'”
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Public Broadcasting Shouldn’t Get a Handout From Taxpayers Anymore, The Washington Post