NPR Losing Federal Funds

Katy Grimes: Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to deny $422 million in future federal funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and  National Public Radio.

As part of the GOP plan to cut federal spending, federal subsidies for NPR  for the remainder of this budget year will be cut by taking back nearly $86 million budgeted for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the parent organization of NPR. The proposal is facing opposition in the Senate.

Of the 34 million listeners NPR has, most of the money raised comes from donors, corporate sponsors and underwriters, and other non-profit grants. The Los Angeles Times reported that if the federal funding for NPR was eliminated, the average NPR affiliate station would lose 15 percent of its funding.

Supporters of the free market won’t be crying in their green beer tonight. Many privately held corporations and small businesses across the country have had to make substantial across-the-board cuts to salaries and budgets, some by at least 15 to 20 percent.

But the fact remains that allowing government into journalism should never have occurred in the first place.

I like listening to NPR… sometimes… but not all of the programs. Much of what is produced by NPR is interesting, and good journalism. And now that the government won’t be involved, I’ll probably start contributing to my local NPR station again.

Andrew Cline with The American Spectator recently asked, “Wouldn’t more listeners give if they knew their local station really did “rely on listeners like you” instead of on the government?”

Perhaps not. Cline also reported that only one in 10 NPR listeners gives money to his own public radio station, according to NPR’s own data. “If 90 percent of NPR listeners refuse to fund it, why should the rest of us?” asked Cline.

If the free market can’t support NPR at its current spending level, then either more listeners will have to pony-up donations, more and larger corporate sponsors will be needed, or cuts will have to be made.

Making up the difference in NPR’s budget with federal funding has been an abuse of taxpayer money and an improper role of the government. Thankfully, Congressional Republicans did something about it. Let’s hope that the Senate eventually agrees.

If NPR listeners don’t want to pay for their radio, then NPR will have to cut back as other businesses in the country have had to do during difficult economic times.

But not everyone agrees with the reasons for the cuts. David Weigel with Slate magazine online wrote, “The lousy argument is that cutting the funding would save NPR, at long last, from its wretched existence as a Republican punching bag. BREAKING, as they say in the news business: NPR is always going to be a Republican punching bag. The main claim is its liberal bias, not its funding source.”

Boo hoo.

The government has no place in journalism, and especially not in news organizations.

MAR. 17, 2011

Related Articles

When America was fun for kids

“America is too safe” is one of my sayings. It’s just hard to have fun anymore, especially for kids. When

CA govt. drives out another business

Warren Meyer finally had it. With the new year, he closed his park business in California. California no longer will

Fresno water contamination has residents on edge

When it comes to tainted water supplies, is Fresno another Flint, Michigan? The evidence is worrisome enough that authorities in