House Bill 1 Passed This Morning, Eliminates Funding for Public Broadcasting

I received the bad news this morning in my email:

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1 early this morning, which eliminates federal funding for public broadcasting. This is a blow to public radio and television stations across the country and the 170 million Americans who tune in every month.

But we are not giving up.

You have already had a powerful impact in Washington. We heard directly from Members of Congress that the hundreds of thousands of calls and emails in support of public broadcasting have created momentum that may yet save federal funding for this vital public service.

Now the bill heads to the Senate. You will get a message from us in the next few days when it is time, again, to send a clear message to Washington: Funding for public broadcasting is too important to eliminate.

What can you do today? Please reach out to your friends and family and encourage them to sign up at 170MillionAmericans.org and at Facebook.com/170Million over the coming week. This is going to be a marathon and we will need any many supporters as possible to prevail in the end.

THANK YOU for all that you are doing!

Jeff Nelson and Stacey Karp
170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting

I received a reply email from Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio saying that he will support public broadcasting when the bill comes to the Senate. Please let your Senators know that America needs and deserves public broadcasting. The links above to 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting will help you contact your elected officials.

It’s Time to Fight Back: 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting

NPR and PBS add to the American discourse in ways that no other broadcasting and online presence can do. PBS in particular offers educational and entertaining programming that you cannot find on any other broadcast network much less the hundreds of channels on cable. Public broadcasting is a service for the people, by the people that we all can use and enjoy. Much of its funding comes from individual donations, but a large portion of its funding is provided by the people through our national and state governments. That’s the great thing about governments–when they work for the people, they can do things that no individual or corporation can do–a thing like providing free, content-rich programming for every citizen, of any age. Unfortunately now, there are some lawmakers in our national and state governments who want to deprive the people of the United States of one of our most valuable and inexpensive projects: public radio and television. I have contacted my representatives in Ohio, and I would ask that you do the same where you live. Let folks know about what’s going on, and let your representatives know that some public investments are too important to our national discourse and future to eliminate under the guise of ‘fiscal responsibility.’

More information for joining the fight here:

170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting.

Other voices in the fight here, here, and here.

A final thought: Why hasn’t The New York Times carried a story about this?