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From the General Manager – February 2011

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

I am disappointed to report that early on February 19th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution eliminating all federal funding for public television and radio stations by a vote of 235-189.

If this House-passed bill stands, it would endanger hundreds of public radio and television organizations, including AZPM, that serve as educational, informational and cultural lifelines for millions of people nationwide. For public stations serving rural and small-town America, it would be a death sentence because these small stations rely on the federal appropriation for the bulk of their operating revenue.

Federal funding provides 14 percent of Arizona Public Media’s operating revenue and helps us to deliver commercial-free educational programming that expands children’s minds. If you have spent time watching children’s programs on Channel 6 or our PBS Kids channel, you know that we do not interrupt programs or present on-air fundraising campaigns in those schedules.

Your federal tax dollars also help to finance a large portion of our original local productions from local radio news and Arizona Spotlight to Arizona Illustrated, WaveLengths and our newest public affairs series, Arizona Week, on TV.

Some say that there is no longer a need for federal support of public broadcasting. Others believe it’s one of the best investments of federal tax dollars. For the sixth consecutive year, the non-partisan international research company GfK Roper, released the results from its national opinion survey showing that Americans consider PBS the nation’s most trusted institution among nationally known organizations and the best choice in children’s programming for ages 2-8. It also lists public television as the second best use of federal tax dollars, following military defense. You can review a summary of that report for yourself, here.

More importantly, though, is what you think.

I hope you will call members of Arizona’s Congressional Delegation and tell them what you think of public broadcasting and the proposed cuts. You can find a list of Congressional phone numbers. If you prefer, or if you cannot get through, you can call the main switchboard on Capitol Hill at 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121.

You can also visit 170 MillionAmericans.org and register to receive updates on this issue via email. Because the future of Arizona Public Media and public broadcasting is at stake, it is important that elected representatives hear directly from you — about whether or not funding for public broadcasting should be continued.

Thank you for your continued support of Arizona Public Media.


TELL CONGRESS WHAT YOU THINK

As you may have heard, Congress will take a critical vote in the next few days to eliminate all federal support for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and local public television and radio stations.

Just think of what life would be like without NPR’s Morning Edition for your morning commute, or PBS favorites like NOVA or Antiques Roadshow or Masterpiece Theater on TV. Then consider what a loss of award-winning children’s programs like Sesame Street, The Cat in the Hat and Curious George might mean for the youngsters in our community — perhaps affecting your children or grandchildren.

Federal funding provides 14 percent of Arizona Public Media’s operating revenue and helps us to deliver commercial-free educational programming that expands children’s minds. If you have spent time watching children’s programs on Channel 6 or our PBS Kids channel, you know that we do not interrupt programs or present on-air fundraising campaigns in those schedules.

Federal funding also helps us to acquire documentaries that open up new worlds to audiences, provide balanced and responsible reporting in trusted news programs that help to keep you informed, and offer cultural programming which exposes you to the worlds of music, theater, dance and art. Your federal tax dollars also help to finance a large portion of our original local productions from local radio news and Arizona Spotlight to Arizona Illustrated, WaveLengths and our newest public affairs series, Arizona Week, on TV.

Some say that there is no longer a need for federal support of public broadcasting. Others believe it’s one of the best investments of federal tax dollars. For the sixth consecutive year, a GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media poll shows Americans consider PBS the nation’s most trusted institution among nationally known organizations and the best choice in children’s programming for ages 2-8. It also lists public television as the second best use of federal tax dollars, following military defense. The non-partisan, international research company released the comprehensive results from its national opinion survey, which was conducted to gauge the attitudes of Americans towards PBS and other major national institutions, including courts of law and commercial broadcast television networks. You can review that report for yourself, here.

More importantly, though, is what you think.

I hope you will call members of Arizona’s Congressional Delegation and tell them what you think of public broadcasting and the proposed cuts. Congress could take action on these cuts in the next few days, so please act now. You can find a list of Congressional phone numbers here.

You can also visit 170 MillionAmericans.org and register to receive updates on this issue via email. Because the future of Arizona Public Media and public broadcasting is at stake, it is important that elected representatives hear directly from you — about whether or not funding for public broadcasting should be continued.

Thank you for your continued support of Arizona Public Media.

About From the General Manager

Thoughts and Letters from Jack Gibson.