Watchdog calls for more public funding


Free Press’s Craig Aaron thinks public broadcasting gets short shrift in the US, and is calling on a Democratic White House and Congress to do something about it. And he’s not just talking about NPR, PBS and CPB. He has LPFM and other community broadcast outlets, public access channels, satellite channels, and funding for independent producers, publications and websites on his list.

He said America pays only $1.37 per person on public media at the moment. He’s not asking for the $80 per person they spend in Great Britain, or even the $22 per they spend in Canada, and certainly not the $565 per person we all spent already to bail out AIG.

He believes that $5 per person would work wonders funding local publicly supported media and the creation of new works of art.

He believes there will be a second round of stimulus at some point. Unlike the last round, where existing public operations seemed happy just avoiding cuts, he thinks an investment should be made to buck up the entire system.

RBR/TVBR observation: We don’t expect anything like this to happen anytime soon, but if the situation in Washington remains stable for eight or more years, anything could happen eventually.