Some politicians, mostly Republicans, don’t seem to like public television, public radio and just about any nationally promoted arts-and-humanities program that is not under their control. This attack on public, as opposed to commercial, media has been particular prevalent in the South. The following will give you some indication of how public broadcasting, both television and radio, have fared in state Legislative bodies.
• Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia cut approximately 40% of their state public broadcasting budgets.
• Georgia, Louisiana and North Carolina cut approximately 20%.
• In South Carolina, Republican Gov. Nikki Haley proposed eliminating the entire appropriation for public television, only to face a GOP Legislature-led “open rebellion” that saved South Carolina Educational TV, but reduced its budget significantly.
• Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s efforts to eliminate state support for public TV also were blocked by that state’s Republican-dominated Legislature. He then vetoed the measure that preserved some funding and continued his quest to kill the appropriation altogether.
Even though all of these states are having financial problems, it’s evident that public broadcasting has been hit extremely hard in their budgets. I believe public broadcasting – which should be independent and free from political pressure – is important and most must be protected from the politicians to the extent possible.
Source: Associated Press
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