On average every month, 170 million Americans go to television, radio, online services and in-person events offered by public media. That crowd amounts to more than half of the country’s population.
Surprised? That’s just what the slogan writers are hoping for.
The line “170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting,” debuting today (Dec. 13) on a new website — 170MillionAmericans.org — is intended to help defend public broadcasting from potentially dire funding cuts looming in the new year.
The site is sponsored by nine national public TV and radio organizations and co-managed by two of them, the Association for Public Television Stations and Minnesota-based American Public Media.
And the big audience statistic reveals for the first time a comprehensive estimate of public media users across all platforms. Public radio’s Station Resource Group spent months, long before this campaign was devised, gathering the data and subtracting people in overlapping audiences who could be counted more than once.
See this week's Current for the story of how one big number grew into an even bigger advocacy campaign.