Mar 1, 2011

Washington Post editorial calls pubcasting a "nice-to-have," but not a priority

In case you missed it, the Washington Post, a paper traditionally seen as being in public broadcasting's corner, now views the system as a "nice-to-have" as opposed to a vital service. In an unsigned editorial in Saturday's (Feb. 26) edition, titled "What government is for," it said in part: "Public radio and television provide levels of serious news and cultural coverage and of civility that are otherwise not prevalent in today's media. . . . It's true that if Washington got the bigger, harder things right — controlling health-care costs and aiming entitlement programs at those who really need the help — there'd be enough left over for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. . . . But as a matter of politics and fairness, some of the nice-to-haves are going to have to take a hit: There are worthy things that government is no longer going to be able to do."

1 comment:

Jim Russell said...

Posted to the Washington Post web site:

Not everyone agrees that quality news and information, the arts, and even the study of peace are "nice-to-have's" but not essential. We do not live by bread alone, and a great many people agree that life itself isn't worth living if it is not civilized. A just-released study shows 79% percent of the public think PBS should get “the same amount of government funding” or “more government funding” than it currently does. Another report shows that America spends the least of any western democracy on public broadcasting. I don't oppose considering tough decisions, but let's be very careful that we don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Let's not forget governnent excesses of the past: a few fewer gold-plated toilet seats would pay for a really first class public broadcasting system.

Jim Russell