Feb 8, 2011

House member says Congressional funding to CPB is "critical"

Who's in public broadcasting's corner as funding cuts loom? Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.), for one. On Tuesday (Feb. 8) he issued a statement saying it is "critical" that Congress continues to support CPB, "an organization that consistently produces excellent programming for all age groups on news, current affairs, arts, and science. Defunding CPB will significantly hurt [NPR] news stations in less affluent areas because those communities rely on the vital federal funds set aside for public broadcasting. I'm committed to making sure that this important service continues."

New Jersey Network worth $51.2 million, appraisal for RFP's says

The New Jersey Network of four public TV and nine public radio stations is appraised at $51.2 million in documents accompanying three requests for proposals issued Friday (Feb. 4) by the State Treasury. Gov. Chris Christie (R) says the state can no longer afford to run the pubmedia outlets (Current, July 6, 2010). One RFP is for operation of the radio network, another for the sale of that network, and the final for operation of the TV network.

With help from Knight, Gotham Gazette provides online political funding tool

Gotham Gazette, a nonprofit news source funded by the Union Foundation, a good-government group that dates to 1897, has launched an online tool to enable users to track the influence of money in New York City politics. Councilpedia is funded in part with a News Challenge grant from the Knight Foundation. Currently information on more than 50 politicians are available. Available are donations by sector as well as individuals, bill sponsored and campaign expenditures.

Research finds strong protection, autonomy in government-backed journalism overseas

In a new international study of public media systems in 14 democracies, two New York University media scholars find that many countries offer journalists legal protection from political interference and ensure that reporters have the autonomy to do their jobs.

Rodney Benson and Matthew Powers also found that in those countries with government-funded media, which includes television, radio, newspapers, and online news, coverage is often higher quality public affairs coverage, with a wider range of viewpoints, and even are more critical of government than commercial media.