The recent attempts by Congress to defund NPR through legislation like HR 1076, the bill to prohibit federal funds for NPR and to prohibit stations from using federal funds to acquire any radio content, may be construed as attempts to “punish” NPR for its apparent liberal bias but more importantly and less obviously they are attempts to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting or CPB.
CPB is the agency that disburses and manages federal funds for the 1100 plus public radio and television stations nationwide. NPR gets very little of its funding through CPB and could most likely replace those federal dollars. CPB, however, is required by statute to disburse the majority of the federal funds it receives directly to public stations. Attempts to completely defund CPB will result in the defunding of many local public radio and television stations including KYUK.
To be clear, we realize that everyone has to make sacrifices in the effort to reduce the budget deficit looming over the country. We know that this will mean reductions in the level of federal funding support for public media and the elimination of some federally funded public media programs. We’re willing to do our part. The total defunding of CPB, however, in an effort to “punish NPR”, for example, won’t help reduce the deficit in any significant way and will actually dismantle the public media system that has been in place for forty years, a network of local stations, like KYUK, that more than 170 million Americans rely on every day.
Our congressional delegation members have been strong supporters of public media in Alaska. They have received the message from many of you that public media in Alaska, and your local public radio station, are important to you.
However, we still need to push the message home particularly to Senator Lisa Murkowski. She still needs to hear from Alaskans that public broadcasting and your local public radio station, KYUK, are important enough to you for her to step forward in support of public broadcasting. I urge you to call Senator Murkowski’s office at (202) 224-6665 today or visit her website to send an email to ask her to show bipartisan leadership on maintaining a level of federal funding for public broadcasting.
I will continue to update you on the progress of this effort to keep public media alive and well in Alaska.
Thank you for your support of KYUK, public media for the Yukon/Kuskokwim Delta.