2011-03-17 09:54:57 ET

Defunding thereof might actually lead to a balanced approach to the news. And some healthy competition!

2011-03-17 10:03:13 ET

Have you ever listened to NPR?

2011-03-17 10:21:51 ET

Yes, many many times, for many many hours. Especially local programming, which tends to be rather good, so long as it's not political (in which case it decends into a bunch of trash - like every other political broadcast audio or video irregardless of source/leaning)

I've spent an inordinate amount of time listening to All Songs Considered (they've even done electronica from time to time), Car Talk (lots of funny anecdotes), World cafe, etc.

Hell i even worked @ KROL (Montana), which had an NPR rebroadcast affiliation (under college radio), at the time.

NPR is a good thing, it's just not something everyone should have to pay for.

2011-03-17 11:54:05 ET

$1.06 per person per year. That is to much? That is the issue? Despite them having the least biased news network by a huge margine, and the ONLY station that has what could even be considered legitimate news. And $1.06 a year per person is too much.

yeah, another fox news. Thats what we need. Another huge source of damaging misinformation. Or CNN, which thinks that Charlie sheen is more important that Libya.....

2011-03-17 12:24:10 ET

well, using your numbers, yes, I'd say that $1.06 (your number) x 307,006,550 (pop of the US in 2009/US census Bureau), or roughly US$325,426,943 (it's a calculator, it does the math) per year is too much for ANY media outlet to receive for free, regardless of it's bias or lack thereof.

Whether it'd become another CNN, FOX, MSNBC, Al Jezeera or morphs into Sesame Street/Elmo/the Wiggles - whatever, is immaterial (to me), it's the responsible use of funds, no public facing non-service oriented (ie. audio/video production) should receive tax revenue.

That's *my* opinion, and my view, and like you, I'm able to express it - and isn't that an amazing thing? woot!

2011-03-17 12:50:18 ET

I have to correct my math:
They have a revenue of 159 million. 2% of that was from the federal government, which means 3.18 million. in a nation with 300+ million, that comes out to $0.016 per person per year. (bad decimal place when figuring the population)

it is incredibly short sighted to say that the CNNs, FOXs, MSNBCs would lead to a balanced approach to the news. Maybe it is just me, but I believe having an adequately informed population is far more important than allowing corporations to misdirect the entire population because there is not a single new source that isn't playing to corporate interests. NPR does not have stock holders that push agendas.

2011-03-17 13:49:47 ET

I'm not saying any approach would lead to a more balanced news reporting situation. I'm simply saying that radio programming, of any ilk, does not strike me as something that deserves public dollars.

With a revenue of 159 million, give or take 2%, NPR could very easily take on the contracts they have now (as defined by production, development, and distribution), and leave the tax money out of the entire equation.

As an example of production cost, vs reach:

ITV-NW here in Seattle has operating costs of less than 1M per year, yet is able to reach (theoretically) via net, OTA broadcasting, On demand Comcast, and I-Tunes, the exact same scale audience size (per regional slice) NPR does, WITH video as well, while operating some of the most technologically impressive equipment in the United States (in the broadcast industry in any case)

All that with reporters, commentary, entertainment, news, and no bias/no stockholders/no bullshit.
Food for thought.

2011-03-26 06:04:40 ET

If you don't think that an educated and informed population is important, than there really is no argument. I am not going to explain why it is, just as I am not going to explain how public funding is useful to holding NPR to an unbiased stance.

Also, ITV-NW does not reach the same size. Not only that, but I can not listen to them in my car. Ever.

2011-03-26 06:15:46 ET

your argument is that the government should be spending money on using the media to educate people as a way to PREVENT propaganda?

2011-03-26 06:22:16 ET

Yes. Because after NPR, we only have news networks that serve corporate interests.

2011-03-26 06:29:13 ET

There's only two types of people: those that are ignorant about a subject and those that are biased about a subject.

Giving someone tax money isn't going to magically change that. It just means you're listening to a different agenda.

2011-03-26 06:44:22 ET

You do know that things can be more biased than others. Not only is it possible, but it exists in todays media. Fox news viewers were found to be the most misinformed on an issue, while PBS listeners were found to be the least misinformed on an issue.

NPR receiving money from all the various sources means that it is held to all of those sources. The other major news networks are only held to a few supporters, and only looks out for them. NPR is good because it has more supporters, and takes a FAR less biased approach to reporting.

2011-03-26 08:01:13 ET

So now your argument is that it's good because it has many different supporters and the early argument was that the government contribution is very small

Then why are the government funds necessary for it? It seems like what makes it great would be hurt by making it wholly government funded...I don't see how it would hurt what you love about NPR by going the opposite direction and removing the government as one of the supporters.

2011-03-26 08:13:46 ET

I am not sure I followed. I am arguing that the government contribution is small. I always did. That is what the 2% thing is about. To NPR it is 2%, and to the government it is peanuts. However, to take away that 2% means that the government is no longer a supporter. That means that the general public is no longer a supporter. That means that NPR is beheld to less people.

I never said it should be entirely government funded. Nor did I ever say that the government should increase funding.

2011-03-26 08:41:36 ET

How does that make it beheld to less people?

I concur that it's peanuts to the government - but lots of peanut programs add up real fast.

2011-03-27 07:04:09 ET

NPR can't print money. It has to take in money from supporters for it to operate, and it has to keep in good standing to do so.

You are right. there is far more pork than there should be in a lot of cases. However, there are some programs which are important to maintaining a healthy society.

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