The House just passed a preposterous bill designed to attack NPR
and dismantle America’s public media system piece by piece. The bill, H.R. 1076,
cuts NPR off from all federal funding and prohibits local public radio stations
from using federal funds to buy radio programming, or pay dues to NPR.
As the debate over this bill stretched on throughout almost the entire
day, proponents of the bill repeated two talking points over and over again.
Let’s fact check those claims.
Fiction: Cutting NPR funding is what the American taxpayers
It's no secret that the newspaper business is in
trouble. It has been for a very long time, with readership shrinking
along with ad revenues, and costs continuing to climb. But some newspapers
are not content to go gentle into that good night… they’re finding ways to make
themselves more valuable to their communities, reflecting the readers’ needs
and delivering news in innovative and engaging ways.
In an interview on NPR’s “On the Media”, Ira Glass, host of “This American Life”, argues that it is time to stand up to the bullies and fight back against the smear campaign being waged against public media in Washington D.C. and on cable news.
But how do we fight back? Here is what Glass suggests:
“With the truth, baby, with the truth. That’s all we got. Listen to what we're doing on the air, and measure it. Call it impractical, call it idealistic, but I have to believe if we get out there with the truth, that, that weapon is a real weapon and actually means something.”
Some members of Congress have been spending so much time fretting about what’s going on in the executive offices at NPR that they have lost sight of the local people, local jobs, and local organizations in their districts that depend on public broadcasting. Today we are sending a wake-up call to Capitol Hill.
On Monday, the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ)
released its annual “State of the News Media” study. The study covers a lot of ground, providing
data about readership/viewership, ad revenues, ownership, journalism jobs, and
content across every news medium, be it print, broadcast or digital. During the
next few weeks, we’ll be diving deeper into the data, bringing you our analysis
of how all this research can inform the media reform movement.
The increasing dominance of the Internet as a news platform gets a
lot of attention in the study. Let’s take a look at some of the media policy
implications of what they found.
Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner testified on Thursday on behalf of the Free Press Action Fund and the SavetheInternet.com coalition before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.