Archive for October 4, 2012
PBS Statement Regarding October 3 Presidential Debate
ARLINGTON, VA – October 4, 2012 – We are very disappointed that PBS became a political target in the Presidential debate last night. Governor Romney does not understand the value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation. We think it is important to set the record straight and let the facts speak for themselves.
The federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget. Elimination of funding would have virtually no impact on the nation’s debt. Yet the loss to the American public would be devastating.
A national survey by the bipartisan research firms of Hart Research and American Viewpoint in 2011 found that over two-thirds of American voters (69%) oppose proposals to eliminate government funding of public broadcasting, with Americans across the political spectrum against such a cut.
As a stated supporter of education, Governor Romney should be a champion of public broadcasting, yet he is willing to wipe out services that reach the vast majority of Americans, including underserved audiences, such as children who cannot attend preschool and citizens living in rural areas.
For more than 40 years, Big Bird has embodied the public broadcasting mission – harnessing the power of media for the good of every citizen, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay. Our system serves as a universally accessible resource for education, history, science, arts and civil discourse.
Over the course of a year, 91% of all U.S. television households tune in to their local PBS station. In fact, our service is watched by 81% of all children between the ages of 2-8.
Each day, the American public receives an enduring and daily return on investment that is heard, seen, read and experienced in public media broadcasts, apps, podcasts and online – all for the cost of about $1.35 per person per year.
Earlier in 2012, a Harris Interactive poll confirmed that Americans consider PBS the most trusted public institution and the second most valuable use of public funds, behind only national defense, for the 9th consecutive year.
A key thing to remember is that public television and radio stations are locally owned and community focused and they are experts in working efficiently to make limited resources produce results. In fact, for every $1.00 of federal funding invested, they raise an additional $6.00 on their own – a highly effective public-private partnership.
Numerous studies — including one requested by Congress earlier this year — have stated categorically that while the federal investment in public broadcasting is relatively modest, the absence of this critical seed money would cripple the system and bring its services to an end.
Learn more at: http://valuepbs.org/.
This was a letter to the editor published in the Iowa City Press-Citizen
In the state of Iowa we are fortunate to have a great Sen. Tom Harkin, who helped write and pass into law the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.
And we are lucky to have another champion of disability rights here in Iowa’s Second Congressional District: Dave Loebsack.
Loebsack has fought in Washington to prevent attempts to erode the ADA. He believes that everyone, no matter what their disability, deserves a shot at a meaningful job, a good education, and the choice of living in their own community rather than in an institution.
Having a mother who struggled with mental illness, Loebsack understands how important community supports and services are to a family dealing with disabilities. Maybe that’s why he participates every year in Iowa City’s walk to raise money for NAMI (National Association for Mental Illness).
Loebsack has spoken often at ADA anniversary celebrations in his district, he is a member of the Brain Injury Caucus in Congress, and this year he was awarded the Arc of Southeast Iowa’s ADA Guardian Award for 2012.
As a person living with a disability, I will vote for Loebsack. He has earned the support of all those who believe all Americans should have the opportunity to fully participate in their community.