We oppose President Trump’s proposal to wipe out federal funding for public broadcasting.
Seventy-three percent of Americans, both Republican and Democrat, agree.
At just $1.35 per citizen annually per year, or .01 percent of the federal budget, public broadcasting is one of America’s best investments – and benefits all Coloradans.
Together with the support of local donors and business underwriters, federal funding provides us with the critical operational support to serve 98 percent of the state of Colorado for free, ensuring that we deliver vital educational programming to our communities.
Research shows that PBS KIDS content improves school readiness. Here in Durango, like families across the country, our children and parents rely on PBS’ safe, trusted, commercial-free educational content.
Nationally, PBS ranks especially high in trust and value among low-income households and communities of color, who watch PBS KIDS in higher numbers than commercial children’s programming.
In Durango and across the Western Slope, public media informs civil discussion in our community – in-person and over the air.
RMPBS regularly convenes people to engage in dialogue, using film as a launching point for discussion of the key issues facing our day.
Our collaborations with local universities, businesses and community organizations extend our impact and services.
Similarly, Colorado Public Television travels the state to explore the culturally rich landmarks and stories of our diverse communities.
Perhaps most critical is our shared commitment to high-quality news and public affairs programming.
Nationally, the PBS NewsHour is one of the most trusted news programs on television and is the only network evening newscast that is actually growing in viewership.
Building on this strong foundation, RMPBS and CPT12 produce local programming that provides for the exchange of ideas and diverse perspectives on how local, national and international issues affect us here at home.
This is increasingly vital in today’s polarized media landscape, a time when commercial news screaming matches can be the norm.
Federal funding for public media matters – and supports our community, informing our collective discussions and lives.
As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act, we call on Colorado members of Congress to protect this fundamental American institution and invite readers to sign up for legislative updates and information about how you can help preserve public media at ProtectMyPublicMedia.org.
Jim Foster, Durango
Micah Schwalb, Boulder
Editor’s note: Jim Foster is chairman of the Board Emeritus of Rocky Mountain Public Media and Micah Schwalb is chairman of the board of Colorado Public Television.