Don’t Cut Funding to National Public Radio

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Target: United States Congress

Goal: Prevent federal funding cuts for National Public Radio

Many conservative members of Congress are now seeking to defund National Public Radio, a station that millions of people in America depend on for news. Defenders of NPR have illustrated the importance of maintaining the station for several reasons, but the opposition has one specific reason for defunding the source: NPR leans to the left, and conservatives are not okay with this.

However, the truth is that 28 percent of NPR listeners self-identify as either conservative or very conservative. A liberal station certainly would not attract this high percentage of conservative listeners, and therefore the attempts to define NPR as a source of liberal media bias are unsubstantiated. Certainly there are more liberal listeners, but perhaps this is because many conservative citizens prefer to selectively expose themselves to stations that reinforce traditional and authoritarian ideals, such as the Rush Limbaugh show or the Glenn Beck program.

While it is also true that liberals dominate the news more heavily than do conservatives, perhaps conservative members of Congress would be wise to examine the cause for such uneven distribution if political bias is the reason for assessing NPR’s validity. Liberals tend to be better suited for untraditional careers (including positions in the news) where change must be quickly and creatively responded to. Conservatives, who tend to prefer authoritarian ideals and familiarity, are not as prevalent in the news, or any media career, because of their trends toward traditionalism. One conservative writer even claimed that, “daily news is a poor way to learn,” twisting this frequently cited and traditional quote into an excuse to be rid of a national station that millions depend on.

Still, not all conservatives are so extreme as to claim that NPR is a liberal source. In reality, it is closer to moderate, and even conservative talk show host Michael Medved claims that the station makes, “a genuine, constant attempt to try to play it up the middle.” With this out in the open, it is also important to know that NPR will suffer without federal funding, despite its popularity. Because Congress is also threating to prohibit local radio stations from using money from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, NPR’s largest source of federal funds, many small stations across the nation could lose access to NPR entirely.

The goal of conservative Congress is clear: defund NPR and its sources of funding in order to wipe out the “liberal media.” Extremist conservatives will use the excuse that NPR supporters can sufficiently fund the station without problems. This is not true. Tell Congress that defunding National Public Radio would deprive many of a news source they depend on.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear United States Congress,

Please do not defund National Public Radio. I urge you to consider the implications of such negative actions against a news source that millions of people depend on for knowledge and information. If the reasons for defunding are somehow politically related, I ask you to consider that over one fourth of NPR listeners self-identify as conservative, and to defund a source that people from many different political backgrounds rely on would be unfair. We have enough biased sources of news at present, and NPR does an excellent job of presenting information by genuinely and consistently attempting to be fair and honest.

While many claim that NPR can survive solely on the support of its listeners, this is not true. If restrictions are placed on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, then many could lose access to NPR entirely. This would also be unfair, and it is an avoidable issue as long as National Public Radio receives the federal funding it deserves to give news to the public. Do not take this away.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Google Images

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