Here are the five most notable pieces this week on the battle to defund public media:
- Public Media is America—Jacquie Jones, Huffington Post: "To be a fully functioning society, we need good quality public media the same way we need good quality public schools, colleges and universities, public hospitals, transportation, libraries, parks and recreation, and arts and culture. It is not, as some have said, a 'frivolous' expense that has no place in a maxed-out federal budget. What it is, instead, is the fabric that binds us together in tough times. That allows us to tell our story and to make sense of events that often seem disjointed, disempowering and that come to us without context or a sense of history."
- Science Settles It: NPR’s Liberal, But Not Very—Jeff Bercovici, Forbes: An analysis of NPR's Twitter networks by Duke University researchers suggests that NPR's online fan base slants slightly left, with BBC dead center and other outlets falling on either side.
- NPR and James O’Keefe Keep on Battling—Mitch Perry, Creative Loafing: O'Keefe defends his M.O. to On the Media's Bob Garfield, saying "All journalists use excerpts to highlight the most egregious things made by their subjects. All Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism does that. Do you think when a reporter files a FOIA request and goes through to audit the university or the business or the publicly funded entity, he focuses on every single excerpt? Or does he focus on the excerpts that characterize the subject, on the unethical things that the subject does?"
- NPR's Toothless Defense Strategy—Howard Kurtz, Newsweek: "[W]ith its future on the line, NPR’s decimated management has opted for quiet diplomacy rather than a full-throated defense of one of the few news operations that is actually expanding, reaching an impressive 27 million listeners a week. Staffers flown in for a recent meeting in Washington groaned when executives said it would be too risky for them to aggressively defend NPR..."
- NPR: The Saga Continues—Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Truthout: "Conglomerates long ago bought up the country’s commercial radio stations, closed down the news departments, and auctioned off the airtime to partisan polemicists or pre-packaged content devoid of journalism. Serious news on radio -- 'the news we need to keep our freedoms," as the historian and journalist Richard Reeves once put it – has become the province of NPR.'
Catch up on this series of posts tracking different cases being made for and against public broadcasting: