Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Laura Walker Talks to NPTtv About Public Broadcasting Cuts

During a recession, even one that is slowly ending, governments start to do some "belt-tightening" of their budgets.  One of the unfortunate victims of this process is a favorite punching bag of government budget cuts: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio. Laura Walker, president and CEO of NY Public Radio joined NPTtv to talk about the hard times Public Broadcasting is enduring.

Walker explained that NY Public Radio gets about 6% of its funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Despite this significant percentage, she insists that her radio stations would still “survive."  However, this doesn't mean they won't have to make some very tough decisions.  Sh said that one of the affects of the reduced funds would be to cut a lot of positions and programs.  But this is nothing compared to the consequences some stations might endure.  According to Walker, there will be some public radio stations in the country that will simply not be able to continue running because of the severity of the cuts.

And that severity is one thing that Walker has noticed during the debate on this issue that is being waged on Capitol Hill.  Although she correctly notes this is not the first time cuts have been proposed for Public Broadcasting, this is the first time there has been a proposal to simply strike all funding.  That's right, if the current proposal issued by the House of Representatives were to pass, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and all public media outlets would receive no money from the Federal Government.  She also senses stronger rhetoric from those in favor of this proposal.

Still, Walker says that their audience remains passionate and loyal to public radio, and she believes that since now more Americans experience public media these days, there will be a huge backlash against the current House proposal.

To see the full interview with Ms. Walker, check out the video in the current webcast of NPTtv.  And of course, leave us your comments on the situation.

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