NPR President Defends Public Funding In National Press Club Speech
March 7, 2011 at 11:53 AM (PT)
NPR Pres. VIVIAN SCHILLER stated her case for continued public funding of public broadcasting in a speech at the NATIONAL PRESS CLUB TODAY (3/7). Touting NPR's reporting and growing audience, SCHILLER called her network a "success story -- though often misunderstood" and said that the success came "because of the investment that the American public has made in public media over 40 years and -- this is critical -- the way in which we've gradually been able to leverage that investment to build other sources of support," meaning from listeners, corporate underwriters, philanthropies and government funding.
"Modest as it is -- government funding is critical because it allows taxpayers to leverage a small investment into a very large one," SCHILLER said. "It is seed money. Station managers tell me that 10% plays a critical role in generating the other 90% that makes their broadcasts possible ... With the nation facing continuing economic uncertainty, it is both right and necessary to scrutinize all federal spending. But if the public value for the money spent is the prism through which spending decisions are made -- public broadcasting stands strong."