The best scenario for guaranteeing a vibrant, fearless, economically viable public broadcasting system is to get off the government dole entirely ("Surviving the Cut," July 13). It's time to turn things upside down. Time to create a public broadcasting trust. The concept isn't new; The Red Cross and U.S. Olympic Committee both operate off such trusts.
The specter of congressional oversight is hardly conducive to creative excellence. It hasn't worked for the arts, and it's crippling public broadcasting.
Granted, we got into this game late, in a backward manner from the get go. The rest of the world views public broadcasting much differently than we do ' they consider it vital. In every country except the United States, public broadcasting was thriving before commercial broadcasting was even allowed.
Britain created its in 1927, Canada in 1936. Australia built its public broadcast system in 1932. In giving public broadcasting priority, these countries recognized the value of mass media that speaks to their populations as citizens rather than as consumers. We still haven't figured that out.
Today PBS has an audience of approximately 3 percent (or less) of U.S. TV viewers. According to the 1999 McKinney report commissioned by the BBC, public broadcasters in Germany, France, England, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Spain attract from 33 to 49 percent of their country's viewers. Denmark? Sixty-nine percent.
The study also concluded that the countries with the best public broadcasting operations had something else in common ' independent funding.
According to Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting (www.cipbonline.org), financing innovative, diverse, entertaining programming for all public TV and radio stations would require a trust endowed with roughly $1 billion a year.
How do you fund it? Individual listeners/viewers, foundations and state governments would provide supplemental resources, but the bulk of the dollars would come from combination of the following: a 5 percent tax on the sale or transfer of commercial broadcast licenses; a 2 percent tax on annual broadcast advertising; a percentage of the expected auction of $100 billion worth of digital broadcast spectrum; and an annual fee for commercial broadcasters' use of the public spectrum. They currently pay nothing.
At the same time, public broadcasters revisit their mission statements to establish criteria necessary to craft the public affairs, cultural and educational programming U.S. citizens, not consumers ' deserve.
It would guarantee that in the future when politicos meet to talk of budgets and media in a free and democratic society, Big Bird would have a seat at the table instead of on it.
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stoned driving a concern when pot is legal; Detroit's bankruptcy trial; speed trap scandal in Florida and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 02, 2014.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.