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 fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
US cities bidding on Olympics; Guard prevents more Ferguson riots; storm threatens travel and more national and international news for Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.