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 governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
WaPo Watergate editor Ben Bradlee dies; Clintons stump for Dems; Liberians stranded and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.
Lawmakers have sidestepped a decision on whether they accept claims from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration that the state closed last year's books with a nearly $179 million surplus.
Coming off the high of a fourth quarter comeback against Tampa Bay and a helpful bye week, linebacker Junior Galette sees a real turnaround coming for New Orleans' struggling defense.
Former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party's most popular surrogate this fall, is heading to Louisiana early next week for a campaign rally with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Time and again you hear people say DA Mike Harson is unbeatable because he's doled out political favors over the past 20 years. But a new lawsuit could end that speculation.