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.
Mike Harson's coffers show the advantage of incumbency.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will vote on an ordinance for final adoption Tuesday that, if approved, would give the city the green light to take over a stretch of Verot School Road from the state Department of Transportation and Development.
The Louisiana Association of Educators filed a lawsuit challenging the $60 million in spending through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
He's been out of office for nearly a decade, but former U.S. Sen. John Breaux is back on the campaign trail, urging voters to support his one-time colleague, Democrat Mary Landrieu.
The unresolved fate of the ashes left behind after Ebola waste was destroyed in Texas highlights the problem U.S. hospitals and communities could face in disposing of their own waste.
While much of the talk was about whether New Orleans could win a big game — or any game, for that matter — on the road, the conversation in the Saints' locker room was about something completely different.
State health officials told thousands of doctors planning to attend a tropical diseases meeting this weekend in New Orleans to stay away if they have been to certain African countries or have had contact with an Ebola patient in the last 21 days.
Republicans are calling on Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu to apologize after she suggested Thursday that President Barack Obama's deep unpopularity in the South is partly tied to race.
Compared to the rest of the country, Lafayette has it pretty good when it comes to the cost and speed of our Internet.
Hello Kitty turns 40; police ambush suspect caught; Knicks surprise Cavs and more national and international news for Friday, October 31, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
Trying to combat the national undertones of Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is traveling the state this week on a sort of pork celebration tour, telling voters about the projects and aid she's delivered to Louisiana.
Ever thought that big, pink Gulf coast shrimp you ordered at the restaurant or bought from the store didn't taste juicy or salty enough? Maybe it wasn't from the Gulf.
The state treasurer won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
A New Iberia man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 4-year-old girl and scalding her 3-year-old brother.
A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration may have improperly destroyed records in the state employee health insurance program, in the middle of a heavily-criticized rewrite of benefit plans.
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have to find a way to win on the road if they plan to take over first place in the NFC South.
"It is obvious that Louisiana economic performance has not outperformed the South or the United States as a whole and, in fact, has substantially underperformed..."
A state district judge said he will rule Friday on a preliminary injunction to keep some charter schools from receiving $60 million through Louisiana's public school financing formula.