Hours after the House passed aggressive cuts to public media funding, the organization that oversees government money for NPR and PBS is sticking up for federal funding.
Patricia Harrison, the chief executive of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), made a case for public television and radio in a media landscape dominated by cable and migrating onto the Internet.
Her selling points: public media is local, trustworthy, and educational.
Federal dollars fund "community-based public television and radio stations and program producers who create unique and trusted content," she said.
Public outlets serve "the educational and informational needs of this country," she said.
Harrison thanked House Democrats who fought the cuts, including Reps. Edward MarkeyEd MarkeyUnder pressure, Democrats cut back spending House passes bills to secure telecommunications infrastructure Emanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing MORE (Mass.), Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerIlhan Omar to Biden: 'Deliver on your promise to cancel student debt' Milestone bill would bar imports linked to forest destruction First new congressional map approved in Oregon after 2020 Census MORE (Ore.), and Nita Lowey (NY).
Amid a marathon spending debate this week, they held a news conference extolling the importance of public media with Arthur the Aardvark, star of the PBS show "Arthur." They also introduced an amendment to retain public media funding, which the House rejected.
Harrison pledged to move the fight to the Senate, where the cuts may not survive. President Obama indicated a commitment to retaining public media dollars when he unveiled his FY 2012 budget this week.
Harrison said that as the fight moves forward, she will raise awareness about the "importance of the federal investment in public media."