Organization for NPR, PBS funding sticks up for public media after deep House cuts

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 MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyDems blast EPA nominee at confirmation hearing Overnight Energy: Watchdog investigating EPA enforcement numbers | EPA's Wheeler faces Senate grilling | Interior's offshore drilling staff returning to work during shutdown EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (Mass.), Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerMarijuana industry boosts DC lobbying team House bill that would treat marijuana like alcohol named ‘HR 420’ in nod to cannabis culture Marijuana industry hunts for votes after helping to oust top opponent 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."