During the 1950s, there were three broadcasting networks that provided for the public news and entertainment. In 1967, the U.S. government added another network that was to be publicly funded. The network was called Public Broadcasting Service and the organization responsible for daily operations was the Center for Public Broadcasting. A radio network was also added and National Public Radio was born. To this day, they still operate and get their funding from taxpayers and little from donations.
Today with the advent of cable television, satellite radio and the internet to provide for news and entertainment needs, two questions must now be asked:
“Has public radio and television outlived its purpose?”
“Should tax monies be used to fund these enterprises?”
With over 1,000 cable and satellite channels providing networks for food, history, news, music, sports, talk, plays, movies and more, and with public monies still supporting programs that the public may or may not like without competing in the marketplace, the answer is “yes.” Public radio and television should go the way of the horse and buggy. However, the politicians in Washington, D.C. will not hear of it. They still are of the belief that “investment” in public broadcasting is a noble thing, despite the fact that it fails to attract an audience. Therefore, they are, in my view, throwing tax monies to the wind.
Government should only be funding those enterprises that are called for in the U.S. Constitution. The funding of Public Broadcasting is found no where in the document. Thus, it should go into the gentle goodnight.