Local citizens harness power in support of public broadcasting federal funding
Harrisburg, PA—WITF, public media center and valued source of trusted information and quality entertainment in Central PA, is urging local citizens to contact their elected Members of Congress to support federal funding for public broadcasting. Federal funds are essential to the programs and services local citizens depend on—from national programs such as the PBS Newshour, Sesame Street and NPR’s Morning Edition, to local WITF productions such as Smart Talk and Radio Smart Talk.
“The budget vote for federal funding—which includes many federal programs—will come next week, and your elected Members of Congress need to hear your voice regarding this important matter. Because the future of WITF and local programs are at stake, it is important that your representatives hear directly from you about support for public broadcasting. I urge you to make your views known—a phone call to Washington is the most effective way to convey your opinion,” said Kathleen Pavelko, president and CEO of WITF.WITF encourages citizens to contact their elected Congressmen and Senators in support of federal funding for public broadcasting.
Pennsylvania State Senators:
United States Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.: (202) 224-6324
United States Senator Pat Toomey: (202) 224-4254
Pennsylvania House of Representatives:
Congressman Bill Shuster: (202) 225-2431
Congressman Tom Marino: (202) 225-3731
Congressman Joseph R. Pitts: (202) 225-2411
Congressman Tim Holden: (202) 225-5546
Congressman Todd Russell Platts: (202) 225-5836
“WITF’s role in education alone is worth this federal support. On a local level, and on a national level, the last thing that we should be considering is cutting critical support to a key pillar of American education,” said Doug Neidich, Chairman of WITF’s Board of Directors.
Reaching over 98% of American households with free services, public broadcasting is accessed by over 170 million Americans regularly each month for educational and informational resources, thoughtful exploration of cultural issues, and a window to urban and rural communities nationwide. WITF’s programs and services reach nearly 2 million citizens in more than 17 counties in Central Pennsylvania (more than 78% of South Central Pennsylvania adults regularly view or listen to WITF.)
Federal funding for public broadcasting is a nominal annual cost of about $1.35 per year for each American, and supports 21,000 jobs—mostly in local public television and radio stations in hundreds of communities across America. Eliminating the $445 million investment in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting would only reduce the $1.5 trillion federal budget deficit by less than three ten-thousandths of one percent, but it would have a devastating impact on local communities nationwide.
In December, WITF joined with public television and public radio stations across the country in an unprecedented grassroots effort to harness the enthusiasm of the 170 million Americans who watch, listen to or use the services and programming of public media each month. Local citizens are encouraged to visit 170MillionAmericans.org, the centerpiece for the campaign, to register support for public broadcasting and remain engaged in support of federal funding.
The 170 Million Americans campaign was founded on the belief that now, more than ever, our country needs a strong public media system as a source of non-partisan news, local cultural programming and non-commercial educational programs. Public funding ensures that public media will continue to enhance the quality of life of our local communities through its offerings of children’s programming, news and public affairs, music and culture, and more.
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