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NPR and Government Funding

March 9, 2011

There are plenty of readers I’m sure that will disagree with me, but I really don’t see any reason why National Public Radio should be funded by the government.  In fact, it’s one of the things that’s really irked me about public radio in the first place. While NPR has always seemed to me very unbiased and objective (its my favorite afternoon radio station), I have always considered it a little dirty that my objective journalism has direct funding from the one place it shouldn’t. Government.

Journalism is meant to provide that great information – which NPR undoubtedly provides – while also maintaining a ‘media watchdog’ role for citizens. I just don’t see how a public radio station could remain completely unbaised and uncensored while taking money from the very place they are reporting about. While the amount of money NPR receives is 2-10% of their actual funding, it shouldn’t be difficult then, to let it go.  I just don’t understand why its so important.

Something about this just makes me feel very uncomfortable, and it seems very 1984 and almost ‘commy’ to me to think about government funding my news. I’ll gladly donate and offer more support for less government funding.

While I know it’s not to propaganda lengths, certainly this funding must work the same way as advertising. “We can’t have that in the magazine, Disney won’t support us anymore.”  How do we know it’s not “We can’t air that, government will pull our funding.”?

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