Wednesday, March 22, 2023

In Support of NPR

As has been shared by several personalities, this looks to be a tough week for NPR.  Budget cuts and restrictions are going into effect, leading to many staff at the public radio station losing their jobs.  The budget crisis at NPR is largely involving a shortfall in corporate sponsorships and federal grants.  Last November, the station had announced a total $20 million decline in sponsorship revenue, leading to planned hiring freezes, budget cuts on items like non-essential travel and discretionary spending, and now layoffs.  The layoffs account for 10% of the workforce.

While it is not as much a part of my daily life now, NPR was my lifeline for a very long time.  Growing up, I couldn't have imagined it, but I've become a fan of talk-radio.  Of talk shows.  I like feeling like I'm joining into a conversation, whether it be on radio and on podcasts.  

Because of that, my hour long commutes were filled with NPR or podcasts.  And I loved a lot about NPR.  Marketplace Morning Report, BBC News Hour.  I love the irreverent part in Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me... and Ask Me Another.  Classic favorites like Car Talk and A Prairie Home Companion.  While I have issues with her interview style at times, I enjoy Fresh Air.

NPR provides that essential lifeline of information.  Freely available.  Open to all.  About as center of the political spectrum in news that you can ask for.

This is why it should be a priority in society.  Sadly, like many media outlets, this seems to be the new reality.  "We're not seeing signs of a recovery in the advertising market," NPR CEO John Lansing said in an interview.  "Nothing is nailed down yet except the principles and what we know we have to reach."

Here's hoping a solution can be achieved, for the continuing health and life of NPR.  For our overall national discourse.

Though individual support does not directly affect the current crisis, it is still a part of the overall health of the network.  Why not support your local station today?

"The arts are essen­tial to any com­plete national life. The State owes it to itself to sus­tain and encour­age them….Ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the rev­er­ence and delight which are their due."
Winston Churchill, 1938

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