The Reporter Two-Way: Public Radio's Future

Mar 28, 2017

Earlier this month, President Trump released his 2018 Budget Blueprint, which proposes cutting funding from the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB). If passed, thousands of local public radio and television stations around the country would lose $50 million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Arts and Culture reporter Claire Woodcock has been following the issue.

So why is the Corporation of Public Broadcasting important?

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, which incited the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, a nonprofit corporation to promote and support public media outlets like PBS and NPR.


Today more than half of all Americans use public media to connect. Public broadcasting supports lifelong learning and news programming. These resources are largely funded through CPB’s annual budget, which comes from Congress.


And public radio funding is distributed directly from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to local stations. This funding does not pass through NPR or PBS.


The Trump administration’s recent proposal to eliminate CPB funding could heavily impact many other important arts and humanities-based organizations.


Will Aspen Public Radio be okay?


Members of Aspen Public Radio make up over 50 percent of the station's support in revenue. But our station does still rely on additional funding sources, including federal funding from the CPB.


This is far from the first time that CPB funding has been put on the chopping blocks. Member stations, like APR, across the country are taking these proposed threats very seriously.


In short, we know we have great supporters in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond who support our efforts in maintaining sharp and reliable programming. So if Trump’s budget were to pass, we know our members will have our backs.


How concerned should I be and what can I do?


So from what we’ve seen so far, Trump is having a hard time convincing the members of his own party to vote for some of the items on his blueprint. And there are plenty of conservatives who support the principles of public media and the access these programs provide.


One big takeaway from the last election cycle was that accurate news isn’t a given anymore. With that said, there are a few ways listeners can get involved:

Consider giving personally. Your membership support has never held more of a value.