PBS and Detroit Public Television Statement Regarding October 3 Presidential Debate
WIXOM, Mich. (October 5, 2012) — We are very disappointed that PBS became a political target in the Presidential debate October 3rd. Governor Romney’s comments about “Big Bird” show he does not understand the value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation. We think it is important to set the record straight and let the facts speak for themselves.
The federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget or about 11 cents per person per month. Elimination of funding would have virtually no impact on the nation’s debt. Yet the loss to the American public would be devastating.
A national survey by the bipartisan research firms of Hart Research and American Viewpoint in 2011 found that over two-thirds of American voters (69%) oppose proposals to eliminate government funding of public broadcasting, with Americans across the political spectrum against such a cut.
Earlier in 2012, a Harris Interactive poll confirmed that Americans consider PBS the most trusted public institution and the second most valuable use of public funds, behind only national defense, for the 9th consecutive year.
A key thing to remember is that public television and radio stations are locally owned and community focused and they are experts in working efficiently to make limited resources produce results. In fact, for every $1.00 of federal funding invested, they raise on average nationally an additional $6.00 on their own – a highly effective public-private partnership. Locally, Detroit Public Television raises about $9.00 for every federal dollar received.
Over the course of a year, 91% of all U.S. television households tune into their local PBS station and 81% of all children between the ages of 2-8. PBS station viewers come from all income levels and all levels of access to technology.
Each day, the American public receives an enduring and daily return on investment that is heard, seen, read and experienced in public broadcasting broadcasts, apps, podcasts, and online – all for the cost to the taxpayers of about $1.35 per person per year.
Actions that concerned viewers can take now include:
- Let their representatives and candidates know they approve of the $1.35 per person per year that helps makes public broadcasting available to everyone.
- Become a sustaining monthly donor to Detroit Public TV at dptv.org to insure its continuing service.
- Post messages to your social media accounts expressing support for public broadcasting.
- Sign up and get updates at:
Detroit Public Television(DPTV) is the non-commercial, viewer-supported PBS-member station watched by more than 1.5 million people in Detroit and Southeast Michigan and another 1.2 million people throughout Canada. DPTV also manages WRCJ 90.9 FM, Detroit's classical and jazz radio station, in collaboration with the license-holder, the Detroit Public Schools. The radio station is located in the Detroit School of Arts. DPTV is licensed to the Detroit Educational Television Foundation and governed by a volunteer board of trustees from the local business, civic, and cultural communities.