Facing the budget ax

The Trump administration released the skeleton of the budget they will propose for fiscal year 2018 last week.

While the almost 10 percent increase in spending for defense captured the biggest headlines, cuts for the State Department, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education received quite a bit of ink, too.

One of the things that concerns us received little fanfare. The Trump budget proposal would cut all federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The proposed budget would take the $450 million currently allocated from the feds to zero.

Grants from CPB are the backbone, of course, for PBS and NPR. While stations engage in their own fundraising to support programming, small markets, in particular are heavily dependent on these grants.

Public broadcasting provides invaluable programming for children. When our kids were growing up, they learned valuable lessons about fairness, friendship and empathy by watching “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Those same values continue to be taught today by the animated “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” on PBS. Fred Rogers’ legacy lives on in this program.

Public broadcasting also exposes all of us to historical documentaries, in-depth news analysis, and classic performances that seem to be eschewed by commercial networks.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is no stranger to threatened budget cuts. For some reason, CPB is often targeted. We’re not certain why.

It is up to viewers and listeners to ride to the rescue again. Please let your representatives — and the administration, too — know that you value public broadcasting.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.

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