Public Broadcasting in America
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) was created out of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 (P.L. 90-129). The CPB was intended to provide a funding mechanism for individual public broadcasting stations, but not subject these stations to political influence or favouritism. Therefore, the CPB receives an annual appropriation, and then uses this money, in addition to foundation, corporate, individual memberships, and other funding sources, to provide grants to individual public television and radio broadcast entities. The Public Broadcasting System (PBS), National Public Radio (NPR), and Public Radio International (PRI) do not receive any direct appropriations from CPB; all of the appropriated money goes directly to member stations of these organisations. The number of radio and television public broadcasting stations supported by the CPB increased from 270 in 1969 to approximately 1,100 as of August 2003, of which 356 are television stations. Public broadcasting stations are mostly run by universities, non-profit community associations, and state government agencies. Public broadcasting is regarded as a public service. To serve most Americans, public television reaches approximately 99% of the population and public radio, 91%. With regard to programming, the public broadcasting system observes the principle of local autonomy. That is, public broadcasting stations make decisions independently of the CPB as to what programming will be available to their viewing or listening audience as well as on their programming schedule. The CPB serves as an umbrella organisation for public television and radio Broadcasting. The CPB's principal function is to receive and distribute government contributions (or federal appropriations) to fund national programs and to support qualified member radio and television stations based on legislatively mandated formulas. The bulk of these funds are to provide Community Service Grants (or CSGs) to member stations that have matching funds. By law, the CPB is authorised to exercise minimum control of "program content or other activities" of local member stations. The CPB is prohibited from owning or operating any of the primary facilities used in broadcasting. In addition, it may not produce, disseminate, or schedule programs. This new book presents the issues dealing with this 'hot' topic.
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