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WASHINGTON — Budget-slashing House Republicans are taking aim at America’s public broadcasting system. The funding resolution introduced today by the House Appropriations Committee would eliminate more than $400 million in federal spending that supports local public radio and television stations and their programming. More than 70 percent of that funding goes to local stations around the country, providing the lifeblood for broadcasters in rural or economically hard-hit areas where there are fewer sources of news and programming.

Josh Stearns, associate program director for the Free Press Action Fund, made the following statement:

“These cuts are an attack on independent journalism that would leave local communities across the country with fewer sources of news and information. While newspapers and broadcasters around the nation shed jobs and reduce local reporting at an alarming rate, public broadcasters have expanded their investment in reporting. While schools face budget cuts, public broadcasters have improved children’s programming. And while commercial television has invested in reality TV, public broadcasting continues its commitment to quality entertainment and the arts. All of that is at risk now.

“We need strong, independent media now more than ever. Our citizens depend on the public broadcasting’s vital reporting, and our children rely on its educational programming. Politicians who support these cuts are turning their backs on their own districts and risk leaving their constituents in the lurch. Congress should reject these cuts and stop meddling in what the public says, in poll after poll, are their most trusted sources of news and information.”

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