NPR and PBS fight Donald Trump axing arts funding: ‘It would mean the end of an essential service’

Politicians on both sides of the spectrum have historically defended arts funding

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President Trump has proposed the elimination of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, but the body, nor its subsidiaries NPR and PBS, plan on taking this lying down.

Trump is the first president to propose scrapping funding to the arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities (other items on the chopping list) having long been fought for by both Democrats and Republicans.

Those who have spoken out so far include:

William D. Adams, chairman of the humanities endowment

“We are greatly saddened to learn of this proposal for elimination, as N.E.H. has made significant contributions to the public good.”

Patricia Harrison, CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

"There is no viable substitute for federal funding that ensures Americans have universal access to public media’s educational and informational programming and services.

"The elimination of federal funding to CPB would initially devastate and ultimately destroy public media’s role in early childhood education, public safety, connecting citizens to our history, and promoting civil discussions — all for Americans in both rural and urban communities."

Loren Mayor, NPR Chief Operating Officer

"Millions of Americans depend on their local public radio station for the fact-based, objective, public service journalism they need to stay informed about the world and about the news in their own communities.

“Public media serves the public interest with essential educational, news and cultural programming not found anywhere else, as well as vital information during local and regional emergencies. Federal funding is an essential ingredient to making this possible."

Paula Kerger, President and CEO of PBS

"PBS and our nearly 350 member stations, along with our viewers, continue to remind Congress of our strong support among Republican and Democratic voters, in rural and urban areas across every region of the country. We have always had support from both parties in Congress, and will again make clear what the public receives in return for federal funding for public broadcasting."

PEN, an organisation of writers and editors focusing on freedom of expression, has organised a petition calling for the preservation of the NEA which has received more than 230,000 signatures.