NPR picks up cash for international news

By on Oct, 2 2014 with Comment 1

NPR / National Public RadioNational Public Radio operates 17 foreign news bureaus, and it has been awarded a grant to keep them up and running. The cash is coming from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The amount: a cool $1,000,000.

The bureaus produce hundreds of stories annually, and they are heard by some 27,000,000 radio listeners. Stories funded under the grant will also appear in NPR’s magazine and digital platforms.

“NPR’s international reporters, at great personal risk, are covering some of the most important stories of our time, including the rise of ISIS in the Middle East and the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa,” said Pat Harrison, CPB president and CEO. “CPB’s grant will allow those reporting from the frontlines to have the tools they need to tell the complete story.”

“Now more than ever listeners look to NPR for international news coverage that provides the necessary context to understand how world events affect our daily lives. NPR covers all the hotspots with rigor and intelligence, energy and compassion, going beyond the headlines to bring strong voices and well told stories to our listeners at home,” said NPR President and CEO Jarl Mohn. “We are grateful to CPB for this grant which is recognition to the work of our reporters who live and breathe the stories they cover.”

RBR-TVBR observation: As long as the topic of NPR came up, let us state once again our belief that it is far better for the government to continue funding for public broadcasting.

For one thing, the number of private corporations that have the will and the cash to engage in extensive news gathering is on the wane, and every set of eyes and ears we can get out there is to the good on general principles.

But the main reason is that if the government was to pull funding and make public stations survive on their own, each and every local ad market, not to mention the national ad market, is going to be suddenly inundated with hungry mouths seeking clients. That is something commercial broadcasters certainly do not need now or ever.

CPB, PBS and NPR get a very small percentage of the US budget. Let’s make sure they keep getting it for our own sake.

About The Author: RBR+TVBR has been reporting on the business of broadcasting for nearly three decades. Beholden to no one, it is independently owned.

  1. Kurt Mische Says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments! As a PBS member station, we are proud to serve our community along side our commercial colleagues. We are welcomed as members of our state association, and participate actively in lobbying and supporting one another’s issues. Sadly, this level of respect is not shown in all states. You are absolutely correct that PBS & NPR stations receive a very small portion of the federal budget–$445 million per year, or 1/100th of 1% of the federal budget. That is about $1.36 per taxpayer. That $445 million is split between 340 PBS stations and 900 NPR stations, so no one is getting fat on that small amount of dough.

    Thank you again for your comments.