Approval could lead to a 27% jump in funding for US public media in 2024 compared to current levels.

The House Appropriations Committee have given their approval to a bill that could see federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) rise to $565m in the 2024 fiscal year.

If approved by the House, the recommended bill will also include a $31.8m boost to the Ready to Learn programme and $20m for public service media (PSM) interconnection. The bill must now pass-through congress, which approves funding levels two years in advance of federal annual budgets.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting acts as the independent steward for federal investment in public broadcasting across the US. As the largest single source of funding for PSM, this approval is critical for future viability and offers much needed assurance following the turmoil of the Trump administration.

Read more: 50 years of PBS

PBS, NPR and their member stations play a vital role in American public life, offering a source of impartial, independent and trusted content, reaching 99% of the population. They are especially important on a local level where many smaller commercial news outlets have struggled to maintain viability. More than 2,000 newspapers have closed in the US since 2004, leaving more than 65 million people with access to only one local newspaper or none at all.

But US public media are not out of the woods. Despite approved funding for FY2022 and FY2023, public funding remains low compared to similar sized PSMs worldwide. And while a recent disaster fund of $175m has helped to relieve the financial burden of the pandemic, there are fears that this too will not be enough as public media continue to provide much needed additional coverage and educational content during the crisis.

Read more: House of Representatives passes $175m relief legislation for public media

While the Public Media Alliance urges support for the recommended FY2024 increase, we continue to call for more sustainable public funding for PSM in the US to ensure their long-term sustainability and viability.

The CPB and PBS are members of the Public Media Alliance.

Header Image: A view from 2017 of the US Capitol after the recent restorations. Credit: erick4x4/iStock