The Public Media Alliances welcomes the increase in federal funding approved by Congress for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) – the private, non-profit body which distributes federal funding to US public media organisations PBS and NPR – has been granted $525 million in advanced funding for 2024. This is a $50 million increase from the $475 million approved last year for 2023.

Both chambers of Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 last week, having previously failed to agree on this and various other appropriations bills during bipartisan negotiations in recent months.

CPB had requested $565 million in appropriations for 2024, which was initially approved by the House Appropriations Committee in July 2021, but has now been reduced by $40 million.

Read more: Update: Funding approved for US public media

On top of the approved budget, $20 million has been allocated for much-needed public broadcasting interconnection and infrastructure. This is considerably short of the initial $300 million requested by the CPB which Current reported was completely rejected by the Committee back in July 2021.

“This funding allows the public media system to continue to provide fact-based journalism that informs and educates Americans.” – Patricia Harrison, CEO and President of CPB

The omnibus spending package also includes a further $30.5 million that will support educational public media content via the Department of Education’s Ready to Learn programme, and an additional $41 million will go towards establishing a new grant programme that will support the critical public media technology infrastructure that transmits nationwide alerts and warnings during civil emergencies.

CEO and President of CPB, Patricia Harrison, expressed her gratitude for the funding support and highlighted the value that citizens receive from the national US public media system.

“Americans listen to public radio’s local reporting and NPR’s national and international news and watch public television’s local public affairs shows and PBS’ nightly national news programs to get the trusted information they need to navigate our modern world,” she said. “This funding allows the public media system to continue to provide fact-based journalism that informs and educates Americans.”

While commending Congress’ investment in public media, the CEO and President of America’s Public Television Stations (APTS), Patrick Butler, also explained that local public television stations had “lost $100 million in purchasing power” due to more than a decade of frozen federal funding.

“Congress is taking a big step towards restoring that loss and ensuring that local public television stations can continue to enhance the educational services, the public safety communications, the civic literacy and the beloved programming which millions of Americans need and value.”

The new legislation has been sent to the White House to be signed by President Joe Biden.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is a member of the Public Media Alliance.

CPBCPB is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting and the largest single source of funding for public radio, television, and related online and mobile services. 

 CPB’s mission is to ensure universal access to non-commercial, high-quality content and telecommunications services. It does so by distributing more than 70% of its funding to more than 1,500 locally owned public radio and television stations.

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Header Image: North Capitol Street, Washington, DC, the national headquarters of National Public Radio. Credits: Ted Eytan/Creative Commons