I was first introduced to the soothing sounds of Steve Inskeep’s voice at age five.
I distinctly remember the famous intro sounds that signaled the beginning of NPR News.
Repeated childhood car rides with my parents have etched the names of the channel’s broadcasters forever into my memory.
For this reason, I was exceedingly perturbed when I discovered that new budget proposals call for the cutting of publicly-funded radio programs, such as my beloved NPR.
There are always calls for budget cuts in America. It has been the same charade for years.
Some facet of the budget has to be cut to save America from slipping deeper into debt.
However, cutting public broadcasts such as NPR and PBS is unacceptable in my eyes, especially when military spending is being radically increased year after year.
“For [fiscal year] 2011, the president requested $548.9 billion for the Department of Defense Base Budget,” Kimberly Amadeo, president of worldmoneywatch.com, said. “This was $15 billion more than the $533.7 billion Department of Defense Base Budget request for [fiscal year] 2010.”
It seems that the budget for military spending is exponentially growing, while other necessary and beneficial sections of the nation’s budget are being diminished.
This brings only one question to my mind: why are we determined to oust some of the last thought-provoking programming available to the American public?
I grew up on PBS. I grew up watching shows like Sesame Street, which gave me all the basic learning blocks as a toddler.
The best part about these programs is that they aren’t backed by a corporate agenda. They are honest, intelligent broadcasts that intend to expand the minds of audiences. In my opinion, ending some of the best programs available on television and radio is a crime against humanity.
The motivation behind these funding cuts to the Corporation of Public Broadcasting is purely political. Conservatives believe that these programs are “left-leaning.” They do not lean either way. They are a neutral news source that provides honest, unbiased, factually based news to the American public with the intention of allowing citizens to formulate their own opinions based on the factual evidence presented.
“Rather than lowering our society’s intellectual bar, it challenges us to be engaged. Public broadcasting inspires America to be smart,” public broadcasting proponent Rick Steves said.
How are we, as a country, supposed to move forward and progress if we are working toward making all independent and unbiased news forms obsolete?
In an age of television where we are more concerned with who rallied enough votes on American Idol rather than raging, violent conflict in Egypt, it is intensely important that we continue to fund and protect programming available through media outlets like NPR and PBS.
My hope is that Americans wise up, open their eyes and realize that by ending these programs, we are severely limiting our ability to keep an open mind and be informed about events in our own country, as well as events around the world. I hope that I will be able to enjoy the sound of Steve Inskeep’s voice for years to come.