Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Public funding for TV around the world

I came across some interesting statistics a few days ago when I was doing the story about the NPR brouhaha. This is from the Huffington Post, and focuses on the proposed bill by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) and Sarah Palin to rescind all public funding for NPR. What caught my eye was this:

BBC Television Center in London
"The call for funding cuts is particularly galling because the United States already has one of the lowest levels of federal funding of public media in the developed world - at just $1.43 per capita. By comparison, Canada spends $22 per capita, and England spends $80. If you're wondering why we don't have anything like the BBC, that's the biggest reason.

"If the United States spent the same per capita on public media and journalism subsidies as Sweden and Norway, which rank 1 and 2, we would be spending as much as $30 billion a year on public media instead of $440 million. It's no coincidence that these same countries rank near the top of The Economist magazine's annual Democracy Index, which evaluates nations on the basis of the functioning of government, civic participation and civil liberties. On that list, the United States ranks 18th.

"Yet instead of debating how to build a better public media system, we're stuck with a rotting commercial one that would rather help the likes of Palin whip up a frenzy and play up the false divide between left and right. And why not? It worked with the takedown of ACORN, with the smearing of Shirley Sherrod, and with all the other bogus controversies we're told to swallow as news."

CountrySpending per capita per year
United Kingdom$80.00
United States$1.43

And now DeMint and Palin want to take that piddly $1.43 away! Say what?!

This bolsters my argument about the apparent "demise" of TV in general, which I discussed in my post on Sunday.

1 comment:

Shawnald said...

hmmm. I didn't know that.