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Interactive video lesson plan for: We're the only daily news source in our part of rural Alaska. Trump's budget would devastate us.

Activity overview:

In some places high speed internet cannot replace local journalism.


The idea of defunding public media in the United States, as President Trump’s new budget proposes, is nothing new according to Shane Iverson, “but it’s serious every time it happens.”

Iverson is the general manager of a small public broadcast station in Bethel, Alaska — one of the only reliable news sources in the Bethel Census Area. And if the Trump budget were to pass, it would cut funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — which would in turn mean that his station might not get the money it needs to stay open.

Iverson’s station, KYUK, is one of the hundreds of public media outlets to receive support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In 2015, the CPB spent $129 million — or nearly 30 percent of its entire budget — on direct grants to support over 500 public broadcasters across the United States.

Among those broadcasters were some 162 radio stations that serve rural communities with the mandate “to provide all Americans with free, over-the-air access to public broadcasting's programming and services.”

In the 49 years since its founding, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has been successful in meeting that mandate. Today, 95 percent of all Americans can freely watch or listen to public media, including programming from NPR and PBS.
But if President Trump has it his way that might change. If his new federal budget proposal were to pass as is, the entire budget of the CPB would be cut.

National broadcasters NPR and PBS could most likely survive the elimination of the CPB. But small market public broadcasters, most often found in rural American towns, often rely heavily on federal funding. And they might find themselves unable to continue operations. Disappearing with them would be the local news and programming that many rural communities depend on.

It’s that scenario that Shane Iverson, the general manager of a small public broadcast station in Bethel, Alaska, hopes does not come to pass.

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Tagged under: vox.,vox,explain,npr,pbs,kyuk,trump,federal budget,public broadcasting,alaska,bethel census area,bethel,shane,iverson,eskimo,yupik,journalism,. rogers,mitt romney,mulvaney,pbs funding cut,alaska local news,CPB funding cut

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