Do you support Wyoming Public Radio?

A mostly GOP-led movement to cut federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, if successful, could trim some $288,000 from Wyoming Public Media’s annual budget. That’s about 15 percent of WPM’s budget, and it would force the organization to make immediate cuts in the services it provides throughout Wyoming. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, (R-Wyoming) voted to suspend funding of CPB and said she supports the cut as a way of addressing the nation’s shrinking budget and staggering debt. But given the partisan split on the House measure to cut CPB funding, and the actual debt-savings it would provide compared to other national budget items, some people say it’s clear the action is more ideologically driven than economically driven.

In a recent interview with WyoFile, Wyoming Public Media general manager Jon Schwartz said “This House bill that passed is, in an ironic way, is helpful in that it made clear this is a partisan attack on public radio alone.”

Wyoming Public Radio enjoys overwhelming listener support in Wyoming compared to public radio in other states, said Schwartz. Radio is particularly important in a rural state where people spend hours driving across rural spaces with only radio available for entertainment and news. National Public Radio has long been a target for the extreme Right, and recent dust-ups over the firing of Juan Williams and an under-cover video by right-wing activist James O’Keefe have intensified criticism of National Public Radio as too left-leaning in its reporting. Is that criticism fair?

WyoFile would like to hear from both Wyoming Public Radio supporters and critics. Will you support Wyoming Public Radio this year? Why or why not? Please give us your thoughts, and WyoFile will follow up with a report on the potential cuts to Wyoming Public Radio and what it means to citizens of Wyoming.

– Dustin Bleizeffer, WyoFile editor-in-chief

Dustin Bleizeffer is a Report for America Corps member covering energy and climate at WyoFile. He has worked as a coal miner, an oilfield mechanic, and for 25 years as a statewide reporter and editor primarily...

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  1. I have enjoyed public television and radio dating back to the 1980’s – and have made financial contributions to local stations. I am not convinced public radio or television need federal handouts to stay afloat. Each program these days has a laundry list of the nation’s most prestigious corporations and foundations “advertising” their support. As for news coverage, the criticism leveled at NPR for a “liberal bias” is well founded and documented. Unfortunately, when politicians are asked to provide financial support to media outlets, the administration that writes the biggest check becomes the master of the message.

  2. They say they need to make these cuts because we must “tighten our belts” to cut spending because “America is broke.” But at the very same time they voted to cut NPR, the Republicans voted to continue $4 billion worth of subsidies to Big Oil. That’s right, they want to continue to hand over $4 billion of the taxpayers’ money to companies like Exxon-Mobil, the most profitable company in human history.