Americans Could Barely Buy A Coffee With What They Spend Per Year on Public Media

Do you value journalism? In countries around the world, public broadcasting fills the need for journalism when commercial media fail to do so. From Europe to Australia, the average country spent $86 per capita on public broadcasting in 2014. However, in the US, it was just $3. In many states, it’s even lower.

In 2017, US president Donald Trump attempted to zero out the line item for public broadcasting, threatening to leave the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with little to distribute to hundreds of local television and radio stations, and prompting CEO Patricia Harrison to warn it would mean “the collapse of the public media system.” But Congress, which controls the budget, kept the funding level at about $445 million. Trump’s 2019 budget proposal again proposed to eliminate nearly all of the funding for public broadcasting.