Originally published: November 17, 2010
Last updated: November 17, 2010 - 4:11pm
National Religious Broadcasters President Frank Wright said that government-funded broadcasters have become the poster-children for "government directed charity," while religious nonprofits have not taken "a dime of tax money" and served the spiritual needs of millions of the public through shelters, soup kitchens, rescue missions, military support groups, pregnancy centers, reading programs and anti-crime efforts.
"While some are saying that public broadcasters like NPR and PBS are the only trusted media outlets," said NRB SVP and General Counsel Craig Parshall, "they are forgetting one crucial component of the non-profit media world: non-commercial religious broadcasters, and in particular, Christian radio and television." Parshall says that, unlike NPR and PBS, religious broadcasters are not asking for a bailout. And while there has been talk recently about phasing out federal noncom funding, he points out that there has also been talk about "super-funding" noncommercial media as a way to respond to the sea change in the commercial news model brought about by the Internet and a tanked economy.
Rather than creating a giant government-run media elite, NRB says, it should be helping religious broadcasters, which he calls an underappreciated resource. That help, says NRB, could come in the form of allowing them more latitude in on-air fund-raising for other nonprofits, and more latitude in program sponsorships from corporate underwriters.
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