Say Goodbye to Big Bird: Are Public Broadcasting Funds Fading?

As a child, shows like Arthur, Barney, and of course Sesame Street were some that I enjoyed as a child. The Public Broadcasting System, or PBS, brought these productions to our television sets. I never really paid much attention to the fact that these were educational shows. I just loved the characters and the storylines. Little did I know, I was receiving a subliminal and beneficial message. This is educational, or public broadcasting. This type of broadcasting got its start in the 1920s with radio.

Educational institutions wanted a way to get learning across in media form and later progressed on to television. But, many wonder just how necessary this content is? The audience for radio is low as it is, let alone the audience who would rather listen to an educational caste over Katy Perry’s new, catchy hit. National Public Radio (NPR) is the educational broadcast for the radio medium. Recently, in 2011, House voted for eliminating funding for public broadcasting, along with a presidential candidate for this year’s election. It has been said that many do not have an interest in this type of programming and that it is unnecessarily funded through the government.

Just how much does public broadcasting educate? I believe, especially for a child’s sake, that educational shows through radio and television are very beneficial. A child is able to interact with characters and learn proper behavior through the situations. An adult can say “Be nice” but when a child sees their favorite character doing generous actions, they are able to grasp the concept better.

So is cutting funds for public broadcasting a detrimental thing? Just how necessary is educational media? I wonder how kids of the future would turn out without the classic shows we did. Disney and Nickelodeon might not be enough! We can also learn a lot as adults from the broadcasts that air on PBS for television or NPR for radio. Should public broadcasting stay or go? I’m not sure because it is costly, All I know is saying bye to Big Bird and Elmo might make me shed a tear.

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