Protect My Public Media
WVTF/RADIO IQ, in partnership with more than 400 public radio and television stations across the country, is re-launching an online grassroots campaign to sustain federal funding for public media under a new name and website, Protect My Public Media.
Protect My Public Media is a national advocacy campaign aimed at securing and maintaining the public funding of public media such as WVTF, RADIO IQ, and WVTF.ORG. The campaign encourages supporters to write their member of Congress telling them why their public media matters and makes a difference in their community. Through an interactive website Protect My Public Media enables visitors to create and share personal, multimedia-rich testimonials about their public media connections; learn about legislation and budgets affecting their local stations; and take action from their desktop, tablet or phone.
While federal funding for public media only amounts to $1.35 per U.S. resident per year, it’s an irreplaceable source of money that WVTF and RADIO IQ need to continue serving the citizens of Virginia with high quality broadcast and online programming. This funding allows stations like ours to provide you with the best in fact-based news, civil discussion and cultural and music programming not available anywhere else. The federal investment in public broadcasting is a tiny portion of the federal budget -- only one hundredth of one percent. Eliminating that 0.01% of the federal budget would have almost no impact on the nation’s debt but the loss to local communities across the country would be devastating.
For just $1.35 per person per year, 98% of the U.S. population can enjoy free, over-the-air and online news, educational and cultural programming. And there are many, many folks in public radio’s family. More than 38,000,000 Americans listen to a local public radio station each week plus millions more listen to public radio Internet streams and access podcasts on public radio websites.
“WVTF/RADIO IQ and WVTF.ORG are an essential part of our local communities,” says General Manager Glenn Gleixner. Protect My Public Media allows our local supporters to take action more easily on behalf of our regional service and the programs they enjoy most.”
Public stations including RADIO IQ and WVTF also serve as a communications lifeline during times of emergency and crisis such as such as the 9-11 attacks of 2001; the Derecho of 2012 and its aftermath, flash flooding, tornadoes, and wildfires. When the power grid is down, vehicle receivers and battery-powered radios become an essential source of information that keeps families and individuals in our area safe. WVTF and RADIO IQ stay on the air and online to keep the vital information flowing. WVTF and RADIO IQ also provide a valuable service to the blind in our area. We provide anyone who qualifies a special radio that receives a separate program stream designed to serve the needs of those who have impaired vision and cannot read traditional printed material. We do it all because it’s our commitment to public service.
Public media stations such as RADIO IQ and WVTF are independent, locally owned and operated – rare these days - and are a vital source of local, regional and state news and information for the communities we serve in Virginia and surrounding states. Public stations can provide this important service only through a diverse mix of revenue supporting the work we do and the service we provide. The mix includes listener contributions (which accounts for the bulk of our funding), corporate sponsorship and other grants such as support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting funded by the federal government. We in turn draw on this mix of public and privately sourced revenue to pay not only for locally produced content but for national and international content from public radio producers such as APM, NPR, and PRI.
Now, more than ever, our Commonwealth and our country need a strong public media as a source of news, educational, music and cultural programming. In addition to the many beloved programs, local public media stations work with teachers, parents and schools to provide free educational content and resources. Stations also serve as a communications lifeline during times of emergency and crisis, and they provide citizenship services ranging from local public affairs programming to coverage of state government to the preservation of America’s history and culture.