What is the Community Counts Coalition?
The Community Counts Coalition, spearheaded by NFCB in alliance with partner organizations, was formed to educate the nation about the value of media diversity.
The Coalition, led by Brian DeShazor, provides online engagement: to bring the collective voice to local and national policy tables; to secure Net Neutrality protections; to maintain and expand Corporation for Public Broadcasting funding for community media organizations, and to convey the importance of cultural and regional diversity in media.
Why It Matters Now
Public funding cuts to non-commercial media, as recently proposed in President Trump’s 2018 budget, will hurt cities and towns across the United States. The arts, news, culture and music audiences know and love will likely die should these drastic cuts take place. In addition, public media serves a critical role as part of the nationwide Emergency Alert System, passing on advisories and information to the public in times of disaster or emergency. This safety network would be greatly diminished should proposed funding cuts become a reality. Community media is part of the vision for educational media President Johnson forwarded more than two generations ago.
“I believe the time has come to stake another claim in the name of all the people, stake a claim based upon the combined resources of communications. I believe the time has come to enlist the computer and the satellite, as well as television and radio, and to enlist them in the cause of education.” – President Lyndon B. Johnson, signing the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 into law
For nearly 50 years, CPB has supported high-quality programming across non-commercial radio, television and digital platforms. Ending CPB affects thousands of organizations, including many community radio stations and communities.
What Can I Do?
There are many ways community media organizations and the public can get involved in defending public media’s essential role in a democratic, informed society. One direct way is for citizens to express their concerns to their legislators….
- Be courteous and friendly.
- Be direct: Americans want non-commercial media to be preserved and expanded.
- Tell your personal story: why does community media matter to you?
- If you voted for this person, say so.
- Encourage friends, family, associates and audiences to participate.
- When visiting, ask to see your representative, or the regional director, if your representative isn’t there. Be patient and pleasant, but firm in your request.
- Make notes afterward about the response you received.
The National Federation of Community Broadcasters today launches a new campaign to protect public media, with a radio veteran leading the charge.