Hollywood’s The Wrap eyeballs the overall public broadcasting picture — “Massive budget shortfalls, vicious in-fighting and a power shift in Washington” — and predicts even more dire times ahead. Congressional champions are few, it says, and the incoming GOP members are even more anti-pubcasting than during the mid-1990s, when CPB was nearly extinguished. “These people are more conservative to the point where the only media they see as legitimate is Fox, and everything else is unreliable,” says Raphael Sonenshein, a professor of political science at Cal State Fullerton.
And just how relevant is public broadcasting? “All media is being asked to reinvent itself — and that includes public media,”says Tom Glaisyer, a Knight Media Policy Fellow at the New America Foundation. “Their heart is and should be in producing quality public media, but there’s been a lack of comfort with making the kind of argument in favor of what they offer that needs to be made.”