Strengthening Public Media: Why Congress Should Match the President’s Budget Request

By Cait Beroza |

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The President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 budget proposal to Congress recommends an increase in public media funding, signaling an important step toward strengthening local public media stations across the country.

Understanding the President’s Budget Request to Congress

The President’s budget request serves as a blueprint for the Administration’s federal spending priorities, marking the starting point of the annual budget and appropriations process.

For public media, the President’s budget recommends increasing federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the life force of stations across the country. Most of this funding is distributed to over 1,500 locally managed public radio and television stations to invest in programming and public services that educate, inform, and enrich communities.

The budget also maintained support for:

  • Interconnection, public media’s programming distribution network and the backbone of local, state, and national emergency alerts and warnings.
  • Ready To Learn, a Department of Education grant program that invests in the development of research-based educational children’s media content and community outreach proven by more than 100 studies to enhance math, science, and literacy skills in children ages 2-8, particularly those from low-income families.

Funding for the Next Generation Warning System, a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant program that replaces and upgrades station infrastructure and equipment that transmits emergency communications, was not included in the President’s budget. However, the campaign is committed to educating the Administration and Congress about the significance of this crucial public safety program.

The Importance of Increasing Funding for Public Media

Public media serves as a cornerstone of our communities, providing local journalism, research-based children’s educational content and outreach, cultural enrichment, emergency information, and so much more. However, years of frozen funding, inflation, and rising operating costs have threatened the sustainability of these essential services. Additional support would enable public media stations to expand their offerings, reach, and impact. The President’s proposal to increase funding for public media reflects a recognition of stations’ pivotal public service role.

Why Your Advocacy Matters

By advocating for the President’s budget proposals for public media funding, we are collectively championing for a stronger, more vibrant public media service.

While the President’s budget recommendations are a significant step forward, it is ultimately up to Congress to determine federal funding for public media in the FY 2025 appropriations bills. This is where your advocacy is vital. As Congress develops its own budget agenda in the weeks ahead, your Members of Congress must hear that you want them to prioritize public media, matching the President’s budget proposal.

This is also our first opportunity to demonstrate public media’s overwhelming public support for the FY 2025 appropriations cycle, and it’s important that we show our strength! Email your Members of Congress today.

Take Action Now

Now is the time to make our voices heard. Contacting your Members of Congress and expressing support for the President’s budget proposals for public media funding can make a difference. Message by message, we can ensure that public media remains a trusted source of information, education, and inspiration for generations to come.