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Government-sponsored media’s latest mission creep

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By Michelle Malkin  •  May 3, 2011 11:58 PM

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports left-wing PBS and NPR, continues to sop up hundreds of millions in taxpayer subsidies.

Despite GOP efforts to de-fund the progressive behemoth, CPB is forging ahead with its expansive mission creep agenda.

Want to know what they’re up to now?

Check out their latest initiative unveiled today:

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting Introduces Initiative to Combat the Dropout Crisis

* For Immediate Release on May 3, 2011

Launches “American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen” With Local Public Stations to Fill a Crucial Role

Washington, DC – The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) today launches a significant public media initiative to help improve our nation’s high school graduation rates.

Every year, more than 1 million students drop out of high school. If that trend continues, over the next 10 years, it will cost the nation more than $3 trillion in lost wages, productivity and taxes.

American Graduate expands on public media’s record of success in early childhood education to reach students in middle school — a critical point when the disengagement that leads to dropping out in high school often begins.

Local public radio and television stations are at the core of this initiative and are uniquely positioned to educate and engage various stakeholders on the dropout problem, rally support and help coordinate efforts in communities, something experts say is crucial to a solution.

These stations, located in 20 community “hubs” where the dropout crisis is most acute, will provide their resources and services to raise awareness, coordinate action with community partners, and work directly with students, parents, teachers, mentors, volunteers and leaders to lower the dropout rate in their respective communities.

“Public radio and television stations are deeply rooted in the communities they serve, and they have demonstrated time and again that they are an important resource in helping to address critical issues, such as the mortgage crisis, at the local level,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB. “Through American Graduate, public media will ‘make it happen’ by helping communities take on a new challenge – high school graduation rates – to create a more promising future for our children, the economy and the entire nation.”

CPB will initially grant $4.4 million to the 20 market hubs, which serve as the core of community interest and activity around high school graduation rates. As many as 40 more markets will receive grants through the National Center for Media Engagement.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through support to CPB’s Teacher Town Halls and the StoryCorps National Teachers Initiative, will give teachers a way to share their perspectives and experiences with helping all students graduate high school prepared for college and careers.

Preventing dropouts is all well and good, but why is this a proper role for federal government-funded media? Billions of taxpayer dollars already fund education, literacy, and community outreach at the local, state, and federal level.

And what is the “National Center for Media Engagement,” anyway?

Read on:

Our Mission

Our mission is to support public media organizations nationwide in engaging their communities. By engagement, we mean working collaboratively to discover, understand, and address community needs and aspirations.

We support public media by providing resources for stations and producers to engage citizens across multiple platforms (on air, online, and in person), build sustainable community relationships, and stimulate citizen participation.

Our Vision

The National Center for Media Engagement supports and strengthens public media as community institutions that are essential to a healthy democracy. In service of this vision, we provide leadership, guidance, and resources, experiment with new technologies, identify best practices, and create and deliver community engagement initiatives on every platform.

“Build sustainable relationships? “Address community needs and aspirations?”

As the self-promoting, empire-expanding CPB explains on its “Public Media” page: “The American people need such an extraordinary public media system. Our democracy depends on it.”

In other words: They’re Community Organizers for the Preservation of Government-Funded Media.

Next stop: Building sustainable community relationships with all of Pakistan’s new Sesame Street viewers.

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