Why I’m not pledging to my local NPR station.

NPR. Truly fair and balanced news coverage. A pillar of many a community for decades, it has grown so well on the support of members like you and I.

This year, however, may well mark the last time I make a pledge to WAMU, my local station of choice. Not because I don’t believe in NPR, I do. But because millions of Americans who depend on the radio for their daily information stand to lose their coverage if Republican ideologues have their way with a┬áminuscule┬áportion of the federal budget. WAMU receives more money in member pledges alone than some stations do in total funding, and they have done exceptionally well in their fifty years. For this, I am thankful, it means I receive top notch programming for the 10 or so hours each weekday I have my radio turned on, and I hope they continue to prosper. But, until I can afford to pledge to more than one station, they will not receive my money, and here’s why:

To me, if the Corporation for Public Broadcasting goes under, and I continue giving to my thriving station, it’s like overfilling the cup of the fat man while a starving child half watches, unable to focus from the lack of energy. This year at pledge time, should the Democrats fail to protect this pyre of informative journalism, I will instead, be adopting a child of the third world, a station that relies on CPB for it’s very existence, and I encourage you to do the same, support the stations that provide the sole access to radio, where corporate stations cannot reach because it just doesn’t make fiscal sense. Those who live in remotest parts of America are citizens, too. Many of them provide us the very sustenance we rely on from day to day. The wheat for our bread, milk for our cereal, and so on, so why should we not return the favor, and provide them with the ongoing mental nourishment that is unbiased news coverage, the touching stories of This American Life, and that awful horse laugh of Tom Magliozzi on Car Talk.

Friends, this next pledge drive, don’t give because it’s local, or for that new shopping bag, book, or CD. Give because your pledge may be the one that keeps a station in need alive. I know I will.