Wisconsin Public Broadcasting is our voice, and we must protect it

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   One of the strategies of modern American politics to maintain power – and usually money – is to silence the voices of those with whom one disagrees. Redistricting abuse and voter suppression are the most popular. But every once in a while Republicans in particular will take a shot at limiting the ability of Wisconsin Public Television and Radio to function. The reasons are too bizarre to detail here. But the current effort in the proposed state budget to cut a third of the Educational Communications Board’s budget is the most significant yet, and the results would be devastating.

   The ECB is the operations end of Wisconsin Public Broadcasting, making possible the high quality educational programming, journalism and arts entertainment of Wisconsin Public Television and Radio. It also supports the state’s only Emergency Alert and Amber Alert Systems and provides classroom materials statewide to more than 800,000 kids. All of this is irreplaceable.

   But here’s what we find most troubling: these are efforts to stifle public speech and shared information. Despite claims to the contrary, these services are not political or partisan. This is Wisconsin PUBLIC Radio, Wisconsin PUBLIC Television. This is our voice. We ask the state legislature to please respect it and protect it.