The annual membership renewal notice for our local public broadcasting station came in the mail the other day. My husband and I have discussed our current contribution level and I think this will be the year we increase it substantially.
We usually begin our day listening to our local National Public Radio (NPR) station and, in the evening, we often watch the Public Broadcasting Station’s (PBS) NewsHour to catch up on the day’s news. When I’m driving around in my car, my radio might as well be permanently fixed on NPR because I rarely listen to anything else. In addition, we watch many of the quality shows our local PBS station broadcasts in the evening such as Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Masterpiece Theater, and anything Ken Burns produces.
Yesterday, while I was in my car running a few errands, I listened to an in-depth report on climate change, a security technologist discussing the growing threat that hacking poses, and a fascinating story about the three months Leon Trotsky spent in New York City in late 1916, early 1917. I didn’t have to put up with inane chatter or people yelling at each other, vapid commercials weren’t assaulting my ears, and I didn’t hear the same few songs played over and over again.
When I listen to NPR or watch PBS, I am always entertained and I usually learn something new; sometimes the topics are already of great interest to me and sometimes the subjects weren’t even on my radar. Either way, I always get something out of the time I spend watching or listening to this most valuable public resource.
I am so grateful for public television and radio and the diverse programs and services that are available to inform, educate, enlighten, and enrich us all. Public broadcasting stations are operated as private not-for-profit corporations and partially rely on contributions by their listeners.
I am also grateful for those who support public broadcasting.
If you haven’t given your local public broadcasting station a try, tune in sometime and see if what they offer is of value to you.
If you do watch or listen – or both – but are not yet a member, consider joining. Your support will help ensure the continued success of smart, thoughtful programming.
If you are already a member: fabulous! If you can, think about upping your level of support. Also, please consider including your local station in your estate planning so that future generations can enjoy this valuable resource too.