Thursday, March 4, 2010

Save South Dakota Public Broadcasting

This is not a joke or an internet hoax. This note comes from the director of SDPB's non profit organization. This is important, and the Legislature does respond to the outcry when they try to do this.

Why is this really important? A friend who sent me this has a story behind the urgency:

as a crime victims' assistant and then print journalist, I relied on online recordings of legislative hearings so I could hear for myself who testified and what witnesses and legislators had to say.


Without SDPB, we are missing a clear window into what happens in Pierre (it is a long way away from most of us, and I suspect most of the "Pierre political class" would like to keep it that way).

The legislature tried to cut half a million dollars from SDPB a few years ago, and the public outcry was strong and loud. Please consider contacting legislators and letting them know how you feel about this.


Friends,

We understand times are tough, but it is in tough times that citizens of South Dakota take stock of all that is important in their lives. Even during the past year of economic crisis, THOUSANDS of South Dakotans continued to support programming on SDPB. And with the list of valuable services SDPB provides, it's no wonder. But in the final days of the legislative session it appears that South Dakota Public Broadcasting is under threat of a MAJOR FUNDING CUT, upwards of a half-million dollars. That equals about a 12% cut in state funding.

If you value South Dakota Public Broadcasting, NOW IS THE TIME to contact your legislator and make your sentiments known. Click here to find your legislator’s contact information.

The state of South Dakota provides funding for SDPB's statewide broadcast transmission system and infrastructure which is used to broadcast Television and Radio programming and web stream content online. State funds pay the electric bills, purchases and maintains broadcast equipment, pays salaries of SDPB employees and other costs. Money donated to SDPB, including money pledged during membership drives, is used to pay for programs and program-related services.

Like other state agencies, we have been cognizant of the budget issues and have been good stewards of your (and our) money. With significant cuts to our state funding SDPB’s ability to deliver programming to a statewide audience is critically hampered.

SDPB manages a vital, cost-effective communications network reaching the entire state. The network is a unique source for educational opportunities, available to all citizens. SDPB is also used for critical statewide communications – including the Emergency Alert System, Amber Alerts and Law Enforcement. No other broadcast service provides the kind of access that SDPB does to the election and legislative process, comprehensive coverage of South Dakota High School fine arts, academic and sports events, coverage of the Arts, and educational programming for young and old alike.

Think of the times you have enjoyed a program on SDPB, utilized an online resource from SDPB.org, learned something new at an SDPB outreach event... then pick up the phone or send an email to your state representatives in Pierre.

NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT!

Sincerely,

Julie Andersen
Executive Director, SDPB

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