Written by: Tom Rieland
Date: March 9, 2011

It’s not everyday that you get a cold call from USA Today. But a New York reporter called this morning to ask my reaction to the resignation of NPR CEO Vivian Schiller. I had heard about the resignation just 10 minutes prior. While not shocked, especially due to the most recent controversy involving NPR, I was disappointed that it had come to this. The reporter asked many questions about political ideology, but for public stations in Columbus and around the country, it’s not about political ideology. It’s about continuing to provide local and national programming and educational resources to central Ohio. Federal funding is a critical part of the revenue stream that helps continue unique noncommercial services to our two million residents. We believe the $1.35 per taxpayer contributed annually to support public media in this country is well spent by local stations striving to distinctively serve their community. Recently, WOSU has helped those facing mortgage foreclosures through our Facing the Mortgage Crisis project; we’re working with Cardinal Health and OSU School of Pharmacy on developing media to impact the growing prescription drug abuse issue; we’re producing digital media for teachers to use in their classrooms that educate and inspire students about STEM careers.

I tried to express this view to the reporter. Our job is to keep our community informed and create the space to discuss the important issues facing Columbus and we do that on radio, TV, and through our online and social media services every day.