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March 9, 2011
4:18 PM

CONTACT: Free Press

Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

Free Press Action Fund: Don't Let Gotcha Politics Undermine NPR's Mission

WASHINGTON - March 9 - On Tuesday, National Public Radio announced the resignation of President and CEO Vivian Schiller.

Craig Aaron, managing director of the Free Press Action Fund, made the following statement:

“We shouldn’t let the sideshow of hidden-camera stings and gotcha politics get in the way of the real issue here: A vital local public service needs public support to continue its role in providing news, culture and educational programming. In light of the ongoing political attacks on public broadcasting, its supporters, from across the political spectrum, must not back down or try to appease those who aim to skew the coverage of NPR or silence independent local voices and coverage of issues that commercial media too often ignore.

“It’s sad to see Vivian Schiller leave NPR, because she had so many new ideas and initiated so many programs to improve NPR’s reach, depth and collaboration with innovators across the country. Controversy cut her tenure short, but that shouldn’t discredit her accomplishments.

“In the end, the debate about funding public broadcasting is really about 1,300 local stations and 21,000 local jobs, as well as millions of Americans who rely on them, not a few executives in Washington. I would urge Congress to listen to the overwhelming public support for public media and not to allow controversy—real or ginned up—to overshadow the important role public broadcasting plays in our local communities."


Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at


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