Guild asks Obama, Congress to increase funds

The Writers Guild of America East has urged the Obama administration and Congress to increase appropriations for public broadcasting.

In an announcement Thursday, the guild noted hundreds of its members write and produce programming for public television, including “Frontline,” “Nova,” “Nature,” “Great Performances,” “American Masters,” “American Experience,” “Sesame Street” and “The Electric Company.”

WGA East president Michael Winship and exec director Lowell Peterson met recently with members of the Obama transition team and key supporters in Washington D.C. The guild noted that funding to produce shows on public TV has decreased due to the worsening economy with one in four public stations facing liquidity problems.

“At this critical juncture in our nation’s history, adequate funding for public broadcasting is more important than ever,” Winship said. “This will help stimulate the economy as well as deepen public discourse about such central issues of our time as climate change, globalization, diversity, and human rights.”

The WGA also noted that the United States spends $1.70 per capita on public broadcasting, compared with Great Britain and Germany spending more than $80 per capita.

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