From the Desk of President Neil Best: April 2012
My friend Doug Price, President and CEO of RMPBS, has an observation about our current media climate that I believe is very worthy of sharing.
Doug argues that we are living in a time where much of the media is focused on affirmation. By that he suggests that different media outlets tailor coverage to affirm what their viewers already believe.
Persons with a liberal political perspective find affirmation for their beliefs by tuning to MSNBC. In similar fashion, viewers with a conservative perspective find that FOX confirms their beliefs. Commercial media is both appropriate and moral in embracing this affirmation strategy, because it is their moral and legal responsibility to enhance shareholder value.
Public media has a different responsibility, one that requires us both legally and morally to serve the community. A failure to embrace diverse ideas and contrary perspectives would cause us to fail in the duty to serve all of the public not just a select slice.
Doug suggests, and I concur, that the role of public broadcasting is to inform the audience. We are the information resource with which you will have occasional disagreements, which may well anger you at times, but which always strives to provide you with reporting that informs you and allows you to reach your own conclusions.
And Doug adds that we do so with a terrible business model. While refusing to affirm your beliefs, we are also so bold as to ask you to support our efforts with your voluntary membership. But honestly we wouldn’t have it any other way. Because it is that individual, independent support that allows us the freedom to report information.
As we approach the spring on-air membership drive, I ask you to consider how valuable KUNC and its independence is to you and your family and to act accordingly.
President & CEO