Many of us grew up watching: Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, DragonTales,Arthur,Barney, Magic School Bus,Bob Ross, Julia Child ammng many others. These were all possible by one channel in America, The Public Broadcasting Service or PBS for short. In recent weeks and years the possible budget cuts and defunding of PBS and it's sister service NPR (National Public Radio). The Federal Goverment has somewhat supported the Corporation for Public Broadcasting since 1967 which along with The Ford Foundation supported NET (National Educational Television which was PBS' predecessor) and PBS since then. But why is PBS important? Why should it be looked at with the relevancy it is? Let''s take a look at some reasons why PBS should not be ignored.
Helped to introduce Educational Programs for Children
In the 1960's NET/PBS introduced Mister Rogers and Sesame Street to the US Television Audence. PBS was also one of the first networks to introduce the concept of preschooler programming which Nick Jr, Disney Jr, Noggin, Sprout etc... would all base their ideas off from. Later on through the years PBS introduced: Barney, Romper Room, Zoom, Electric Company, Arthur,DragonTales, Thomas TheTank Engine, Word Girl, Magic School Bus, CyberChase, and many others all to TV audiences and children in schools all over. Many of these TV series were based off Childrens books as well.
Introduced the British Comedy, Doctor Who, and many other British TV shows to the US Audience before BBC America existed
Yes Doctor Who was originally a part of PBS programming in the 1970s-1990s before BBC America aired it. Other British Shows on BBC introduced to the US by PBS include Monty Python's Flying Circus, Eastenders, Are You Being Served?, Teletubbies, Dowton Abbey, Call The Midwife, among many others.
Introduced Cooking Shows and Do It Yourself Shows before the advent of HGTV or Food Network
In the 1960s and beyond Julia Child's cooking program was widely viewed on PBS. She was truly the first Celebrity Chef before Emeril,Paula Deen,The Pioneer Woman, Guy Fieri, Gordon Ramsay, Rachel Ray, Wolfgang Puck,or Mario Batali. PBS was also the first network to air Do It Yourself home remodeling and gardening shows like This Old House with Bob Vila. Way before HGTV or DIY had the market cornered in US Television.
PBS has done many other ventures like air operas, symphonies, Memorial Day and Veterans day Concerts, introduce panelist news discussions, made Bob Ross a household name, Introduced Austin City Limits to a national audience and so much more. PBS I feel like can and will survive if congress agrees to ax funding for it. A major majority of funding comes through peoples donations and corporations. PBS only gets very little government funding but it still helps. But, I think it can survive without it too.