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The Organization Behind PBS and NPR Calls Trump’s Proposed Cuts ‘Devastating’

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President Trump’s proposed plan to eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from the federal budget would “initially devastate and ultimately destroy” the role of public media in American life, the organization’s president said Thursday.

“There is no viable substitute for federal funding that ensures Americans have universal access to public media’s educational and informational programming and services,” CPB President Patricia Harrison said in a statement.

Harrison called public media a “vital investment,” saying it has a role in everything from early childhood education to sparking civil discourse and informing the country.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was created in 1967 under Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration, and provides funding to help support nearly 1,500 public radio and television stations across the country including PBS and NPR.

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Write to Alana Abramson at Alana.Abramson@time.com