PBS Leaders Gather in D.C. to Discuss Funding Cuts

By: BRETT ZONGKER - Associated Press Writer
By: BRETT ZONGKER - Associated Press Writer

PBS anchor Jim Lehrer is urging public broadcasters to keep defending their federal funding while raising additional money.

He says they need to do so to meet an increasing need for serious journalism.

Lehrer spoke Tuesday at a gathering in Washington that included the heads of PBS, NPR, and American Public Media. They met to discuss the most serious threats in Congress to their federal funding in 44 years.

Lehrer said public media needs to produce more local news and serious journalism, because he says other channels are being used
to "tease and to entertain and only to inform across the surface."

He says Thomas Jefferson knew when the country was founded that
the democratic society would only work if there's an "informed electorate."

The House recently voted to eliminate funding for public broadcasting, but the effort stalled in the Senate. A budget deal with the White House kept most of the money there.

Much of the uproar focused on NPR after the firing of analyst Juan Williams over his comments about Muslims, and the release by a
conservative activist of footage that appeared to show an NPR executive condemning the tea party movement.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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