Working Groups: Funding and Firewalls
Funding Standards for Non-news programming
If news programs require particularly scrupulous funding standards, what standards are applicable for other content areas including cultural programming, history, and information?
Arts and culture programs can reasonably be supported by a variety of funding sources. The question of a funder having inappropriate influence on a cultural program is clearly less problematic than in news programming. One area, however, that stations should think through is whether they wish to allow cultural organizations to fund programs about themselves. For example, should a station accept funding from the local chamber orchestra to broadcast one of its concerts? Some questions to consider:
- Is the performing arts group one which has widespread community support or interest?
- Would this be a performance the station would broadcast anyway?
- Is there a defensible rational for accepting production funding from one arts organization while declining funding from another community arts group?
History and Information Programming
While funding standards for news and performance programming lie at opposite ends of the spectrum, the funding of history and information programming occupies more complex middle ground which deserves careful station consideration.