The Norman Transcript

Opinion

November 14, 2012

A slimmer, trimmer Big Bird

NORMAN — The subtle message coming from veteran journalist Judy Woodruff on Monday night was not good news for public television and public radio. She predicts fewer tax dollars coming to public broadcasting. Public stations will have to reach out to new donors and become even more efficient in years ahead.

Public television came under scrutiny during the presidential campaign and Sesame Street’s Big Bird was the image portrayed by many. In Norman, a Big Bird graffiti with a line drawn through him appeared on some downtown buildings.

Woodruff, in Norman to receive the Gaylord Prize and address a President’s Associates dinner Monday, said a funding “glide path” would be preferred to an absoute cutoff that was advocated by some Republicans.

Public broadcasting is still needed, she said, because commercial television and radio often lean toward the fad of the day rather than what matters most. There still needs to be a place where viewers and listeners can tune in without concern that the news is somehow colored by advertising or by a station or network’s politics, she said.

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