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A Half Century Of Service: Public Broadcasting Turns 50

President Lyndon Johnson signing the Public Broadcasting Act in 1967.
LBJ Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto
President Lyndon Johnson signing the Public Broadcasting Act in 1967.

In signing the Public Broadcasting Act Nov. 7, 1967, President Johnson expressed the hope that one day, public television and radio stations would satisfy “America’s appetite for excellence” and “enrich man’s spirit.”

That legislation created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which today supports nearly 1,500 public media stations across the country by distributing federal funding amounting to roughly $1.35 per citizen, per year.

At VPR, this investment is critical to our operations, representing about 10 percent of our budget. We leverage federal funding – many times over – to provide a welcoming space for world, national and local news, lifelong learning, the arts and culture, history, science, and music.

At a time when local news coverage is dramatically reduced, public media stations are expanding their journalism network, innovating in their storytelling and reaching audiences on platforms they prefer, anytime, anywhere. 

Meanwhile, much-beloved national programs, such as All Things Considered and Fresh Air, have educated, informed and inspired generations and strengthened our community.

Despite the rapid changes shaping today’s media environment, public broadcasting’s mission is more necessary than ever.

VPR has been proud to support public broadcasting’s mission over the course of our 40 years. With your continued support, and that of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, we look forward to continuing to explore the whole Vermont story together.

Learn more about the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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