Reason Writers on the NPR


Managing Editor Jesse Walker has a cameo in NPR's coverage of the NPR defunding debate:

Jesse Walker of the libertarian magazine Reason says stations pay a price when they take federal money. For one thing there's the perennial threat of government interference.

"I don't think that's good for freedom of speech," he says. "And I don't think it's good for broadcasters who want to do their best, and I don't think it serves audiences well."

Walker says public broadcasting needs to devise a new funding mechanism that will protect its independence, such as a private trust supported by an endowment. It's an idea that gets talked about during each funding crisis.

To read (or hear) the whole story, go here. For examples of officials using their power of the purse to apply pressure on broadcasters—and some suggestions for how stations can support themselves without federal funds—read Walker's article "Radio Theater."