My passion for the mission of public radio is what led me to leave a career in children’s entertainment and join NPR in 2008. My desire to return to Texas and still be in public radio is what brought me to TPR in 2014. I couldn’t be happier to be here. It’s particularly rewarding to me when someone from our community shares with me their love for TPR and what we do here, which happens frequently. Moreover, I could not be more proud to work, every day, alongside the passionate, inspiring people who make up Team TPR.
While I’ve long had this passion for public radio, recent events have highlighted the vital importance of non-profit, community radio. Commercial media far pre-dates public radio. While it was understood that these companies were driven to earn profits for their owners, most of them held themselves to a reasonable standard of journalistic ethics. Those that didn’t were pretty obvious in their sensationalism, with headlines screaming of alien invasions and movie star scandals, and they were derided as “yellow journalism.”
Something more insidious is happening now. The bounds of journalistic ethics are being stretched to the breaking point, if not just downright broken, but in ways that are not so easy to detect. Fabricated stories are posted on social media sites that make it easy to make the fake appear to be real. Local journalists are required to read out, verbatim, an editorial message scripted by a remote corporate parent without revealing the source of the message.
The rapacious drive for profits threatens media organizations on the one hand, and media consumers on the other. Repeated lay-offs have reduced to half its previous size the newsroom of a flagship newspaper because, it is claimed, its hedge-fund owners have been siphoning off newspaper profits for unrelated investments. Personal information of tens of millions of people was secretly shared with a company whose intent was to use it to influence elections.
Thanks to you, these things will never happen at TPR, because TPR is truly community radio.
TPR is community focused. We exist only to serve you, our stakeholders, not to generate profits for shareholders. We adhere to the highest level of journalistic ethics and standards. And we answer to you. We are informed by this community. And we reflect this community.
TPR is community governed. Our board of directors is an incredibly hardworking group of local citizens. They devote countless hours to TPR, and are paid nothing other than gratitude. They hold us accountable to serve you well and to be good stewards of the resources you provide us, but they never, ever attempt to influence our news coverage.
TPR is community funded. More than 40% of our revenue comes from listener support. Another 30% comes from local businesses and community partners that underwrite our programming. We also receive financial support from local foundations. And every dollar, every penny, that we raise is used for one purpose: to serve this community.
YOUR support powers your community radio. I think you’ll agree that it’s a relationship that works. If you have already pledged your support during this Spring Pledge Drive, thank you. If you have not, please do so today
. We’re in this together.