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public media funding in comparison

September 4, 2009

According to Craig Aaron of Free Press, here’s what a few countries spend on public media, on a per-person basis:

Great Britain – $80

Canada – $22

United States -$1.37

To put it further into perspective, the US spent $565 per person bailing out AIG.

Those who don’t think the government should be in charge of deciding which media outlets deserve our public funds should consider Dean Baker’s proposal: Every year each taxpayer would receive an “Artistic Freedom Voucher” (worth, say, $100). By earmarking this voucher for a nonprofit media outlet, they’d earn a tax credit worth the equivalent amount. We’d generate substantial amounts for nonprofit media, but the people, not the politicians, would decide who gets it. Moreover, recipient organizations would have to agree to forego copyright for a certain period. The result would be a substantial increase in public domain material, thus further facilitating creative expression.

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