On Saturday nights I look forward to listening to NPR’s weekly program, Jazzset with Dee-Dee Bridgewater. She gives great interviews and goes beyond just announcing an artist’s name and song. She gives me the history behind them. I feel that this program preserves one of America’s most timeless music, jazz. And this is why I think Congress shouldn’t cut funding for programs such as NPR. NPR is really more than just a jazz station. It showcases other forms of music such as blues, country, classical and folk. Just recently I was happy to hear a show on NPR about the Neville Brothers and the Marsallis Family. And on PBS I watched the historic concert in which this family performed together for the first time. I couldn’t watch that on CBS or ABC. The night before Mardi Gras a PBS affiliate showed a special on the black Carnival traditions and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Again this is something I wouldn’t see on mainstream New Orleans television. A year ago the same affiliate showed a documentary of historic New Orleans restaurants and shops. Although I was too young to remember most of them, the ones I remembered brought up feelings of nostalgia for me.
Public programs like these serve the community. They are the gateways to exploring cultures that are often overlooked in commercial media. In a time when so-called reality shows are dominating our airwaves with pointless and predictable content, it’s good to know that we can listen to or watch true reality programming on NPR and PBS. Let’s support these networks and keep these necessary avenues alive.