WDUQ, a major National Public Radio (NPR) news provider in Pittsburgh, PA, recently refused Planned Parenthood’s underwriting funding and informational messages on the basis of the organization’s mission. NCAC submitted the following letter to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
To the Editors:
We were dismayed to find out that WDUQ rejected underwriting by Planned Parenthood because Duquesne University, which owns the station’s broadcasting license, considers the group’s work contrary to its Catholic mission. By rejecting Planned Parenthood’s messages about STD and cancer screening and prevention, the university deprives Pittsburghers of essential information about accessing public health services.
Duquesne is entitled to its views; but it violates the public trust when it imposes those views on the public who do not affiliate with Duquesne and who depend on WDUQ – the leading publicly-funded NPR news station in southwestern Pennsylvania – for current and reliable news and information.
By imposing a particular viewpoint on the kinds of public service messages its listeners receive, WDUQ undermines its credibility as a news source. If the station makes ideologically biased decisions about underwriters’ messages, then how are listeners to know that the same kind of decisions are not being made about the news?
We urge WDUQ to restore Planned Parenthood’s underwriting and to uphold free speech values so essential to academic freedom, dependable news, and public health.
» "WDUQ Pulls Planned Parenthood Spots" from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
» "Public Radio Station Halts Planned Parenthood Spots" from the New York Times