The MIT Open Documentary Lab joins our friends and colleagues in public media, the arts and sciences, and the humanities in urging people to speak out and take action against President Trump’s budget proposal. The proposal would end funding for the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and significantly reduce funding for research in the sciences.

Our lab is founded on deeply held beliefs that public media are essential to a functioning democracy. These proposed cuts would seriously hinder the ability of independent public media to: create probing, investigative work; produce stories that reflect the experiences and voice of a multicultural America; provide high quality educational programming and curriculum for early learners; innovate with new technologies to keep public media accessible and relevant; and deepen our understanding of the world through well made programming about science, history and the arts.

The National Endowment for the Arts was the first funding agency to support our work to guide documentarians in their transition to 21st century media practices and help them remain on the forefront of technological change.  

We are also concerned because the loss of funding for the NEA and the NEH would affect community media and arts organizations’ ability to remain open and accessible. Both the arts and the humanities foster creative and critical thinking, a key ingredient for innovation.

MIT, our home institution, would suffer from the proposed cuts to its research with a potential 8-10% drop in federal funding.

In the words of our president, Rafael Reif,  “America’s strength in science and engineering is central to America’s strength, period. It’s how we keep the nation safe, drive innovation, build infrastructure, power and connect our modern society, restore the environment, create new industries, feed our people, heal the sick – and understand the universe.”

Join us in urging the congress to vote against Trump’s detrimental budget cuts. Government support of the media, the arts, the humanities, and the sciences is essential to a fair and progressive society.

To start, visit the following links to sign petitions that protect public media and the arts.

Please share widely with your friends and family. Let’s fight the good fight and use every means necessary to stop Trump’s budget proposal.


The Open Documentary Lab team