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  1. Importance of Funding PBS
  2. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 43% of children live in a low income family. During the 2012 presidential election, Republican nominee Mitt Romney attempts to address this issue and states that he would reduce the deficit by removing the funding of PBS, or Public Broadcast Service. Although this does not seem disadvantageous at first glance, this removal of funding could be detrimental to the development of children. Through the usage of statistics, examples, and pathos, Jo Ellen Chatham, a republican opposing the funding cut, constructs an extremely persuasive argument in their article, Republicans for Sesame Street, that accurately depicts the importance of PBS in the development of children and supports funding for the service.
  3. Statistics found within Chatham’s article are the most persuasive aspect in favor of PBS funding due to PBS’s importance in developing the youth. Statistics are important as by studying what is already known it is possible to make predictions on what will be best for the future. Jo Ellen Chatham begins by stating “And according to the Economist, the 25 fastest-growing jobs in the United States require workers with higher than average literacy skills. Yet nearly half of American children are not prepared to succeed when they enter kindergarten. Children in poverty are at an even greater disadvantage, especially in literacy skills. Seventy percent of all eighth-graders and 65% of all 12th-graders read below their grade level.” As a society, we wish to better educate our children. By showing statistics of things that have been observed, the reader can conclude that PBS in teaching these important skills and may be more beneficial to society than previously thought. As this article consists of almost a statistic every paragraph, it is quite evident that there are many facts that back up the claim of Chatham that PBS funding is necessary.
  4. In addition to statistics, pathos is quite an important feature used in order to persuade the audience that PBS funding is important. Pathos would be a quality within the article that invokes a feeling of sadness or pity in the reader. Chatham states “The impact of PBS on preparing preschoolers for school, especially among low-income families, is nothing less than astounding.” By frequently referring to children in poverty or areas that don’t have access to the best education systems, this creates a feeling of pity within the audience. These phrases express the importance of PBS funding as it makes the reader feel sympathy for these families and allows the reader to make the assumption that without PBS education, they may be ill prepared.
  5. Real world examples found within Chatham’s article create an effective argument towards PBS funding as well. In Chatham’s article, Chatham states “For example, when Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘H.M.S. Pinafore’ was taped at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, it played to a sold-out crowd. However, more than 2.1 million Americans had a front-row seat watching it on PBS. Had PBS viewers purchased tickets, the theater would have been sold out 1,900 times.” This specific example shows the large viewership PBS has. This large viewership creates an effective argument in showing the importance of PBS's funding though it isn’t as strong as the other features.
  6. According to Jo Ellen Chatham’s article, Republicans for Sesame Street, Mitt Romney’s cut of funding for PBS would be detrimental to the development of children as evident through the use of statistics, examples, and pathos. The most effective feature found in the article is the author’s use of statistics as these are real pieces of data with the least effective being their usage of examples as they are not found often and fail to invoke a passionate feeling in the reader. These features of statistics, examples, and pathos used by Chatham produce an effective essay in favor of PBS funding.
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