My assignment was to find out the name of a donor to a local public broadcasting station (PBS or NPR). (You may also be able to check the station's Web site for a list of names.) Contact the donor and ask them why they decided to pledge money for public broadcasting. Include a photo or picture that illustrates your findings.
The first step of this assignment was to choose which local public broadcasting station I wanted to research about. Because I have listened to PBS several times, I thought it would be a interesting to continue to learn about. After searching the national PBS website, I discovered that there are several charitable organizations involved in helping PBS to be as influential as it is including The Ford Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. I decided to contact The Ford Foundation. I spoke with a representative on the phone about why they chose PBS to pledge money for. I was informed that the main goal of the PBS Foundation is to help support public broadcasting by creating special funds specifically for PBS broadcasting. They chose PBS because of their outstanding public broadcasting programs and services and they wanted to help continue and enhance all the progress PBS has made in helping the American public. The Ford Foundation specializes in international philanthropy which is also a main concern of PBS broadcasting.
This portrait is of Edsel Ford, the first donor to the Ford Foundation who claimed the money should be used "all for the public welfare", which correlates perfectly to present day where the money is still being spent when sent to PBS.
The Ford Foundation donating money would be an example of cultural determinism. Cultural determinism relies on the culture and societal factors first, stating that they are causing change in technical advances. Without the help of foundations such as Ford Foundation, a society on their own, we would not be able to have technology such as PBS broadcasting. After speaking with a representative on the phone, I realized the importance of societal factors on technology. The reason for culture and societies to help out does deal with technological determinism because the reason they are donating money is so technology can affect society, however the act of donating the money would definitely constitute cultural determinism.