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The advertising ban reinforces for listeners the fairness and balance that his stations strive for in news coverage, Mr. Davis said, adding that it also helps them think the station is not going to be swayed by commercial considerations.

Some public media executives are concerned that the notion of accepting a political advertising windfall could even undermine their reason for being. Public stations frequently have to fend off critics who think the government shouldn’t be in the business of funding them in the first place. The argument for public funding could crumble if there was substantial revenue coming in from political ads — and this revenue is by its nature scattershot at best.

“I haven’t spoken with many of my colleagues about this,” Mr. Davis said. “But my hope is that they would have the good sense not to take these ads.”