Sep 4, 2007

Made in L.A. another window into labor of undocumented immigrants

The film Made in L.A., which runs tonight on PBS as part of the P.O.V. series, is an "excellent documentary," according to a New York Times review. The doc follows the labor activism of three Latino women in L.A.'s garment manufacturing industry. Writes the Times' Andy Webster: "Congress may not be able to decide how to process the nation’s illegal immigrants, but the film understands that they’re simply here, an integral component of the economy."

WordGirl is funny, Super Why! is "sugary-sweet"

The new PBS kids' show WordGirl "doesn't just teach, it also entertains with humorous situations that should appeal to children and their parents," writes Pittsburgh Post-Gazette TV critic Rob Owen. The new Super Why!, however, is a "sugary-sweet show that may entertain its target audience of 3-to-6-year-olds, but may repulse parents the same way Barney does."

New York Times on new PBS series WordGirl

"WordGirl takes the [superhero] conceit back to an earlier era, with a sensibility that could only have been conceived by creators who may have watched too many Rocky and Bullwinkle shows," writes Elizabeth Jensen in a New York Times article about the new PBS children's series.

Armed and virtuous

Jody Foster's latest heroic movie role -- in Neil Jordan's thriller The Brave One -- is a public radio personality who becomes a vigilante when her fiancé is killed and the justice system fails to do justice. NPR's Bob Mondello says he hears talk the Warner Bros. film may be an award-winner. See the trailer on Fandango.

WAMU ends weekend bluegrass, bets that music fans will embrace HD Radio service

WAMU in Washington, D.C., announced that it is dropping all bluegrass programming from its weekend schedule and replacing long-running music shows with news/talk programming. The station will invest in upgrades to its HD Radio service, WAMU Bluegrass Country, by adding digital multicasts of live-hosted music programs on 88.5-2. It also will give away 1,000 HD Radios to listeners who contributed to its bluegrass programming within the past year. A third digital channel will combine news programming from the BBC and music from Triple-A outlet WTMD in Towson, Md. (All three schedules are posted here.) WAMU once broadcast more than 20 hours a week of bluegrass and other acoustic music programming, according to according to the Washington Post's Marc Fisher, who reports on the changes today on his blog. Six years ago, the station launched first digital service for bluegrass fans--as an online-only, 24-hour streaming service, but Fisher reports that the audience for music broadcasts on its flagship channel is much larger than that of the Internet service.

Unwelcome competition for NPR News audience on shores of Maryland

"I think there is enough competition in the media world. Between iPods and downloads, there is enough competition without worrying about another station," says Gerry Weston, g.m. of Public Radio Delmarva stations WSCL and WSDL serving Maryland's coastal communities. The Daily Times of Salisbury, Md., reports on plans for Baltimore's WYPR to begin beaming its NPR News service into Ocean City and examines how competition from the distant station will affect local pubradio outlets.