May 21, 2008

No more volunteers on the phone at Wisconsin Public Radio

Citing concerns about identity theft, Wisconsin Public Radio has traded in its pledge drive volunteers for a hired call center, reports the Wisconsin State Journal. The station doesn't want to be responsible for someone stealing info from donors, says Jennifer Dargan, manager of on-air fundraising and volunteers, though WPR isn't aware that any donor info has been compromised in the past. The station cannot afford the insurance that would protect it if it were sued, while the call center is covered up to $100,000 per incident. Minnesota Public Radio and WNYC in New York are also outsourcing calls.

NPR's Garrels on Iraq: "The reaction comes later"

In a lecture at Northwestern University about covering the war in Iraq, NPR correspondent Anne Garrels described an "unlikely partnership" in Baghdad: Fox News offered to share generator power with NPR, which was only getting two hours of electricity a day. NPR rejected the offer at first, then relented. Garrels also described her wartime experiences, including watching people get killed. She admitted, "The reaction comes later--suddenly you don't handle things the same way... In my case, I started drinking too much. I came home, and I couldn't deal with it."