Feb 9, 2009

Former CPBer Halpern on U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council

Former CPB board member Cheryl F. Halpern is mentioned in the Feb. 9 Washington Post story, "Bush faithful rewarded with jobs." The article details how former President George Bush made more than 100 appointments to various important boards and panels at the end of his presidency, many of them rewarding close aides and top political supporters. Halpern, identified in the story as a "major GOP donor," landed on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

Blog examines POV's "Made in L.A."

The indie doc Made in L.A., which ran on PBS' POV in 2007, "demonstrates successful community engagement in every stage of a media project – from fundraising and development to outreach and distribution," writes American University's Center for Social Media in its blog. The post provides an in-depth examination of the project, from funding (the filmmakers raised money through four house parties and a concert) and early development through obstacles and, ultimately, awards.

NOVA's "Spy Factory" worries some viewers

Some PBS viewers were concerned that the recent NOVA episode "The Spy Factory," which details the National Security Agency's intelligence gathering methods, provided secret or sensitive information to would-be terrorists, writes PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler, who praises the film for "[capturing] the extraordinary frustration among some of those in government" who observed how U.S. intelligence agencies--the CIA, FBI and NSA--failed to communicate with each other and connect the dots prior to the 9/11 attacks.  Getler includes viewer letters and a reply from NOVA execs: "Neither the producers nor NOVA sought any access to classified information, nor did the program reveal any classified information. The program is based on meticulous research of publicly available documents and records by James Bamford, author of the best-selling book The Shadow Factory and a foremost expert on the NSA."

NPT President Curley knits and hula-hoops, too

A profile of Nashville Public TV President Beth Curley in The Tennessean highlights her investment in local productions and NPT's popularity among viewers. "Perhaps best known to many Nashvillians for her on-air appearances during pledge drives, Curly can come across as a bit buttoned-up in the fitted blazers she throws on for such appearances. But she knows how to cut loose, too. The mother two adult sons keeps a hula-hoop in her office closet and likes to belly dance. She's also known to play a mean game of Scrabble. And she doesn't like to lose. An avid knitter, she's often working her needles and yarn during business meetings."

NPR's Schiller: endowed journalism works for us

Slate media critic Jack Schafer lays out the case against proposals to save the Washington Post and the New York Times by converting them to nonprofit endowed journalism organizations, and NPR President Vivian Schiller joins the fray to point to NPR's example. "We are the living, breathing prototype" of an endowed news organization that others are "imagining to be revolutionary," she writes. "Shafer worries that an organization with an endowment and board means there’s no one to yell at. Fear not – we get yelled at just as much as every other news organization."