Mar 10, 2009

Webinars tomorrow and March 25 on innovation grants

CPB's Public Media Innovation (PMI) Fund is offering risk-capital grants of $5,000 to $50,000 for innovative projects that foster the understanding of economics. Total for this round: $200,000. Deadline: midnight, April 17, no exceptions. An hourlong webinar will be held twice, at noon March 11 and March 25, for grantseekers who want to hear about the project. Sign up for the webinar online. Projects must be connected with a public broadcasting station but can primarily use other platforms. The users can be chilidren, teens or adults. Grant requests can be just two or three pages in length, with budgets and timelines. Web: Details are online including request for proposals. Project website: www. publicmediainnovation. org. Questions: publicmediainnovation @ or Richard Tait, program manager, 845-876-2577.

News organizations issue joint appeal on behalf of journalist detained in Iran

Top execs from seven news organizations, including NPR and PBS, are appealing to international human rights groups to verify the health and well-being of Roxana Saberi, a freelance journalist who is being held in Evin Prison in Tehran. Saberi, who has reported for NPR, ABC News and the BBC among others, was detained by Iranian authorities on Jan. 31 and has been denied contact with her family since Feb. 10. "We now ask that the specific charges against Roxana Saberi be made public," the execs said in a jointly issued statement. "If no charges are filed, we now urge her immediate release and ask that she be given permission to return to her home country, the United States." Media execs signing the letter include Vivian Schiller of NPR, David Westin of ABC News, Jon Williams of BBC News; Paula Kerger of PBS; Robert Thomson of Fox News; and Simon Marks of Feature Story News. UPDATE: The official statement issued by NPR is here.

Where is Farai? Guest hosting on the Takeaway

After a January exit from the soon to be canceled NPR series News & Notes, Farai Chideya is guest hosting The Takeaway with John Hockenberry this week. Regular co-host Adaora Udoji is on leave.