Mar 16, 2009

Pew surveys find increased perceived believability rankings for NPR News

NPR is one of few national broadcast news organizations to see its "believability" ratings increase last year in survey research by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, according to the State of the News Media, the annual report from Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism. Twenty-seven percent of survey respondents said they believed "all or most" of what NPR reported, an increase of 5 percent from surveys conducted in 2006. The percentage rating PBS's NewsHour as highly believable remained at 23 percent, unchanged since 2004. Political ideology continues to influence the credibility ratings that respondents gave to specific news organizations, and NPR saw a bigger increase in its credibility ratings by Democrats (37 percent of whom described NPR as highly credible) than Republicans (18 percent). [Scroll down on this page to charts on Broadcast & Cable credibility.]

NOW on PBS $1 million in red, announces eight-week furloughs

NOW on PBS is $1 million short for 2009 and has announced all employees will take unpaid, eight-week furloughs this year. John Siceloff, executive producer, said in a memo to staff that no one will be laid off. He cited "severe cuts" in grants to the show by philanthropies struggling with "plummeting endowments." Ironically, the announcement comes just as the show was awarded the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Journalism, given by the Annenberg Center at USC.

Mountain Lake PBS faces 28 percent state funding plunge

Mountain Lake PBS, located at 1 Sesame Street in Plattsburgh, N.Y., is facing a 28 percent loss in its budget if the state's 2009 budget proposed by Gov. David Paterson is approved. President and CEO Alice Recore told the local Press Republican that 14 members of the State Assembly have sent a letter on behalf of New York pubTV stations to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, asking that $5.7 million in funding be restored, which would bring the reduction down to about 20 percent -- in line with other education funding cuts.

BBC World Service producing daily segment for WBUR's Here & Now

Producers of Here and Now have forged a new content partnership with the BBC World Service. Beginning today, the BBC will contribute a daily segment to the midday news magazine, which is produced at WBUR in Boston. Public Radio International, which distributes both Here and Now and BBC World Service programming to U.S. public radio stations, announces the new partnership here. "PRI has consistently found that strategic partnerships enhance the quality of content, which helps listeners better understand our interconnected world," said Michael Arnold, PRI content director.

John Williams scores new theme for "Great Performances"

Five-time Academy Award winner John Williams's new theme music for Great Performances will debut March 25 on its production of King Lear. “After 36 years of showcasing the best in the performing arts for American audiences, we wanted to reinvigorate our Great Performances broadcast identity for today’s digital HD generation,” executive director David Horn said in a statement.

Pew journalism project issues sixth annual report on State of the News Media

"The problem facing American journalism is not fundamentally an audience problem or a credibility problem," according to The State of the News Media, an annual report from the Project for Excellence in Journalism. "It is a revenue problem—the decoupling, as we have described it before, of advertising from news." The Columbia Journalism Review has a quiz to test your recall on changes since 2004, when the project issued its first report.

Media creators ponder their "Ethics, Money and Mission"

This year's Making Your Media Matter conference, "Ethics, Money and Mission," featured an appearance by George Stoney, an early advocate of public television and now an NYU professor and filmmaker. Nonprofit heads, funders and students from as far away as Nigeria and Kenya participated in the event last month; videos and links to various reports are now on the website of the Center for Social Media of American University, which organized the event.