Apr 20, 2009

Many foundations reducing grants, new report says

Nearly two-thirds of foundations responding to a survey are planning to reduce the number or size of grants they award in 2009. More than 1,200 foundations took part in the new research by the Foundation Center, titled Foundations Address the Impact of the Economic Crisis (PDF). Nearly two out of five respondents expect to dip into endowments to fund grants. More than half are engaging in more nongrantmaking activities, and about two-thirds plan to seek more collaborations and partnerships this year.

Review of Saberi sentence ordered by top judge

Iran's highest judge ordered a “careful, quick and fair” consideration of an appeal against the eight-year jail sentence imposed on Roxana Saberi, an Iranian-American journalist who was tried last week on charges of espionage. Saberi has reported from Iran for NPR, the BBC, ABC News, FOX and other news organizations, and has been held in Iran's Evin Prison for months. NPR, which joined other major news networks early this month in calling public attention to Saberi's detention, issued a statement responding to news of the ruling by a secret Iranian court: "We are deeply distressed by this harsh and unwarranted sentence," said NPR President Vivian Schiller. "Through her work for NPR over several years, we know her as an established and respected professional journalist." In an interview NPR's Scott Simon on Friday, Reza Saberi, the 31-year-old reporter's father said his daughter was coerced into making incriminating statements.

WHUT to participate in mobile video trial

The Open Mobile Video Coalition, an alliance of broadcast groups including PBS and APTS, today announced a consumer trial this summer in Washington, D.C., of mobile digital television technology. Taking part will be Washington's WHUT. According to Broadcasting & Cable, the trial will enable broadcasters to showcase and test programming, services and features of the technology, and will help prepare broadcasters for the commercial deployment scheduled for later this year. That will include nine pubcasting stations. For a list of those stations and background on the coalition, see this Current story.