Jul 20, 2009

Independent Lens on PBS gets Young@Heart TV premiere

Young@Heart, the award-winning 2007 documentary about a spunky chorus of hip senior citizens, will have its television premiere during the fall/winter 2009 season of Independent Lens on PBS. The critically acclaimed film takes viewers inside seven weeks of rehearsals with the members of the Young@Heart Chorus of retirees as they prepare for a concert in their hometown of Northampton, Mass.

Henry Louis Gates arrested at his home in Cambridge, Mass.

Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard professor and longtime PBS doc producer, was arrested last Thursday trying to force open the locked front door of his home, according to The Associated Press. Cambridge, Mass., police were called that afternoon after a woman reported seeing a man trying to pry the door open. The police report states an officer asked Gates to identify himself and Gates refused, called the officer a racist and said repeatedly, "This is what happens to black men in America." According to the police report, the 58-year-old professor told officers, "You don't know who you're messing with." An Associated Press followup, which includes Gates' booking mugshot, added details of allegations that the arrest is part of a pattern of racial profiling in the city. Gates received the 2008 Ralph Lowell Award from CPB in May, honoring his outstanding contribution to public television for shows including African American Lives, in which he traced the lineage of famous African Americans through DNA. The police report is at The Boston Globe's website. UPDATE: Cambridge police dropped charges Tuesday. In a joint statement, the city, police department and Gates said: "This incident should not be viewed as one that demeans the character and reputation of Professor Gates or the character of the Cambridge Police Department."

PBS ombudsman eyes Moyers' health-care show

PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler's column today focuses on journalistic credibility, citing both the Washington Post's recent lapse on "pay for access" salons, as well as a recent Bill Moyers Journal episode on health care. One guest on that show was Wendell Potter, senior fellow with the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). Moyers is president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, which had funded CMD as recently as 2006. The column includes two lengthy replies from Moyers.

NPR compiles Cronkite's radio essays online

From 2001 to 2005, newsman Walter Cronkite, who died last week, contributed occasional essays to NPR. Now listeners can hear those once again on an NPR tribute page featuring the pieces.

Blogger angry over Monsanto underwriting on Marketplace

American Public Media's Marketplace should dump Monsanto sponsorship, writes blogger Delores M. Bernal on News Junkie Post. Bernal contends the firm produces and sells "dangerous poisonous chemicals" and allowing Monsanto to underwrite the popular news show "is irresponsible and it goes totally against what the purpose of listener-supported radio is all about!" She's calling on listeners to contact APM to demand it "put the interest of readers first."

Norfolk's WHRO to open new Williamsburg studio

WHRO, a dual-licensee in Norfolk, Va., covering the Hampton Roads area, is opening a satellite studio in Williamsburg. The studio, in operation on Aug. 3, will cost more than $1 million for equipment, licensing fees and repeaters. The two-story building has a small studio, a conference room for community groups, and office space.