Oct 14, 2009

"Bruising blow" in Pennsylvania from funding elimination, pubcaster says

Pennsylvania's pubcasters continue to react to Gov. Ed Rendell's elimination of state money to stations. The Pennsylvania Public Television Network agency, the 40-year-old state entity that administered the funding, also was shut down. According to The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, "what’s left from what had been an $11.26 million category in the state budget is $1 million to help stations cover operating costs and $1.5 million for technology services." Kathleen Pavelko, president and c.e.o. of WITF in Harrisburg, called it "a bruising blow." That station's operating grants fell from about $917,000 last year to around $114,000.

NPR News app adds tune-in feature for live coverage

An upgrade of the NPR News app for iPhone has been released for downloads from the iTunes Store. A Listen Live feature alerts users when NPR is feeding live coverage of major news events; improved audio streaming capabilities and content-sharing features are among 32 enhancements for the app. Since the NPR News app was first released on Aug. 15, it has topped 1 million downloads, and its users are generating more than 10 million page views per month, according to an NPR spokeswoman.

PBS videos and games increase literacy, research shows

A study shows the literacy skills of low-income children measurably increased after their participation in a curriculum using educational video and interactive games from PBS, according to SRI International, one of the firms that conducted the study. Nearly 400 children in 80 preschool classes in New York City and San Francisco participated. Some children learned up to 7.5 more letters than children in a comparison group during the brief, intensive curriculum. The games were from Super Why!, Between the Lions and Sesame Street, produced for PBS Kids as part of the Ready to Learn initiative. The evaluation was funded by the U.S. Department of Education and CPB, in partnership with PBS.