Nov 3, 2009

Columnist points out African-American absence on WTTW's "Chicago Tonight"

WTTW-Channel 11 in Chicago doesn't have one African American reporter or anchor on staff, writes longtime Chicago media columnist Robert Feder on the WBEZ/Vocalo blog, noting the situation "seems like a throwback to some other era." Chicago Tonight, the station's public affairs program, has four white and two Hispanic staffers, he says. A WTTW spokesperson told Feder, "Because we reflect Chicago and we’re so Chicago focused, we know we’ve got to have African American talent. . . . It’s very front of our minds.” However, "given the station’s financial straits," Feder notes, "it’s not likely to happen any time soon."

PBS marks four decades today

Happy birthday, Public Broadcasting Service! Yes, PBS turns 40 today. The U.S. Census Bureau took the opportunity to recognize the system and its "excellent programs and objectivity" in a short news release today. Let's hope that your station is having birthday cake. Or at least donuts.

Colorado pubTV joins with local journalists for state news project

Colorado Public Television on Monday announced a partnership with local journalists for a news website and an investigative news show covering the state. The project, Colorado Public News, “is responsive to the reduction of significant investigative journalism that has occurred nationally and locally with the shrinkage of news staffs in print and broadcast media, including the closure of the Rocky Mountain News,” Wick Rowland, president and CEO of Colorado Public Television, said in a statement. Former Rocky Mountain News investigative reporter Ann Imse will be editor-in-chief. “Since traditional advertising isn’t funding in-depth journalism, we are choosing the PBS model of producing great journalism and asking for tax-deductible donations to fund non-profit, public journalism,” Imse said in the statement. When the project reaches its initial funding goal of $400,000, reporters will publish an in-depth or investigative report on at least one major issue weekly to post on the site and later in prime time on Channel 12. Check out its prototype website.