Jan 29, 2010

Light weekend reading from "Grow the Audience"

As a follow-up to its recent report on public radio audience growth strategies, Station Resource Group asked 14 leading pubcasting and public media experts to react to its recommendations on new media. Which of the many activities proposed to advance pubradio in the "networked environment" should be top priority? In Proposals for Investments in New Media (PDF), an analysis and report on what the 14 respondents told SRG, two initiatives appear to have "relatively broad support": developing a flexible local/national Internet structure for distributing all pubradio content, and exploring a coordinated online fundraising system. If you haven't already read the final set (PDF) of recommendations from the CPB-backed Grow the Audience project, the section on new media--which is the focus of this particular discussion--begins on page 43.

CPB issues affirmative action report

The CPB Board earlier this week approved its FY08-09 affirmative action report and FY10 plan (PDF). According to the document, during FY09, total employees increased from 100 to 114; 12 staffers left during that year. Of the 26 employees hired, 13 are women and 10 are minorities. In FY 2009 CPB also hired five student interns: one male and four females, and three of the five were minorities. That brings the total staff breakdown for 2009 to non-minority, 61 percent; minorities, 39 percent; males, 45 percent; and females, 55 percent. For 2010, CPB says it will work to maintain or increase minority and female representation within executive and senior officials and managers, as well as first and mid-level officials and managers.

President Obama congratulates Sesame Street on its 40 years

President Barack Obama has released a minute-long video praising Sesame Street on its 40th anniversary year -- or, as he says, "this video is brought to you by the number 40." He congratulates the show "as a parent, and as the president," and recalls watching it with his younger sister. His two girls as well "learned a great deal" from the show. "There are many adults who can stand to learn again the lessons Sesame Street offers: Compassion, kindness and respect for our differences," the president noted.

Goldsmith Prize finalists include Frontline producer

Frontline's Tom Jennings is part of a team of journalists that are finalists for the prestigious Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, the Harvard Kennedy School announced today. The investigation, titled "Law and Disorder," revealed details of police shootings of at least 10 persons in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. In addition to Jennings, reporters included Gordon Russell, Laura Maggi and Brendan McCarthy of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, A.C. Thompson of public interest journalism site ProPublica, along with support from the Nation Institute, a progressive think tank supporting freedom of the press. The winner of six project finalists will be announced at a March 23 ceremony at Harvard. The award is intended, according to the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, to "recognize and encourage journalism which promotes more effective and ethical conduct of government, the making of public policy, or the practice of politics by disclosing excessive secrecy, impropriety and mismanagement, or instances of particularly commendable government performance." Finalists get $10,000, and the winner, $25,000.

Public broadcasting obituaries

Greg Shanley, 49, longtime news director, producer and show host for Iowa Public Radio, died Tuesday night at University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City, according to the Des Moines Register. He was hired in 1987 as a producer/reporter, and served as local host of Morning Edition before moving into the director post. Other obituaries in Current: Carlos Sena of KSUT in Colorado; Robben Fleming, former CPB Board president; and Lillie Herndon, who served on the boards of PBS and CPB.