Aug 16, 2010

Live this week: News forum from Aspen Institute

The Forum on Communications and Society at the Aspen Institute is live from around 8 a.m. to noon Mountain Standard Time today (Aug. 21), Tuesday and Wednesday. Several pubcasting leaders are participating in the event, "News Cities: The Next Generation of Healthy Informed Communities," on how the changing landscape of journalism could be molded to better serve citizens. Twitter hashtag, #FOCAS10.

Kling to FCC: protect public service on the Internet

Google and Verizon's proposal to regulate the Internet "could force many users of the information superhighway onto a dusty back road," including public media, writes American Public Media President Bill Kling in a letter to the Washington Post. "Just as the Federal Communications Commission acted decisively to set aside public broadcasting channels in 1945, it must flex its muscle now to ensure that the Internet continues to play a public service role. The FCC and Congress should carefully and creatively explore options that allow telecom and Internet giants to succeed, while assuring that public service media continue to thrive. Not doing so could mean that the best years of public broadcasting are behind us."

Carolyn Jensen Chadwick, producer of Radio Expeditions

Carolyn Jensen Chadwick, a producer who created sound-rich, evocative stories that once defined the NPR listening experience, passed away yesterday. With her husband Alex she co-founded NPR’s Radio Expeditions and produced the Interviews 50 Cents films, according to Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices. Golding has assembled and posted a memorial collection of Jensen's stories and photographs.

UNC-TV reporter, researcher solicited and accepted money from anti-Aloca group

A researcher working with UNC-TV reporter Eszter Vajda, who is investigating Alcoa's dam licensing and associated environmental issues in North Carolina, asked for and received money from anti-Alcoa forces to continue assisting her, the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., is reporting. Former House Speaker Richard Morgan, who works for the N.C. Water Rights Committee, gave $3,000 to Vajda's longtime friend Martin Sansone. Vajda had told Current in an interview in July that in the midst of her reporting, Sansone flew in for a visit, "and he's still here because the project is so big and he's been an integral part of the research." But according to the newspaper, Vajda and Sansone, a citizen of Great Britain, solicited the money for his travel and living expenses during a meeting with Morgan and several others connected to the water rights committee.

The station and Vajda have come under fire over the past few months from local news organizations and national freedom of the press experts for turning over reams of reporting documents and unaired footage on the story to an investigative committee of the General Assembly. Original Current story here, subsequent updates here.