Nov 4, 2010

Revived web association IMA sets its conference at SXSW in Austin

After a hiatus and reorganization, Integrated Media Association will hold its 2011 conference on March 10 and 11 at the start of the insanely popular South by Southwest Interactive Festival in the preposterously cool Texas capital, IMA said today. The festival begins Friday, March 11 and runs through Tuesday, March 15. Saturday has been designated Public Media Day. IMA, now based at Public Broadcasting Atlanta and headed by Jeanne Ericson, former head of PBA's Lens on Atlanta portal, which is rebuilding its membership and looking for pubTV webheads to join, is selling IMA/SXSW tickets at a $300 discount to its members through January. In the meantime, IMA expects to have reps at the second annual National Public Media Camp, Saturday, Nov. 20 in Washington, and other meetings.

"Frontline" re-cuts segment with official after complaint from Interior Department

Frontline has re-cut a broadcast interview with an administration official in which one of his responses was used to answer a different question. Every reporter and editor knows that shouldn't be done, writes PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler. "That's just fundamental journalistic ethics," he notes.

Both the broadcast and transcript versions of Frontline's interview with Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, David J. Hayes are online in the latest Ombudsman Column.

After the show on the BP oil disaster, The Spill, ran on Oct. 26, Matt Lee-Ashley, communications director at Interior, complained to Frontline. An excerpt: "The version of the Frontline piece that appeared last night does not accurately reflect the transcript of the interview. Specifically, the piece substitutes one of David Hayes's answers for a different answer to a different question. The result of the editing is to make David Hayes appear evasive and as if he is passing the buck. This is an entirely unfair and inaccurate characterization of the Department's position and David Hayes' answer." 

Getler writes that Frontline Senior Editor Ken Dornstein "at first, had strongly defended Frontline in an initial response on Oct. 29 to Lee-Ashley's charges." But then on Tuesday (Nov. 2) she wrote to Lee-Ashley: "At issue here, we believe, is whether Frontline fairly and accurately represented the views of Deputy Secretary Hayes and the Department of Interior. We maintain that we did. However, in carefully reviewing the editing decisions in this case again, we have now concluded that using the second answer from later in the interview was not consistent with our past practices. So, even if the result was fair to Secretary Hayes, it's not a precedent we want to set. We are going to re-cut this exchange to restore Hayes' original answer to [producer/reporter Martin] Smith's question. We will post this version on our web site, along with an editor's note, and include it in all future broadcasts."

Production ending this season for "The Desert Speaks"

Arizona Public Media's The Desert Speaks, winner of 24 regional and national Emmys and distributed nationwide by American Public Television, is ending production. Tom Kleespie has produced the show since it began in 1989. "We've had a great run with the series, which has lasted longer than most national television series that started around the same time with the exception of The Simpsons," Kleespie told the Arizona Daily Star. The final episode airs in May; reruns will continue for at least four years.

KCET hires editor-in-chief to head up new community blogging operation

KCET is developing a community-based content and blogging operation, and has created a new position to oversee the work, it announced today. Zach Behrens is the new editor-in-chief and will report directly to Mary Mazur, KCET's chief content officer. For the past three years, Behrens has been editor-in-chief of LAist/Gothamist, where he oversaw operations (here's his farewell column) and was the lead writer for Behrens also has served as a communications and marketing consultant to MTV, Nike and the City of Santa Clarita. He begins work on Nov. 10. KCET departs the PBS network of affiliates on Jan. 1, 2011 (Current, Oct. 18).

NBR plans weekly segment on business of sports

Nightly Business Report today (Nov. 4) announced a new weekly feature, "Beyond the $coreboard," that "gives viewers in-depth analysis of the biggest sports stories of the day and what they mean for Wall Street." NBR is partnering with Rick Horrow, author of "Beyond the Box Score: An Insider's Guide to the $750 Billion Business of Sports" and is a visiting expert on sports law at Harvard Law School. His Miama-based Horrow Sports Ventures is a facility development advisor to teams, leagues, universities, government agencies, and nonprofits. Horrow has been a contributor to NBR since the 1980s, the announcement said.

CLARIFICATION: A spokeswoman for Harvard Law School said Horrow last participated in the Sports Law program at the university in 2006, and is not currently active there.