Dec 3, 2010

Fresno, Calif., PBS affiliate cuts three positions

ValleyPBS in Fresno, Calif., has eliminated three positions due to budget constraints, reports the local Business Journal. Paula Castadio, ValleyPBS c.e.o., said two receptionist positions were eliminated, in addition to the director of marketing. He said a drop in funding "across all fronts" led to the layoffs. "Our philosophy is to live within our means in the current environment," Castadio said. "We believe that's what our donors expect us to do."

NJN may stay on the air past Jan. 1 funding deadline, governor says

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has decided that the New Jersey Network may remain on the air after Jan. 1, when state funding for the network ends, in order to provide more time to work out NJN's future, he told the Star-Ledger. Christie proposed ending state support earlier this year (Current, July 6) and the legislature has been researching the situation since then. The state wants to retain ownership of the licenses and would like to use a consortium of broadcasters to provide content. Possible partners include WNET/Thirteen in New York City and WHYY in Philadelphia.

Deficit commission fails to pass plan that included ending CPB funding

The White House's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform fell short of the 14 members necessary to approve its plan for $4 trillion in cuts and tax increases over the next decade — which included killing off all funding for CPB. That means the plan will not move forward to the Senate for consideration. However, a majority of the panel, 11 members, did approve the proposal. President Barack Obama said the commission report "includes a number of specific proposals that I — along with my economic team — will study closely in the coming weeks as we develop our budget and our priorities for the coming year.”

P.O.V. and Adobe join to help young filmmakers create digital media docs

The Adobe Foundation's Adobe Youth Voices and the documentary series P.O.V. today (Dec. 3) launched Project VoiceScape, to fund middle- and high-school students to create nonfiction films using digital media tools. The projects will then stream on P.O.V.'s website. The PBS Teachers website will be the hub where educators can get advice from youth media experts on inspiring students to produce innovative content. That site also will also provide access to Adobe Youth Voices Essentials, a set of free curricula and resources.

Show on Burma's possible nuclear bomb sparks controversy, PBS ombudsman writes

An investigation over Burma's supposed work on a nuclear weapon by Need to Know and ProPublica has led to a "quiet explosion and some pretty toxic fallout" among those involved, writes PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler in today's (Dec. 2) column. The controversy was ignited by accusations between those supporting the "credibility and importance" of the allegations and the producers of the segment who are "raising the flag of caution."

"What's interesting here, aside from where the truth lies," he noted, "is that the dispute pits against each other people who formerly worked together, and involves well-respected journalistic enterprises and other organizations here and abroad that one would generally assume are on the side of the angels."