Public radio news veteran Michael Marcotte acknowledges feeling conflicted by the proposal by Minnesota Public Radio founder Bill Kling to cut institutional ties between universities and public radio stations. As a former news director, reporter, anchor for more than one university-owned NPR outlet, Marcotte writes in a blog post that he understands the simplicity of Kling's argument – "Universities have different missions than public radio stations, so their goals clash."
"I have spent many an hour working on heat-shield policies, ethics statements, codes of editorial independence, etc. toward fortifying journalism at university licensees. This is because Kling’s point has its basis and I’ve [known] many news directors who needed back-up. ... At the end of the day, I refuse to believe that university licensees are structurally compromised in their editorial integrity. And I believe Mr. Kling has some self-interest in play — hoping to pick off a few more stations for his empire."
Marcotte wrote his critique as a contributor to Carnival of Journalism, a revived blog that relaunched this month with a discussion of the role of universities as journalism hubs.