Apr 25, 2011

KCET finalizes sale of studio lot to Church of Scientology

KCET has completed the sale of its historic Sunset Boulevard studio lot to the Church of Scientology for an undisclosed sum. Al Jerome, president of the station that left PBS in January, said it will remain on the property for another year.

PBS, NPR explore possibilities of new Storify website

PBS and NPR were among news outlets that gave the Storify website a test run before its public launch today (April 25), according to the New York Times. Storify is one of several new sites (including Storyful and  Tumblr) that are developing ways to help journalists sift through online content and publish the most relevant information. NPR Twitter guru Andy Carvin, who recently drew raves from the online world for his social networking coverage of revolutions in the Middle East and northern Africa, first used Storify to cover the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January. “It quickly evolved into looking at how people were discussing the media coverage surrounding it and its potential political impact,” Carvin, senior strategist on NPR’s social media desk, told the Times. “There’s a big need for tools that allow people to collect bits of social media context and organize them in some fashion.”

WNET bids to manage NJN

WNET in New York City has submitted a bid to manage the television side of the New Jersey Network, "and is expecting to hear back next week," the Wall Street Journal is reporting (third item).The network has been in play since last year (Current, July 6, 2010), when Gov. Chris Christie decided the state must end its $11 million subsidy due to budget constraints. The Journal says other pubcasting stations interested in the network include WHYY in Philadelphia, and local groups such as WBGO, the Newark NPR affiliate. Transfer of NJN has been set for July 1. The state is seeking bidders to manage the TV network, and purchase or manage the radio network.

Louisville's WFPL drops local talk show, plans newsroom expansion

Louisville Public Media's WFPL is replacing its local midday talk program State of Affairs with Here & Now, the nationally syndicated show from WBUR in Boston. With the switch, WFPL plans to put more emphasis on in-depth news reporting and interviews that can be aired within Here & Now and other national programs.

The local news inserts "will be sort of like State of Affairs interviews except they will be a little shorter,” Todd Mundt, chief content officer, tells the Louisville Courier-Journal. “This allows us to delve into topics that maybe wouldn't get an hour but they're still important.” The WFPL news team also will report on important local topics for occasional hour-long news specials, which will preempt national shows.

The schedule change is part of a planned expansion of WFPL's news team, according to the Courier-Journal. State of Affairs host Julie Kredens continues to contribute to WFPL news programs, including State of the News, a news analysis show that held onto its Friday 1 p.m. timeslot.

NPR News reports on Gitmo detainees

NPR News is reporting new details about detainees from the U.S. military's Guantanamo Bay prison. A series of investigative reports, mined from secret documents leaked last year to WikiLeaks, were published last night on; NPR correspondents Tom Gjelten, Dina Temple-Raston and Margot Williams will report more findings on NPR News programs throughout the day. The New York Times, which received the cache of classified military documents from an anonymous source, shared them with NPR.

Huffington Post reports behind-the-scenes details of the race among major news outlets to publish their findings from the WikiLeaks Gitmo documents. Both the New York Times and NPR benefited from the expertise of Margot Williams, a former Times reporter now working in NPR's investigations unit. Williams, who maintained the Times database on Gitmo and continued to work on it after leaving the paper, has "absolutely encyclopedic" knowledge of the prisoners held there, NPR Executive Editor Dick Meyers tells HuffPo.

Meyers also responds to government officials who criticized news organizations for publishing the classified documents. "It's incredibly valuable and important material in giving insight into who the U.S. government has detained at Guantanamo Bay, who they've released, who is still there and why they're still there," Meyers said. "What are the problems with releasing them? What are the problems with putting them through any kind of trial or tribunal?"

"We are confident in reporting on them that we are not compromising national security or any methods or sources of intelligence gathering," he added.