Aug 15, 2011

Upcoming symposium to continue examination of local news flow

Loris Ann Taylor, executive director of Native Public Media, appears in one of a dozen videos on the Information Stories website, which features short narratives about what happens when local news and related information doesn't flow to all members of a community equally well. The project was created by Ohio State University law professor Peter Shane and Columbus, Ohio-based filmmaker Liv Gjestvang, who recruited participants nationwide to share their experiences during a digital storytelling workshop last summer. Taylor discusses how her dedication to bringing broadband to Indian country is rooted in her childhood experience of media impoverishment.

Shane and I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society, an academic journal he helped to found at Ohio State, are hosting a symposium next March, “The Future of Online Journalism: News, Community and Democracy in the Digital Age," to further explore the capacity of new media to serve the information needs of a democracy. Keynote speakers include Paul Steiger, president of nonprofit investigative news unit ProPublica, and Steven Waldman, lead author of the Federal Communication Commission's "Information Needs of Communities" report.

KQED now sharing content with local print outlets and Huffington Post

KQED is embarking on two new collaborations, with Networked Journalism and the Huffington Post.

It's the first pubcasting organization to join the Networked Journalism program, which connects broadcast and print news outlets with local online news sites. KQED will collaborate with San Francisco-area news outlets Berkeleyside, Oakland Local, NeighborWebSJ and the San Francisco Public Press to cover community news. Jo Anne Wallace, vice president and general manager of KQED Public Radio, said in a statement that the initiative gives the station an opportunity to offer "a more diverse, more in-depth news service for our respective online news readers and radio listeners.” Networked Journalism is a national effort founded by J Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism of American University's School of Communication; that school is also home to Current.

For the Huffington Post partnership, KQED provides stories from its popular food blog, Bay Area Bites, to HuffPo’s enhanced San Francisco coverage. “If it is something that they want to take, they will then look at their percentage and determine if they owe us a link or if they can take it for a post,” Ian Hill, KQED’s online community engagement specialist, told Nieman Journalism Lab. “The links, from our perspective, are really the things that drive traffic. The posts are great for … reaching a new audience and maybe putting our content out in front of Huffington Post readers who may not know about Bay Area Bites.”

Man who threatened ATC hosts gets 46 months in prison

John Crosby, who plead guilty in April to sending violent threats to two NPR hosts through the network's website, was sentenced on Aug. 12 in Portland, Maine, to 46 months in a prison facility that offers mental health treatment. In January, Crosby sent more than 20 messages containing anti-Semitic and misogynistic terms targeting All Things Considered hosts Melissa Block and Guy Raz. In court last Friday, Crosby described being unemployed, worried about his newborn twins and sleeping in his car. He said he felt NPR was not doing a good job covering the economic situation. "I am not alone. I'm obviously alone in being someone who dealt with my anger and stress in an odd way," Crosby said. "For that, I'm sorry." Crosby also will have three years of court supervision after his release.

Norman Lear Award goes to Latino Public Broadcasting

Latino Public Broadcasting was honored with the prestigious Norman Lear Award at the 26th Annual Imagen Awards gala on Aug 12 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. The honor is presented annually to a Latino writer or entity that has "excelled creatively to dispel negative stereotypes and perceptions of the Latino community," LPB said in a statement. Latino Public Broadcasting Executive Director Sandie Viquez Pedlow and LPB founder and Chairman of the Board Edward James Olmos accepted the award. A complete list of Imagen Award winners is here.

Dyson's popularity triggers discussion among African-American TV news journalists

Michael Eric Dyson, a Georgetown University professor and ordained minister with his own pubradio show from WEAA in Baltimore, scored high ratings last week when he took over hosting duties on MSNBC's The Ed Schultz Show, according to the Daily Beast. Dyson has been a regular guest on MSNBC and other networks for years, it notes, and, like the Rev. Al Sharpton, "was automatically considered the perfect guest host for primetime duties while Schultz was on assignment." Now some observers are wondering if Dyson and Sharpton "may just be the new African-American faces of primetime news."

“Dyson dominates the pulpit, the classroom, and really, every arena he’s in, so of course audiences are drawn to him,” says James Peterson, director of Africana studies at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.

But the ascent of Sharpton and Dyson within the TV news industry also is raising concerns among African-American journalists, who have struggled for years to get onto major networks during primetime only to now encounter more celebrity-hosted shows. “There is tons of black talent out there that could be used in those positions, but the networks won’t look to those journalists," said Roland Martin, former secretary of the National Association of Black Journalists and CNN political contributor. "They don’t want young journalists they can train and put in that spot.”

The Michael Eric Dyson Show launched around the same time as another public radio offering, Upfront with Tony Cox, hosted by a veteran news broadcaster. Support for the two shows split the African American Public Radio Consortium, which ultimately backed Cox's show (Current, Oct. 13, 2009). Upfront aired its last show on May 14, 2010. "I had big hopes for this show," Cox wrote in his farewell note. "And everything I could possibly have asked for came true … except the money."

Public broadcasting in Canada facing challenges at age 75

The public Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is approaching its 75th anniversary. "The old dilemma — how to create original Canadian shows when it is much cheaper to pick up popular American ones — now has a new urgency," reports the Globe and Mail. As commercial and international choices proliferate, it notes, a public broadcaster of Canadian programming becomes more distinctive and more relevant, not less. “It is going to be increasingly difficult to create content within the confines of national boundaries and national models,” media consultant Jerry Brown, an associate partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, told the paper. “[Yet] it’s vitally important each culture and each country tell its own story."

The paper notes that whether the CBC will become "painfully isolated or gloriously distinctive, though, depends on how successfully it positions itself as the first source of Canadian choices in a digital age, and whether its government and its audience help it embrace that role."

There's also a sidebar on how the CBC compares with other pubcasters worldwide, including PBS.