May 14, 2012

CBC Radio introduces 40 new web, mobile stations

According to a report in Radio World, CBC Radio, Canada's public broadcaster, has just launched a full slate of free online radio stations in an effort to diversify its online music offerings.

The 40 stations are organized by genre (classical, jazz, hip hop, aboriginal) and are available to stream in both the U.S. and Canada 24/7 at

CBC Radio's online music portal. Screenshot by Rhys Heyden.

Though the music is predominantly Canadian, and the stations are aimed at the Canadian market, U.S. radio fans can also listen in.

Steve Pratt, CBC's director of digital music, told Radio World that the stations attracted more than 200,000 unique hits in their first week of existence, also racking up 1 million page views and 600,000 audio streams.

CBC Radio already offered music on its "Radio 2" and "Radio 3" channels, but " serve Canadians properly we need more bandwidth than Radios 2 and 3 can offer," said Pratt.

Fallout of Apple controversy on "This American Life": Sedaris now under scrutiny

In the wake of problems with Mike Daisey's Apple factory stories on This American Life, the work of author David Sedaris on the show "is undergoing new scrutiny," reports the Washington Post.

"The immediate question," notes writer Paul Farhi, "is whether Sedaris’s stories are, strictly speaking, true — an important consideration for journalistic organizations such as NPR and programs such as This American Life. A secondary consideration is what, if any, kind of disclosure such programs owe their listeners when broadcasting Sedaris’s brand of humor."

Ira Glass told the Post that no one at TAL was concerned about Sedaris before the problems with Daisey's reporting. “We just assumed the audience was sophisticated enough to tell that this guy is making jokes and that there was a different level of journalistic scrutiny that we and they should apply,” he said.

But now, Glass said three responses are being considered: fact-checking each of Sedaris’s segments, informing the audience that the stories contain “exaggerations,” or doing nothing.

Edward Schumacher-Matos, NPR ombudsman, told the newspaper he supports informing the audience. “When you have so much questioning of what’s real, fair, subjective and accurate in the news media, it doesn’t help to have [a segment] on a news program that gives no indication that some liberties have been taken,” he said. “I do think some kind of flag or label or introduction would be appropriate.”

Voice of San Diego membership model "more of a formal relationship"

Here's a look at the Voice of San Diego's innovative membership program, "a unique model that raises community engagement to a new level while helping to bring in a different revenue source to the news organization," according to The Hub, an online resource for nonprofit journalism from the Investigative News Network.

Members select one of four levels, each with a different set of benefits such as invitations to member coffees. The program is now in its fifth week and has 1,172 members, with a goal of 5,000 by the end of the year.

“It’s a little bit more aggressive than traditional public radio’s definition of members," said Scott Lewis, c.e.o. of Voice of San Diego. "Except at the higher levels, they [public radio] have rarely outlined the kind of events and benefits that come from being a member other than the producer’s club level. I think our model is similar to a museum or zoo in the sense that it’s a more formal relationship with members. It’s something I have been working on for years where membership is a mission-based curriculum as opposed to benefits being ancillary or not associated to the membership like a tote bag.”