Jun 29, 2012

Free Press proposes new definition of pubmedia; GFEM renames itself

PHILADELPHIA — A new Free Press report released at this week’s annual Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media conference here envisions an expanded, more inclusive and better coordinated public media for America.

Craig Aaron, president of the media-reform group, presented “Greater Than the Sum: Creating Collaborative and Connected Public Media in America” Thursday (June 28) to some 100 media makers and funders.

Drawing from the report, Aaron proposed six categories for inclusion in a broader definition of public media:
  •  Noncoms such as NPR, PBS and Link TV;
  • Community media, including radio stations owned by local nonprofits and nonprofit online journalism projects;
  • Independent producers in film, radio, print and digital multimedia, such as the Association of Independents in Radio;
  • Independent nonprofit publications and websites, such Mother Jones and ProPublica;
  • Information media, including websites that aggregate information or offer informative interactive applications, such as SeeClickFix; and
  • Capacity-building organizations, like the National Center for Media Engagement, that provide resources and analysis for the field.
Aaron said that while he recognizes the hurdles in bringing the diverse groups under one umbrella, only through such collective action can public media access adequate funding and move forward.

In the meantime, GFEM itself is doing a little redefining. The group, an association of grantmakers working in the fields of media arts and public-interest media, unveiled a name change at the conference, meant to reflect its own broader mission. The organization will now be called Media Impact Funders. — Debra E. Blum

"Fresh Air" heading into Radio Hall of Fame

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the popular talk show from WHYY in Philadelphia and distributed by NPR, is being inducted into the Chicago-based Radio Hall of Fame, reports Chicago media writer Robert Feder. Other honorees, with details from Radio Info: Legendary shock jock Howard Stern; Cincinnati on-air personality Gary Burbank; Ron Chapman of Dallas; Art Laboe, who coined the phrase "oldies but goodies"; 90-year-old Luther Massingill, still on the air at WDEF in Chattanooga, Tenn., after more than 70 years; and a posthumous induction for Jack Cooper, an African-American announcer in Chicago in the 1930s. They'll all be honored at ceremonies Nov. 10 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, set for national telecast.

"No strip club on Sesame Street!"

Looks like WPBT2 in Miami may be getting a nudie bar as a new neighbor — literally on the road dubbed Sesame Street, where the station is located. The Miami Herald reports that Thursday night (June 28), the North Miami City Council lifted a ban on alcohol sales in strip clubs, which the owners of Sunny Isles Eatery had requested. They want to invest $2 million in a building next to the studio for the club.

A previous Herald story said Sunny Isles Eatery also ran Thee Dollhouse in Sunny Isle Beach, "where female dancers performed friction dances and participated in onstage showers with each other –– or with customers."

“For me this isn’t about adult entertainment and their [having a] right to exist. Of course they do," said WPBT2 President Rick Schneider. "This isn’t about morality or free speech.” Schneider said that children are often at the station. “Alcohol is what makes it problematic," Schneider said. "It’s the combination of alcohol sales at adult entertainment venues that creates a concern.”

A website from opponents declared, "No strip club on Sesame Street!"

Pubcasters form new group, Kentucky Public Radio Network

Pubradio stations in Kentucky have created the Kentucky Public Radio Network to promote statewide collaboration and advocate for public broadcasting, according to member station Louisville Public Media.

KPRN also will run public radio’s state capital bureau in Frankfort.

The founding officers are Donovan Reynolds, Louisville Public Media, board chair; Roger Duvall, WEKU, Richmond, vice-chair; Kate Lochte, WKMS, Murray, secretary; and Tom Godell, WUKY, Lexington, treasurer.

Other charter members of the organization are WKYU, Bowling Green; WMKY, Morehead; and WNKU, Highland Heights.