Mar 31, 2003

NPR's round-the-clock war coverage has some listeners restless. "You're neither Fox nor CNN, and shouldn't pretend or aspire to be," writes one. But NPR ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin writes that NPR's "normal" coverage may not resume for some time--and may really have ended Sept. 11, 2001.
"When real drama is going on in the world, people are less interested in watching the drama created in reality television shows." The New York Times reports on how the Iraq war is affecting the reality genre.
"I got writers' block. I had no ideas whatever. It was like a mild depression." The Los Angeles Times profiles British television dramatist Andrew Davies. The conclusion of his latest adaptation, George Eliot's Daniel Deronda, airs on Masterpiece Theatre tonight.

Mar 28, 2003

War coverage on NPR calls for sensitive music selection and a possible cutback on April 1 hijinks, reports the L.A. Times.
Satirist Barry Crimmins details his square-peg encounter with public radio's On Point: "That's right; NPR was soliciting me to satirize democracy for showing signs of vibrancy."

Mar 27, 2003

Does it make sense to stop advertising during war? Two pubcasters weigh in on the question posed by an opinion poll.
Radio-Television News Directors Association announced regional winners of its 2003 Edward R. Murrow Awards.
The "cover-all-sides style" of the BBC's war coverage has brought "a steady fusillade of criticism," reports Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post. Nearly 230 public TV stations carry BBC World, a global news broadcast.

Mar 26, 2003

War led organizers to postpone nationwide protests of NPR's Middle East coverage. Scheduled for tomorrow, the protests were to take place at NPR member stations.
Laura Rothenberg, 22, died last week after her body rejected a new pair of lungs. Rothenberg recorded an audio diary of her struggle with cystic fibrosis and the resulting piece aired on NPR's All Things Considered. Producer Joe Richman remembered her, as did The New York Times.
Northern Michigan University is cutting its budget in response to state financial woes--and its public TV and radio stations are on the chopping block.

Mar 25, 2003

Bill Moyers' Becoming American: The Chinese Experience is a "model documentary that gets almost everything right," says a New York Times reviewer. "It crams nearly two centuries of tangled Chinese-American history into a few engrossing hours while remaining surprisingly light on its feet."
An anti-war activist believes he was dismissed by NPR's Scott Simon in a recent on-air interview.

Mar 24, 2003

Pacifica continues to land coverage with its antiwar slant, an oddity on any radio dial, this time with a write-up in the Wall Street Journal.

Mar 20, 2003

Two public radio news directors are among the journalists who tell the Poynter Institute's Jill Geisler how they're covering the war. And MJ Bear, former v.p. of online at NPR, is reviewing war coverage on her site.
The NewsHour performs "a quadruple double correction with three half-twists" for Fox News Sunday With Tony Snow, reports the Washington Post. (Scroll down.) Online NewsHour posted the correction with transcripts and real audio of Terence Smith's original report.

Mar 19, 2003

A Mighty Wind, the latest improv comedy from Christopher Guest (Waiting for Guffman, Best of Show), culminates with a spoof of a public television special. Harry Shearer, host of public radio's Le Show, also stars.
Following in the footsteps of This American Life, To the Best Of Our Knowledge goes Hollywood. Listen to the trailer for TTBOOK: The Movie. (RealAudio required.)

Mar 18, 2003

For now, at least, NPR is keeping correspondent Anne Garrels in Baghdad, reports The Washington Post.
On the Media's Bob Garfield had a little run-in with Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson--over a bagel.

Mar 17, 2003

Time reviews NPR's growth and touches on a few of the other biggies in the field.
NPR ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin says NPR commentaries have excluded expressions of "unabashed and unconditional support (and there is lot of it) for the administration" and war against Iraq. (Dvorkin's column now appears weekly--catch up in the archive.)
The New York Times previews Domestic Violence, a Frederick Wiseman documentary that airs this week on PBS stations. "Mr. Wiseman subscribes to the "give them enough rope" philosophy: let anyone talk long enough, and they will sooner or later reveal themselves," writes David Edelstein. "He provides the longest ropes in the business."
American Masters profiles Alice Waters, the cook and restaurateur who "made it possible to feel progressive while eating really good food in really nice places." The New York Times previews the documentary, which airs on PBS stations March 20.

Mar 14, 2003

The Los Angeles Times focuses on the polar-opposite views local listeners can get from Pacifica's KPFK and its hawkish right-wing neighbors on AM.
Burton Paulu passed away March 8 at the age of 92, report The Star Tribune and The Minnesota Daily. Paulu directed KUOM in Minneapolis, led the National Association of Educational Broadcasters and pioneered in educational radio.
The Seattle Weekly looks again at KCTS's precarious financial situation, and rants against the "sordid tricks" the station turns to at pledge-time.

Mar 12, 2003

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) takes issue with NPR's coverage of a bombing in Israel earlier this month.
"Let's call it what it is: It's 'state television,' with all that implies," writes Roger Smith in a harsh critique of public TV at (a website edited by John Moyers--son of Bill).
PBS is negotiating deals for distribution of its kids and primetime programming via cable's video-on-demand platforms, according to Deron Triff, PBS's v.p. of digital ventures, in an interview with Tracy Swedlow's Interactive TV Today.

Mar 11, 2003

Mar 10, 2003

More public radio stations than ever could change hands this year, reports an Associated Press article spurred by KQED's recent acquisition in Sacramento.
Frontline's producers objected to similarities between their PBS public affairs documentary series and the ABC reality show, Profiles From the Front Line, reports the Boston Globe. [scroll down to third story]
"What Mr. Rogers could have taught Michael Jackson" in Sunday's New York Times.
J.J. Yore, new v.p. of programming at Marketplace Productions, hopes to collaborate with L.A. station KPCC on projects such as a series about pop culture, reports the L.A. Times.
The Washington Post profiles Amy Goodman, host of Pacifica's Democracy Now!: "Her Edward R. Murrow comes always with a twist of Emma Goldman." Goodman was also in the news when she was arrested at a anti-war protest at the White House. Pro-peace reporting from Goodman and others increased Pacifica's take in its latest round of fund drives. Not surprisingly, Pacifica's news probably soothes more minds than it changes, notes a Houston Chronicle article.

Mar 7, 2003

The FCC changed the dates of this month's filing windows for translator applications. (PDF, Word, text.)
Ad agencies seeking soundtracks to hypnotize consumers have found a hipness pass in Santa Monica's KCRW-FM, reports Business 2.0.
Inspired by public radio stations on Cape Cod, KPLU in Tacoma, Wash., has started its own "KPLU Soundscapes."

Mar 3, 2003

"Reality TV has pushed the envelope so far that An American Family seems almost quaint," said Alan Raymond, co-director of the 1973 PBS reality series, in the New York Times.