Nov 1, 2006

CPB's Bode not sure the NewsHour is as balanced as he thought

In his most recent report, CPB ombudsman Ken Bode looks at Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting's study of NewsHour guests, released Oct. 4, and sees merit in its criticisms. Noting a statement released by NewsHour e.p. Linda Winslow in response to the study (included in this Current article), Bode says, "I come away with the feeling that the folks at the NewsHour shouldn't seem so reflexively dismissive of the criticism this time." PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler's earlier take here.

NPR : A Daunting Challenge Awaits NPR Ombudsman

In his debut column as NPR's ombudsman, Bill Marimow surveys the work ahead of him. "Based on my conversations with Jeffrey Dvorkin, NPR's first ombudsman, who held the job for more than six years, I'll be doing a lot of listening," he writes.

MacNeil to host Crossroads project

Robert MacNeil, former co-anchor, with Jim Lehrer, of the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, will host next spring's America at a Crossroads series, the project's producing station, WETA in Arlington, Va., officially announced today. (See also the New York Times.) MacNeil, whose role with the series was also mentioned at last month's PBS Development Conference, will anchor the CPB-launched series and provide spot reporting as necessary. The 11 initial Crossroads docs, funded largely by $20 million in CPB grants, will air 9-11 p.m. (EST) nightly, April 15-20, and will explore the "challenges confronting the world post 9/11," according to WETA. First announced in 2004, the project was criticized last year by some system programmers and received press scrutiny during last year's CPB controversy for including ideologically skewed programs in its lineup. Project producers say all programs will be rigorously vetted and that the series will be balanced overall.