Jul 29, 2008

Sen. Ted Stevens indicted

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the longest serving GOP senator in U.S. history and a longtime pubcasting advocate, was indicted on federal corruption charges tied to his relationship with an Alaska oil exec. According to Senate Republican rules, Stevens will have to give up his position as vice chairman of the influential Commerce Committee, among other leadership positions, the New York Times reports.

Backlash against Garfield's take on online commenters

Bob Garfield tells On the Media listeners what he really thinks about the "frustrating, maddening and extremely discouraging" online feedback he often receives from anonymous commenters and gets an earful from Ira Glass. Then, the social media consultant and blogger Derek Powazek weighs in: "Comments online are just like conversations in newsrooms - sloppy and stupid and often wrong. But they’re the raw stuff that great journalism starts from."

Network builder Jack McBride dies

One of public broadcasting's master builders, Nebraska's Jack McBride, died Monday from complications of lung surgery, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. He was 82. McBride was the first employee of the University of Nebraska's TV department in 1953, put KUON on-air in 1954, won funding for a nine-station NET network in 1963, and added radio, a national school-video distributor, an intensive experiment with interactive videodiscs and many other ventures, serving until retirement until 1996. In 1990, NET was the first state net to lease a satellite channel to serve schools; today it has 303 downlinks across the state, according to the network. "There wasn't anyone better at looking into the future," said longtime program chief Ron Hull. "Jack was an absolute dynamo." Regional network chief Jim Fellows, presenting a Carpe Diem award to McBride, observed: "If Jack McBride didn't see an opportunity to seize, he created it and then seized it." A celebration of McBride's life is set for Friday, Aug. 1, 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln.