May 19, 2009

Nieman Fellows include pubcasters

Two pubcasters been named Nieman Fellows for 2010, and will be traveling to Harvard University for a year of study, seminars and special events. WBUR's Massachusetts statehouse reporter Martha Bebinger will focus on the politics of reducing health-care spending. Lisa Mullins, an anchor and senior producer on Public Radio International’s The World, will assess diplomacy in U.S. foreign policy during the first 16 months of the Obama administration. Administered since 1938 by the Nieman Foundation, this is the oldest and most prestigious midcareer fellowship program for journalists.

FCC to examine Arbitron ratings method

The Federal Communications Commission has launched an inquiry into Arbitron's Portable People Meter, the ratings methodology scheduled to roll-out in the top 50 markets by next summer. The commission is responding to concerns of "broadcasters, media organizations and others" about how the PPM methodology affects ratings of stations targeting minority audiences, according to the notice of public inquiry released yesterday. "I want to emphasize that this proceeding is not about preserving the status quo or inhibiting technological progress," said Michael Copps, FCC acting chairman, in a statement posted here. "To the contrary, Arbitron should be commended for trying to improve its ratings methodology and for committing significant resources to that effort."

Mississippi Public Broadcasting director to retire

Marie Antoon has announced plans to retire as executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting. "Everything is going so well, it's a great time to make a change," she told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. "I believe I'll take a little mental break and see what happens next." Under her leadership since 2002, MPB has taken on co-production of the award-winning children's series Between the Lions, beefed up production of local television and radio programs, and expanded its radio news operation. The MPB Board aims to hire a successor before Antoon's departure in August.

Director discusses filming in Africa

In the latest Independent, the online mag covering the indie film community, David E. Simpson discusses the challenges of filming overseas. The producer, director and editor's latest project, the doc Milking the Rhino, was filmed on location in Africa. The film, currently airing on Independent Lens, recently screened at the Boston International Film Festival, and has been winning praise at festivals from Honolulu to Jerusalem.