Jul 28, 2009

Pubradio reporter resigns over blog kerfuffle

A personal blog in which a public radio reporter ranted about her remote Alaska town has prompted her departure from NPR member station KDLG-AM in Dillingham (population: 4,933). Eileen Goode resigned Monday after complaints from locals about her blog, "I'm in Dillingham Alaska -- What's Your Excuse?" The station received about three dozen email and phone complaints after someone took notice of the blog and emailed passages to residents. In the blog, Goode writes about everything from a colleague's lack of underwear ("my co-worker goes commando, and apparently has been doing so for some time") to, as The Anchorage Daily News noted, "a surreal 5,000-word rant about whether she should cut her toe off." Goode has reported for KDLG since December 2007. The station, which reaches about 7,000 listeners, broadcasts from the local high school.

"Trader" doc is online, then gone

Trader: The Documentary, which aired on PBS in 1987, was momentarily posted on YouTube thanks to an anonymous user who uploaded the film in seven parts. The doc profiles Paul Tudor Jones II, 32 at the time, who is now a billionaire hedge-fund manager. Jones asked the director, Michael Glyn, to remove the film from circulation in the 1990s. Why? According to an October 2007 New York Times story, "It is no surprise that Mr. Jones wants some distance from that version of himself. He was a bit of a cowboy, out to prove he was the best. Now, 20 years later, he sits atop the new hedge fund rich. He is married to a former model from Australia, has a mansion in Greenwich, Conn., and owns a big-game reserve in Tanzania." It's also no surprise that traders continue to mine the few copies in circulation for investment tips. By the time the The New York Times DealBook blog reported on the YouTube posts today, Glyn had managed to yank the film from that site. Much more about the doc here, on trader John Forman's blog. And the site Video Media Online claims to have copies available for $299.

Wait wait, let's peek into the show

All the preparation that goes into an episode of NPR's Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! is on display thanks to The Chicago Tribune's behind-the-scenes story on the popular show. If you happen to be in the Windy City wandering around Navy Pier you may catch a glimpse of a staffer. The show's offices are "a collection of cubicles on the second floor of Chicago Public Radio's Navy Pier offices," the paper says, noting that the Wait Wait employees "are the ones dressed more like bicycle messengers." Host Peter Sagal describes the process of creating a weekly episode as "the typing and the staring." And, for this particular week, there's a lot of attention paid to the Garfield cartoon character and his connection to Chinese porn. Really.

The downsides of philanthropically supported journalism

NPR President Vivian Schiller and former NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin throw cold water on the idea that philanthropic support can save ailing newspapers. Schiller tells Newsweek: "I laugh when I see that. The notion is that you declare yourself not for profit, and poof, all of your problems go away....It's incredibly naive." Dvorkin blogs: NPR's Science desk has been an "astonishing magnet for philanthropies," so much so that science reporting came to be overrepresented in NPR's overall news coverage. "It was always more difficult to raise money for covering Washington. Or the Middle East. Or any other subject that could be controversial. Science was safe. Or safe enough."