Aug 2, 2010

Newsical chairs in White House briefing room finally ends

Sorry, pubcasters, NPR has lost the Great White House Briefing Room Front-Center Chair Scramble of 2010. To review: Legendary newswoman Helen Thomas resigned on June 7. NPR applied for the much-coveted chair. Two progressive online groups began petitions to persuade the White House Correspondents Association to give the chair to NPR. Then NPR denied knowing anything about the petitions. And now, finally, the decision: The Associated Press gets Thomas's chair, Fox News moves to fill AP's old front-row seat, and NPR takes Fox's second-row seat. That's next to Bloomberg, for anyone still erasing and updating their seating chart.

And for those of you who cannot fathom that this is all over, who are still yearning for more details, here is -- and we are not joking -- a 1,000-word analysis of how it happened from the Columbia Journalism Review. Enjoy.

Schorr prize offered to rising young journalists

One of the legacies inspired by the late broadcast journalist's career is the Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize, now seeking contenders for the ninth year. Boston's WBUR will award the $5,000 prize to the journalist, age 35 or younger (as of June 30, 2010) who's principally responsible for a news story or segment "of significance and quality  . . . that celebrates the new generation of journalists in public radio" (that aired the 12 months before that date on a CPB-qualified pubradio station.) One entry per journalist. Entry deadline: Sept. 17. Details here.

WGBH chooses new broadband/interactive vice president

Alexis Rapo, formerly of Disney-ABC, began work today (Aug. 2) as vice president, broadband and interactive media, for WGBH, the Boston station announced. She'll take the lead in shaping WGBH's digital product and service strategy, including new formats and platforms. Rapo is credited with the creation of several "industry first" technical innovations at ABC, the station statement said, including first network to offer episodes on iTunes (in 2005), and first to stream ad-supported full episodes online (May 2006). She won an Emmy in 2006 for interactive television and programming.

Public Insight Network to be tailored for Spanish-speaking sources in Miami

The Miami Herald and WLRN-FM have joined American Public Media's Public Insight Network, the citizen journalism system for tapping audience members as sources. The Herald, an editorial partner with WLRN's newsroom since 2000, is the first major daily newspaper to join the web-powered sourcing system. The partners plan to tailor their network for Spanish-speaking audiences. "Our participation in the Public Insight Network will be personalized to the communities we serve, and will include a bilingual user interface to ensure we're interacting with all of our readers and listeners," says Rick Hirsch, senior editor of multimedia for the Herald. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, helmed by former Miami Herald Publisher and PBS Board Chair Alberto Ibarg├╝en, provides funding to the Public Insight Network.

Look, up in the sky!

Three new Sesame Workshop series will premiere at MIPCOM in Cannes, France, Oct. 4-8, the Workshop announced today (Aug. 2). In the first, a furry Muppet fave dons a red cape and silver helmet to transform into Super Grover 2.0, who "observes, questions, investigates and reports" to young viewers. That will also run as segments on the international Sesame Street in the U.S. Also in the lineup is Count TV, hosted by Count von Count and ending with an animated Bert and Ernie singing and tap dancing about the number of the day. Goodnight, Elmo takes kids through the bedtime routine as Elmo and his dad say goodnight, put on pajamas and read a story -- and sometimes Elmo gets to make up his own tales. (Image: Sesame Workshop)