Apr 28, 2011

FCC receiving complaints on proposed sale of WMFE-TV

Several residents of the Orlando, Fla., area have contacted the Federal Communications Commission with their concerns about the sale of WMFE-TV (Current, April 18) to religious broadcaster Daystar, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Several noted that the community did not have advance warning of the sale, which WMFE management announced on April 1.

PBS NewsHour autism series stirs vaccine controversy

The PBS NewsHour's recent series on autism has reignited the debate on the role of vaccines in the childhood syndrome, reports the Los Angeles Times. It's a personal issue for former NewHour co-anchor Robert MacNeil: Viewers meet his grandson, Nick, who is on the autism spectrum.

Overseas Press Club Awards recognize five pubmedia reporting efforts

Public media outlets scored five honors in this year's Overseas Press Club Awards, announced today (April 28).

— The Lowell Thomas Award for radio news or interpretation of international affairs goes to David Baron, Patrick Cox and Sheri Fink of PRI’s The World for “Rationing Health: Who Lives? Who Decides?”

— The Carl Spielvogel Award for international reporting in the broadcast media showing a concern for the human condition goes to Landon van Soest and Jeremy Levine of Transient Pictures for American Documentary / P.O.V. on PBS, “Good Fortune,” on how efforts to eliminate poverty in Africa may be undermining communities.

— The Whitman Bassow Award for reporting in any medium on international environmental issues goes to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a project of the Center for Public Integrity, for “Looting the Seas: How Overfishing, Fraud and Negligence Plundered the Majestic Bluefin Tuna.”

The OPC Online Awards were presented for the first time this year. Winners include:

— The General Excellence Online Award for overall international coverage on a website goes to Dafna Linzer, Chisun Lee and Krista Kjellman-Schmidt of ProPublica for “The Detention Dilemma.”

— The Best Online Investigation of an International Issue or Event for coverage of a news event of international significance goes to Sebastian Rotella of ProPublica for “Mumbai Terror Attacks.”

The awards will be presented tonight by NBC News anchor Lester Holt at a dinner in New York.

A full list of the winners is here.

3D sound to premiere on Studio 360

Three-dimensional sound! That's what's coming this weekend on Studio 360 from PRI and WNYC. The show says in a statement that this will be "the exclusive radio debut of 3D sound."

"Until now, only a handful of audiophiles and industry insiders have had access to this emerging technology that makes surround sound seem ancient," it notes.

Host Kurt Anderson will be joined by Edgar Choueiri, a professor of applied physics at Princeton University, whose decades-long passion for recording technology led him to develop a digital filter that produces what he calls “pure stereo.” The filter will work on any stereo recording played through an ordinary pair of speakers. Andersen will give listeners instructions on placing their speakers to best appreciate the effect. They'll hear a fly buzzing 360 degrees around their heads, a roaring train pulling into a crowded station and a choral performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor.

Minnesota pubcasting fans gather for Public Radio Day at capitol

It was Public Radio Day at the Minnesota State Capitol Wednesday (April 27), as supporters gathered to ask legislators to continue funding Minnesota Public Radio. Standing in the rotunda, MPR founder and president Bill Kling told volunteers to wave their signs, bend the ears of legislators and "give them hell," according to the Star Tribune. The network is requesting $3.3 million over the next two years.