Oct 10, 2011

KTWU-TV in Topeka uses live spiders and snakes for show on phobias

I've Got Issues, a community affairs program on KTWU-TV in Topeka, Kan., generally concentrates on the big picture: affordable healthcare, teacher pay, terrorism. But for its upcoming "Face Your Fears" episode Wednesday (Oct. 12), it's exploring the topic of phobias by bringing participants face to face with what they're most afraid of — such as big spiders and wriggly snakes, reports the local Capitol-Journal.

“We’re going to have some fun with it,” VanDerSluis said. “It’s going to be serious and quirky at the same time.”

Jared Gregg, coordinating producer, said the topic emerged during a brainstorming session when a staffer admitted being terrified of roller coasters.

Experts will appear on the show to explain phobias. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 8.7 percent of Americans, or 19.2 million persons, have a a phobia or anxiety-related disorder.

Hey pubradio stations: Got tunes for your pledge drive? You do now

WUWF Public Media in Pensacola, Fla., has compiled 12 songs singing the praises of pubradio for its Public Radio Song Project, and is offering the music free to stations in time for fall pledge drives.

Joe Vincenza, station manager and program director, came up with the idea about three years ago. "The collection of tunes took a little longer to gather than we originally thought since we were relying completely on the good intentions of the writers to pen, produce, and record a tune worthy of inclusion, without any monetary compensation from us," he told Current. "A lot of the artists coming through town said they loved the idea, but this group represents the ones who followed through and made the project a reality."

Such as Jack Norton and his jaunty Hot Dog! I Love Public Radio.

And Joe Peoples, who sings, "Well come on you all, dig a little deeper, this in NPR, you know we gotta keep her, and when they reach that goal they'll quit begging ... "

Vincenza said stations may include the tunes in pledge breaks, play them as a set, or use them in any way they'd like, during fundraising or anytime.

Stations may access the music directly at the Public Radio Song Project website. For more information contact Vincenza here.

Politico assesses funding realities for public radio under new NPR prez

NPR's choice of Gary Knell as its next c.e.o. signals that the biggest challenges ahead for public radio are all about funding, not journalism, according to Politico's Oct. 9 story on the appointment. By hiring the president of Sesame Workshop, the NPR Board went for a leader with "a long history of both defending the federal funding of public media and raising money," writes reporter Keach Hagey, who explores whether public radio would be better off without the congressional subsidies it receives through CPB.

Hagey quotes Jeff Jarvis, journalism professor and author who advocates for an end to congressional appropriations, even though the change would jeopardize small stations that rely heavily on federal aid. “The bottom line on the stations is they are as doomed as newspapers,” Jarvis said.