Jul 11, 2012

Host Pearson's son will succeed him on Iowa PTV's "Market to Market"

Iowa Public Television has selected Grinnell, Iowa, businessman and farmer Mike Pearson to take over for his late father, Mark, as the host of Market to Market, the network’s weekly national agribusiness series. The station said that Mike Pearson represents "the sixth generation of Pearsons rooted in Midwestern agriculture." After graduating from Winterset High School in 2003, he managed his family’s grain and livestock operation and provided market updates and news reports for WOI Radio in Ames, Iowa. He graduated from Simpson College and worked in banking in Grinnell. He and his wife, Heidi, still live there, "where they continue to build the Genuine Pearson Cattle Company brand," the station said. Mark Pearson hosted the program for the past 20 years until his death June 2. The show's original host, Chet Randolph, hosted for its first 17 years.

NPR says intern "made a mistake" in plagiarizing account of execution

NPR has removed a story from its website, and requested that member stations do the same, after learning portions of the text were plagiarized by an intern, according to the Poynter Institute.

In a note to stations, Margaret Low Smith, NPR’s senior v.p. for news, said the intern, Ahmad Shafi, arrived in D.C. after working for NPR as a producer and fixer in the network's Kabul, Afghanistan, bureau. After Shafi wrote a first-person account of witnessing an execution, published July 9, it came to NPR's attention that "portions of the piece were copied from a story by Jason Burke, published by the London Review of Books in March 2001," Smith wrote, adding that "we deeply regret" the incident.

"What happened is fairly simple: an intern made a mistake," NPR spokesperson Anna Christopher told Poynter. "English is not Shafi’s first language; it’s one of five he speaks. In writing about this execution he witnessed in 1998, he went looking for a better way to describe what he remembered seeing. When asked about the similar passages by our editors, he was completely upfront and honest, and deeply contrite."

Christopher said that Shafi is still at NPR but not writing for broadcast or the Web while his other work is reviewed. Shafi's byline is on some 15 stories on, dating to August 2011.

JPR, sister foundation again have same leader

The new interim executive director of Jefferson Public Radio in Oregon is now filling the same role at the network’s sister foundation, reports the Medford Mail Tribune. That’s despite the fact that Southern Oregon University, which owns some JPR stations, has previously objected to both organizations having the same leader. It recently dismissed Ron Kramer, JPR’s former executive director, to end a similar arrangement.

Paul Westhelle, now serving as JPR’s interim executive director, will be executive director of the JPR Foundation for 90 days. Kramer was dismissed as president of JPR effective July 1 and resigned as head of the JPR Foundation due to concerns about legal liability in an ongoing disagreement between the foundation and SOU (Current, June 25).

Meanwhile, the JPR Foundation has received a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for refurbishing new headquarters for JPR in Medford.