Kerger fancies newsgathering partnership with NPR

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PBS President Paula Kerger says the network is “thinking very carefully about what role we will play in news coverage moving forward,” adding that PBS continues to look at “different ways we can partner” with NPR. She spoke to blogger Leonard Witt, a media prof at Georgia’s Kennesaw State University after her speech at an Atlanta Press Club luncheon Dec. 3. One hurdle to PBS’ newsgathering capabilities: funding. The radio network has “made a huge commitment to newsgathering. And in part they’ve been able to do that because they were the beneficiaries of a substantial bequest from Joan Kroc,” a $200 million infusion that NPR received in November 2003. A wishful admission from Kerger: “I am looking for public television’s version of Joan Kroc.” Witt is an advocate of what he calls “Representative Journalism,” which involves citizen reporters, and thinks the model may suit PBS’ needs. Here is more coverage of Kerger’s Atlanta appearance.