WPSU developing Editorial Integrity Advisory Committee as it navigates scandal coverage

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In reaction to the Penn State University athletic department’s ongoing sex abuse scandal, WPSU General Manager Ted Krichels is organizing an Editorial Integrity Advisory Committee for the station, which is licensed to the college, reports CPB Ombudsman Joel Kaplan. “WPSU, like many public broadcasting outlets, is inextricably tied to the university where it is located, and which also holds its license,” Kaplan writes; WPSU is also a news operation. “There is no indication that any pressure was brought to bear” on the newsroom over the scandal coverage, Kaplan notes, “but there is a fear inside WPSU that there is a public perception that WPSU is an auxiliary arm of Penn State.” Krichels invited administrators, faculty from Penn’s College of Communication, WPSU reporters and producers and Kaplan to the committee’s first meeting. The group plans to meet again next month, Kaplan said, adding that the initiative could grow into a template for other university-affiliated pubcasting stations.

Krichels is also helping guide the systemwide Editorial Integrity for Public Media initiative (Current, April 4, 2011).