Programming in Brief: PRI launches women-focused initiative, WQXR offers Berlin concerts, and more

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Public Radio International will launch a multimedia program focused on women’s empowerment with a grant of about $1.28 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Across Women’s Lives is a “journalism and engagement initiative” examining the connection between women’s empowerment and health and economic development. The program highlights personal stories of women in Africa and India and looks at women’s lives from infancy to old age. The project’s content will be featured on PRI’s global news program The World and online.

Additional content includes short video documentaries and educational tools to help listeners learn more about the topics covered.

“Current coverage of women and girls is woefully inadequate and the opportunity to interact with and participate in content creation can be greater,” said PRI President Alisa Miller.

Editorial partners All Africa, Global Voices and the BBC World Service will republish content from Across Women’s Lives. — Teta Alim

New York-based WQXR is teaming up with the Berlin Philharmonic to air recorded concerts that have never been broadcast in the U.S. starting Oct. 7.

The 12-part series will give listeners a chance to hear the Berlin Philharmonic on its home turf, with concerts recorded live this year in Berlin. The two-hour weekly show will air on WQXR and be available for on-demand streaming on the station’s website.  – T.A.

Maryland Public Television has launched InvestBusters, a financial literacy web series for millennials.

The project was funded by a $25,000 grant from the Investment Corporation Institute Education Foundation. Representatives from state and local finance education organizations, including the Howard County Financial Education Alliance and the Maryland State Department of Education, formed an advisory board to guide the series’ content.

The three-minute videos address issues such as retirement myths and investing. The series is part of MPT’s ongoing $mart Thinking about Your Money initiative to teach financial literacy.

The videos are available on the initiative’s YouTube channel and website. – T.A.

PBS LearningMedia, the network’s online teacher-support resource, has added new digital tools for educators, more Spanish-language content and a student website.

Productivity tools for teachers include a lesson builder, storyboard and quiz maker to create interactive activities for students in the classroom or as homework assignments. PBS LearningMedia for Students at PBSstudents.org allows schoolchildren to locate, save and share their favorite resources and download for offline viewing.

More than 700 newly translated videos in Spanish include science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) content, as well as series including Ken Burns’ The Roosevelts.

The site has also been optimized for use on all screens and mobile devices.

The new tools will help teachers “encourage student creativity, and build inspiring lesson plans throughout this new school year,” Alicia Levi, v.p. of PBS LearningMedia, said at a Sept. 29 launch party in Baltimore. — Dru Sefton

NPR's Michel Martin

NPR’s Michel Martin

NPR is launching a series of live events nationwide hosted by Michel Martin, “convening the voices that need to be heard and making sure their stories are told,” according to the network.

NPR Presents Michel Martin will extend local conversations to the national dialogue through social media and related pieces on NPR newsmagazines and NPR.org.

The series premiered Sept. 19 with “A Broader Way,” looking at how a changing landscape on Broadway is challenging the traditionally white theater experience.

This month, Martin travels to Charlotte, N.C., to discuss voting rights. Future events will cover women and leadership, football and ethics, and children and immigration. — D.S.

The weekly newsmag European Journal from German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, which premiered on U.S. public television in 1982, becomes Focus on Europe Saturday.

The new title also brings a revamped set, a new host and a “more personal approach to events shaping Europe,” according to an announcement.

New host Damien McGuinness “will present stories about the people whose lives are being shaped by today’s events,” the announcement said, and will continue to work as a BBC foreign correspondent covering Germany and the Baltic States.

The program airs in 19 of the top 20 markets on channels including PBS World, MHz Worldview and KCET/Link-TV. The program was distributed by American Public Television until 2011, when Deutsche Welle took over distribution. — D.S.