‘The Pub’ #45: Audible’s Martha Little says public media should be ‘feminized’

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Little (Photo: Audible)

Little (Photo: Audible)

Martha Little is only a couple months into her new job in commercial media, as senior producer for original content development at Audible. But she previously worked everywhere in public radio — Marketplace, NPR, WNYC, WBUR, America Abroad — and she has a recommendation for her old field.

Public media workplaces work better when they are “feminized,” she says, meaning when workplaces are flatter and more collaborative. That’s instead of being lorded over by an exalted boss, the conventional model she describes as more “masculine” (acknowledging that such gendered terms are merely a convenient shorthand).

“Just thinking about NPR, for example, I spent a few months there at All Things Considered, and you know, it felt in some ways fairly static in the lower levels, because there was so much waiting for someone above to make the shots,” Little told me on The Pub.

Also on the show this week:

  • Brooke Gladstone from WNYC’s On the Media helps me answer your random public media questions, including: Is it better to financially support your local station or the specific organizations that produce the shows you like?
  • With the help of an excellent package of stories by Current’s Ben Mook about executive compensation, I argue that big-time public media leaders make too much money. Not way too much money, but too much.

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We welcome your feedback on the show: You can reach me at adam@current.org or @aragusea on Twitter; my supervising producer at Current, Mike Janssen, is at mike@current.org; and you can contact Current generally at news@current.org or @currentpubmedia on Twitter.

If you’d like to offer a comment to be used in the program, please send on-mic tape (recorded in a studio, with a kit, a smartphone, anything) to adam@current.org either as an attachment or through Google Drive. Please keep it short!

Adam Ragusea hosts Current’s weekly podcast The Pub and is a journalist in residence and visiting assistant professor at Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism.

  • Mark Pugnar

    If you don’t get hate mail, you’re doing something wrong.