With help from Spot.us donors, Louisville Public Media’s Erica Peterson reported on reported on the vast and growing pile of coal ash that comes between a power company and its neighbors. (Photo: LPM.)

Reporters go extra mile with funds from iCrowd

... There’s a lot of hype about crowdfunding — raising production money through a website. So far, the technique hasn’t been able to support full-time journalists, much less a beat, a substantial weekly program or a newsroom. But independent journalists, public media stations, newspapers and web startups all have had successes...

Mundt to NPR, APM lays off Alvarado, Pulitzer-winning cartoonist joins WHYY, and more…

NPR has hired Todd Mundt as editorial director for NPR Digital Services
In his new position, Mundt will help stations develop digital content strategies and oversee news training offered to them. He now serves as v.p. and chief content officer at Louisville Public Media in Kentucky, p.d. of the licensee’s news/talk station and its local host for Morning Edition. Before joining Louisville’s three-station complex, he was director of content and media at Iowa Public Radio, chief content officer for Michigan Public Media in Ann Arbor and host of an NPR-distributed talk program, The Todd Mundt Show. Mundt is chair of the Public Radio Program Directors Association and has served on the Public Media Platform advisory council. Bob Kempf, g.m. of the Boston-based NPR unit, said the hiring completes the Digital Services management team, which also includes Stephanie Miller, director of station relations; Steve Mulder, director of user experience and analytics; Doug Gaff, director of technology; and Keith Hopper, director of product development.

Alvarado speaks at Free Press forum in October 2011. (Photo: Current.)

Alvarado as he exits: ‘Change cannot be a complaint’

"... The architecture of public media has to be reimagined immediately or the millennials will build their own parallel universe separate from the public broadcasting universe their Boomer grandparents live in...."

APM acquires Knight-nurtured Spot.us crowdfunding site

Minnesota-based American Public Media announced Nov. 29 the future cohabitation of two new-media tools for use by public media newsrooms. APM’s Public Insight Network (PIN), which helps journalists find story topics and sources in their communities, has acquired Spot.Us, a platform for raising money to support freelance reporting. Launched in 2008, Spot.Us allows freelancers to post pitches on its website for stories they’d like to report and ask for donations to support their efforts. Spot.Us takes a 10 percent cut of the donations for its own expenses and charges news organizations to create surveys for their websites. Readers who answer the surveys get credits that they can apply to Spot.Us story pitches.

APM chief McTaggart, seen as competitor, leaves NPR Board

American Public Media’s president, Jon McTaggart, won re-election to the NPR Board this summer but won’t be taking the seat after all. McTaggart resigned from the board at NPR’s request after an outside legal analysis determined that his promotion to president of APM and Minnesota Public Radio presented a potential conflict of interest with his service on the NPR Board. Since his first election to the board three years ago, McTaggart had been promoted from chief operating officer to chief exec of American Public Media Group, the parent company of APM/MPR. That put him uniquely and simultaneously on the boards of the two largest producers and distributors of public radio programming. Marita Rivero, v.p. and g.m. of WGBH’s television and radio stations, will fill the NPR Board vacancy instead.