CPB reacted Jan. 8 to the attack on journalists at the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo by announcing grants totaling $7.5 million to four public media newsrooms.
“Now more than ever it takes so much courage to be a journalist,” said CPB President Pat Harrison in an to public media managers. “To understand that every word you may write, every cartoon you might draw could be your last. The chilling effect this can have may result in stories not told, reports not filed, journalism watered down.” CPB awarded the grants in memory of eight journalists who were killed. The money is given “in support of freedom of the press and freedom of expression,” Harrison said.
Frontline has hired two investigative reporters and promoted a digital specialist to create its first desk producing original investigative journalism across platforms.
The Enterprise Journalism Group, announced Wednesday, consists of new hires James Jacoby and Anya Bourg, who previously produced for CBS’s 60 Minutes. Frontline’s senior digital reporter, Sarah Childress, was promoted onto the team. The group is supported by an $800,000 grant from the Ford Foundation, announced in June. Over the next two years, the journalists will report major projects via text, video, photos, audio and graphics across Frontline’s platforms.
Raney Aronson-Rath, deputy executive producer, said journalistic flexibility is driving the project. “Maybe there’s a story that should go digital-first, so we get it up quickly,” she said.
Frontline, public television’s investigative news showcase, announced two major donations Wednesday, including the largest grant from individuals in its 30-year history. Most of the $5 million from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler, longtime supporters of producing station WGBH, will create a reporting endowment for the program to ensure the series’ long-term sustainability. The remaining $1.5 million will support existing programming and digital efforts over four years. Meanwhile, a two-year, $800,000 gift from the Ford Foundation will back a new cross-platform Enterprise Journalism Group. The funds will pay for initial recruits for the in-house group of digital journalists and producers.
• I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! Granted, that's probably not among the verses in The Liberal Media Made Me Do It!, a new collection of poems based on public broadcasting stories and shows. But the book does contain pubmedia-centric contributions from more than 50 poets who were inspired by Radiolab, Performance Today, A Prairie Home Companion and other fare. “For me, the greatest delight in receiving these pieces has been to recognize the stories I have heard on the radio, with the added dimension of another’s perception added in,” writes editor Robbi Nester. “This brings home the truth that each of us could start with the same raw material and yet produce finished products that resemble one another only in incidental ways.”