CPB’s $7.5M in pubmedia news grants honors slain Charlie Hebdo journalists

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. Continue Reading

Frontline creates cross-platform investigative unit with help from Ford Foundation

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. Continue Reading

NPR to close Kabul bureau

When the 13-year international combat mission ends in Afghanistan Dec. 31, NPR’s Kabul bureau will also close. NPR decided in 2012 that it would close the Kabul bureau this year because of the planned reduction of U.S. troops in the country, according to an NPR spokesperson. Starting in 2015, coverage of Afghanistan will be handled by Philip Reeves, NPR’s correspondent based in Islamabad, Pakistan. “We are confident that Phil Reeves can cover the news coming from Afghanistan,” said Edith Chapin, senior supervising editor of NPR’s International Desk, through a spokesperson. Continue Reading

Study of engaging digital stories helps stations’ newsrooms set priorities

A new vocabulary is emerging in public radio newsrooms to help journalists communicate and make decisions about online coverage that attracts and builds digital audiences. Developed through the Local Stories Project, an NPR Digital Services initiative that began as a geotargeting experiment on Facebook, the vocabulary includes phrases like “topical buzzer” — a story that provides a unique take on a subject that everyone is talking about — or  “curiosity stimulator,” for a piece with a science or technology angle. The concepts are explained in this blog post, "9 Types of Local Stories that Cause Engagement." As newsrooms around the country adjust to the demands of producing distinctive coverage within their local markets, reporters increasingly are required to serve two news platforms, each with a different audience, without spinning their wheels. “It’s like growing a new arm, while your other arms are busy doing what you do. Continue Reading