Former NPR reporter Sarah Chayes writes in the Columbia Journalism Review that “a sense that [the U.S. press] had abdicated its duty to help the public think beyond instinctive reactions” drove her out of journalism and into advocacy work in Afghanistan.
Media critic Michael Wolff says PBS’s NewsHour caved to outside pressure when it spiked his interview with correspondent Terence Smith, reports today’s New York Daily News and Washington Post. “PBS, which is supposed to be the alternative to big media, is censoring my views because it fears they might offend the folks who run big media,” he writes in a letter to Smith [via Romenesko].
The White House has nominated Republican activist Gay Hart Gaines of Palm Beach, Fla., to join the CPB Board. Gaines was chairman of Newt Gingrich’s GOPAC and of the National Review Institute, founded by William F. Buckley Jr.
Kansas City Star critic Aaron Barnhart objects to Bill Moyers serving as both host and “axe-grinding opinionator” on his PBS show. Tonight’s episode becomes “an infuriatingly one-sided diatribe,” Barnhart says.
WAMU ran a $2.3 million deficit in fiscal 2003, depleting all of its cash reserves and putting the station nearly $500,000 in debt to license-holder American University, reports the Washington Post. The station released its 2003 audited financial statements this week (PDF).
Eleven SUNY Plattsburgh students have agreed to participate in a public TV program about hazing and alcohol abuse — and help pay for it — in a plea bargain after the fraternity pledging death of a freshman, The Saratogian reports. The media lab at Mountain Lake PBS is producing.
A journalist new to radio, John Solomon of WNYC’s On the Media, exposes some of the artifice of radio postproduction, which makes pubradio people sound lots more articulate than they are. To make the point, co-host Bob Garfield is stripped bare and flogged. Solomon says the magic is better hidden in radio than in TV or print. [Audio file.]
The FCC fined Isothermal Community College, licensee of WNCW-FM in Spindale, N.C., $4,000 for improperly promoting an on-air raffle during a pledge drive. The agency had previously admonished Isothermal for WNCW’s promotion of a local music festival. [Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the FCC had fined Isothermal for the earlier violation.]
The FCC has delayed the DTV simulcasting requirements for New Mexico’s three PTV stations until May 2004. The stations are currently buying the necessary equipment to run their analog programs on their digital channels (PDF).
“Wandering and wandering, lost in the desert, alluding to Vietnam and cryptic codes as well as to the bones of Butch Cassidy, ‘Coyote Waits’ struggles to give flavorless love stories emphasis with lazy ranchero chords,” writes a New York Times reviewer. “Neither the murder nor the western expanse nor the intimations of mortality quicken the imagination.”