Public TV’s Frontline/World invited journalism schools to recommend young journalists for reporting fellowships on its website. Selected students and recent graduates of the schools would work with the series’ website to report on international stories not covered in mainstream media. Applications from individuals will not be considered, the producers said. Fellows have already contributed many stories to the site.
The Heinz Endowments gave a second million dollars to build a Fred M. Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College in the late PBS host’s hometown of Latrobe, Pa., the college said. With the December donation, the philanthropy has given $2.1 million to the project. The state pledged $5 million in October, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
The Italian government proposes to sell 30 percent of its big pubcaster, RAI, reports Britain’s Observer. Legislation forbids any shareholder from owning more than 1 percent. Prime Minister Berlusconi, owner of RAI’s major competition, has no interest in seeing RAI become a strong commercial broadcaster, and neither do his political opponents, says the Observer. The Italian Antitrust Authority criticizes the powerful advertising duopoly composed of Berlusconi’s holdings, with 65 percent of TV advertising, and RAI, with 29 percent, according to the International Herald Tribune.
Longtime TV correspondent Ed Gordon will start a show replacing Tavis Smiley’s on public radio, said NPR and the African American Public Radio Consortium today. Gordon has reported for NBC and was recently named a contributing correspondent for CBS’s 60 Minutes Wednesday. Smiley left NPR Dec. 16.
Garrison Keillor has promised to deliver “a quiet and thoughtful Lutheran pastor” plus the “entire Prairie Home Companion complement” on a one-week circular Holland America Line cruise from Boston to Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Bar Harbor, Maine, starting Aug. 20. Cheaper cabins are sold out already. Some remain at $2,350 to $3,800 per person, double occupancy. Public TV stations helped sell cabins on a November cruise of the Mediterranean starring Robert MacNeil, Jim Lehrer and other PBS figures.
The Iowa Board of Regents on Thursday endorsed a report that calls for Iowa’s three university-based radio stations, WOI, WSUI/KSUI and KUNI/KHKE, to merge into a network called Iowa Public Radio, the Des Moines Register reports. The move is expected to generate more listeners, extend coverage and reduce the amount of state support for the stations by $300,000.
More Tavis: The now ex-NPR host tells Salon in a Q-and-A that the network is “not National Some-of-the Public Radio, it’s National All-of-the-Public Radio. And NPR has got to do a better job of making that moniker… a reality.” Smiley says his show’s numbers outpaced projections, refuting researcher claims that the audience only wants to hear, as the webmag puts it, “the dulcet tones of Linda Wertheimer sound-alikes who’ve come to define public radio.” (free day pass req.)
Have you heard? Bill Moyers will make his final appearance as host of PBS’s Now tonight. Today’s litany of Bye to Bill stories includes pieces from, among others, the New York Times, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Dallas Morning News, who also printed a speech Moyers recently gave at Harvard Medical School. For a different take on the Moyers legend, check out this profile on conservative website FrontPageMag.com, which describes the esteemed journalist as a “sweater-wearing pundit who delivered socialist and neo-Marxist propaganda with a soft Texas accent.”