Thursday roundup: CPB presents education grants, CPI wins Goldsmith, Schiller talks Twitter news

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• CPB has awarded multimedia journalism grants totaling more than $1.18 million to nine public media stations for education coverage aligning with its American Graduate dropout prevention initiative. “These grants will allow stations to report on the state of education locally, while contributing to the national conversation about solving the dropout crisis,” said Bruce Theriault, CPB radio s.v.p., in Wednesday’s announcement. Grants to three stations — WAMU, Washington, D.C.; WNED/WBFO, Buffalo, N.Y., and Wyoming Public Media — provide for reporters who will cover education topics full-time. Cleveland’s WCPN/ideastream will assign two reporters to education as part of a community engagement initiative and a multi-state data mapping project involving the Southern Education Desk Local Journalism Center and stations in Florida and Indiana. Grants were also awarded to: KERA, Dallas, for a reporter assigned to the multiyear project Class of ’17; Radio Bilingüe/KSJV in Fresno, Calif., for a Spanish-language radio series on academic success of Latino students in America and four one-hour programs in English for other pubmedia stations; Oregon Public Broadcasting for The Class of ’25, focusing on one elementary school class learning under new state education goals; WNYC, New York, for the journalism training program Radio Rookies; and WUNC, Chapel Hill, N.C., for its American Graduate–Crossing the Stage project, distributed nationally by PRX.

"Breathless and Burdened," a report on treatment of black-lung victims, has won the Center for Investigative Reporting a Goldsmith award. (Photo: F. Brian Ferguson)

“Breathless and Burdened,” an investigative report on treatment of black-lung victims, has won the Center for Public Integrity a Goldsmith Prize. (Photo: F. Brian Ferguson/CPI)

• The nonprofit Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C., won this year’s prestigious Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, announced today by Harvard’s Shortenstein Center. The center’s “Breathless and Burdened” exposed how doctors and attorneys working for the coal industry helped defeat benefits claims of black-lung victims. Honored as a finalist was “Rape in the Fields,” a collaboration among Frontline, the Investigative Reporting Program at Berkeley, the Center for Investigative Reporting in Emeryville, Calif., Univisión Documentaries and KQED in San Francisco.

• In her first interview as head of news at Twitter, former NPR President Vivian Schiller tells Time magazine that the social-media network will never be a news organization. Rather, the role of the Twitter news team “is to support news organizations, which in the end supports consumers, which in the end is good for the news industry, good for journalists . . .  and of course good for Twitter, and it will lead to user growth.”

• KNAU-FM should not have killed a 2012 story examining a $280 million federal contract linked to licensee Northern Arizona University, according to CPB Ombudsman Joel Kaplan.  John Stark, then general manager of the Flagstaff, Ariz., station, told Kaplan, “I killed the series for editorial reasons and not because of influence from anybody else. This was agenda-driven journalism. It was partisan and it was sour grapes.” Kaplan disagrees, writing that “KNAU had a major conflict of interest here and did not handle the matter appropriately.” Stark retired from KNAU in December 2012 and now manages KLCC in Eugene, Ore.

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