Tuesday roundup: CPB promotes Theriault; NPR draws criticism for science-fair story

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• CPB has promoted Bruce Theriault, senior v.p. of radio, to serve as point person for journalism funding initiatives across all platforms, it announced Monday.  Theriault assumes the new position, senior v.p. of journalism and radio, Sept. 1. The change “will position CPB to best support stations and content producers as they strive to provide high-quality national, international, local and regional reporting that our citizens rely upon,” said CPB President Pat Harrison.

• NPR is in hot water for a science story about lionfish. A July 20 All Things Considered report focused on sixth-grader Lauren Arrington’s science-fair project on lionfish, which was cited in a research journal. The report failed to note that her research was based on a previously published study from a scientist with a connection to her father. That scientist, Zack Jud, wrote a Facebook post that attracted the attention of The Atlantic, which noted Arrington was “not being honest” and criticized outlets including NPR for neglecting Jud’s side of the story.

NPR’s Standards & Practices Editor Mark Memmott blogged about the incident. The story’s headline was changed, and a sentence was removed. In a follow-up blog post, NPR correspondent Alan Greenblatt defended Arrington, saying charges against her were “not just overblown but inaccurate” and that “she had in fact done original work.”

• WGBH’s American Experience has launched its first crowdfunding campaign for the First Days Story Project, a followup to the show’s documentary “Last Days in Vietnam.” The Indiegogo campaign aims to raise $132,000 by Sept. 3 to capture stories from Vietnamese-Americans, with the help of StoryCorps. The project will aim to preserve 100 audio stories in the Library of Congress.

• New NPR CEO Jarl Mohn appeared on the network’s Tell Me More Monday. Host Michel Martin, who will stay on at NPR when her show ends Aug. 1, interviewed Mohn about his plans for NPR and how he intends to increase diversity at the network.

• After weathering a nearly station-ending financial crisis, the CEO of KCPW-FM in Salt Lake City announced earlier this month that he will step down. According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, Sweeney had already cut his salary from $96,000 to $50,000, but he felt stepping aside would give the station a better shot of succeeding. Lingering debt from purchasing its license has put KCPW in financial peril and led the station to drop its NPR affiliation in 2013, which reduced donations to the station as well.


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