Chris Satullo

Satullo: You’ll make mistakes, so be sure to learn from them

Do you have the courage to fail? I asked that leading question during a keynote address to public media journalists who attended “Taking News Digital,” a June 7–9 workshop exploring the lessons we’ve learned at WHYY since launching in November 2010. We have two years of experience launching and running NewsWorks as a digital, multimedia news operation with its own distinct brand. It blends reporting by WHYY’s news staff with the work of freelancers, content partners and users. CPB provided two grants totaling nearly $1.2 million to support the NewsWorks project.

You are now entering the campaign Logic Zone

With radio and TV clogged with shouting heads, with blogs and e-mail threads dominated by partisan invective, is there room in the media for the reasoned views of ordinary citizens? These models of high-minded political debate and conversation underlie a variety of public-media websites that have sprung up for the 2008 election cycle.

Hosts walk high wires, producers hold the nets

Successful producers help talent compensate. They make a deal with their talent: “I’ll help you maneuver the everyday travails of living life, and you will go out there every night and try to give the performance of your life.”

Talk through ‘gray areas,’ giving staff a moral compass

A manager in ethical hot water can be compared to a frog in a soup pot, says Carter McNamara. If you put a frog in a pot of hot water, it will immediately jump out, McNamara writes in The Complete Guide to Ethics Management: An Ethics Toolkit for Managers. But if you put a frog in a pot of cool water and very gradually increase the heat of the burner, you can boil the frog before it knows what’s up. The point here is that most ethical problems are created not by management mischief but by poor decisions made by managers under stress. For public broadcasters struggling to manage rapid change, stress is constant.