Students opposing WRAS deal get new support

College Broadcasters Inc. and the Student Press Law Center are speaking out against a channel-sharing agreement that gave Georgia Public Broadcasting control of Georgia State University’s 88.5 WRAS-FM during daytime hours. Under the agreement announced May 6, GPB will program the station with news from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. The student organization that until recently controlled all programming will take over nighttime hours. The announcement surprised and disappointed the station’s student hosts, who set up a website to protest the agreement. In letters to the University administration, CBI and SPLC expressed support for the students and denounced the deal, which was made without notifying the programmers. “CBI believes, and I believe personally, that student ownership is key for these student media outlets, and it’s been taken away from them by all accounts without any discussion or dialogue,” CBI President Greg Weston said in an interview.

Pubradio reporters debate ‘dissing of daily news’

Freelance radio and print journalist Ashley Milne-Tyte set off a lively exchange of the philosophical differences between radio producers who work under deadlines to produce daily news stories and those who focus on long-form personal narratives that have been popularized by programs such as This American Life and Radiolab. Writing on her personal blog after attending this month’s Third Coast International Audio Festival in Evanston, Ill., Milne-Tyte questioned why so many attendees and presenters seemed to turn up their noses at the prospect of reporting daily news. The vast majority of public radio’s listeners tune in for the news, she wrote, and there’s a lot of skill and discipline involved in producing news spots. Milne-Tyte has produced daily news spots for American Public Media’s Marketplace and has done features for NPR, WNYC and PRI’s The World. “Spots and short features are great instruments through which to hone your writing, and you learn so much doing them,” she wrote.

Reber leaves NPR; Arganbright, Appleby launch firm; and more…

CIR has hired ex-NPR investigative news head Susanne Reber. As senior coordinating editor for multiplatform projects and investigations for the nonprofit newsroom, Reber will lead national and international investigative and enterprise reporting projects, and guide the center’s team of health and environment reporters. Reber joined NPR in January 2010 to build and lead the network’s first investigative unit as deputy managing editor of investigations. She left NPR this month, according to a May 8 memo by NPR News chief Margaret Low Smith that was published on the Poynter Institute website. Smith put Senior National Editor Steve Drummond in charge of investigations while NPR determines “next steps for the unit’s leadership,” she wrote in the memo.