CPB will devote $2.5 million to reporting projects spearheaded by stations and national producers, President Patricia Harrison announced Nov. 12 at the Public Radio Regional Organizations Super-Regional conference in Fort Washington, Md. The funder will provide $1.5 million for the Diverse Perspectives project, an initiative to support reporting from groups of news stations for local, regional and national use. Like the CPB-backed Local Journalism Centers, the stations will focus on particular topics. The number of stations to receive the two-year grants will depend on the range and size of proposals submitted, said Bruce Theriault, CPB senior v.p. of radio, but he estimated that about five groups will receive support.
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.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – At a forum of leading public media professionals, participants expressed mixed feelings about whether public media can, or should, replace newspapers as primary gatherers of news. At the fourth Public Media Futures forum, held Thursday at Bloomberg’s offices in San Francisco, more than two dozen public media professionals debated whether the industry’s non-broadcast capabilities are robust enough to allow it to fill the role of a daily newspaper. In some respects, public broadcasting websites have already moved into the up-to-the-minute newsgathering space. Kinsey Wilson, executive v.p. and chief content officer at NPR, said NPR.org functions much like a newspaper website, with breaking news, a story flow that shifts multiple times a day and large quantities of original content apart from radio pieces rewritten for the Web.
NPR is launching a new nonprofit newsroom in New Orleans in conjunction with WWNO, the local public radio station owned by the University of New Orleans, the Wall Street Journal reports. The partners announced the changes today. The new venture, which will include a revamped, local-news–focused WWNO lineup as well as the website NewOrleansReporter.org, is a response to the declining resources of the city’s daily for-profit newspaper, the Times-Picayune. On June 12 the owners of the T-P announced plans to cut 201 personnel, nearly a third of its staff, and cut back print operations to three days a week beginning in the fall. “This is an exciting opportunity to converge digital, mobile and broadcast together in a multiplatform newsroom for New Orleans,” Paul Maassen, g.m. of WWNO, said in an accompanying press release.
David Fanning, e.p. of Frontline, discussed the WGBH program’s evolving use of the Web Aug. 23, 2010, in accepting the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism at Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. At the same time, the Center honored the winner and finalists for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. One of the four finalists was a reporting project, including a Frontline doc, “Law & Disorder.” The film about white vigilante activities in New Orleans was prepared in collaboration with ProPublica, the Nation Institute and the New Orleans Times-Picayne.
Ten weeks before the air date of Need to Know, WNET announced the executive producer. Seven weeks before, the producing station named the co-anchors. On May 7 the new public affairs series debuts on PBS. A lot will be riding on the show. For PBS it’s a rare chance to start a potential “icon series” with new styles and substance, demonstrating that folks in “legacy media” can interact and innovate like digital natives.