University of Kentucky sues WUKY reporter over open records request

The University of Kentucky has sued a reporter at its public radio station, WUKY in Lexington, in an attempt to guard information she had requested about surgical practices at its pediatric hospital. By filing the complaint, UK is challenging the state’s attorney general, who in March endorsed reporter Brenna Angel’s request for documents. UK declined the AG’s request as well, citing state and federal privacy laws. The dispute began in December 2012, when Angel made an Open Records Request to the university regarding the cardiothoracic surgery program at Kentucky Children’s Hospital in Lexington. The program has been suspended pending an internal review, according to local media reports.

PRNDI Awards for local journalism

KPCC and Vermont Public Radio led public radio news rooms in PRNDI’s three-tiered contest honoring outstanding local news coverage. In the competition among stations with the largest news staffs, KPCC in Pasadena, Calif., and VPR each won four first-place prizes. Top winners in other divisions included WBGO in Newark, N.J.; Wyoming Public Radio; KLCC in Eugene, Oregon; and WCAI in Woods Hole, Mass., each of which won at least three PRNDI awards. In Division A, comprising stations with five or more full-time news staffers, Vermont Public Radio took four top prizes for its coverage of the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene. Two of three first-place awards presented to WBGO in Division B recognized its reporting on the hurricane.

NET’s Bates to retire, NPR’s Seabrook departs, Bodarky elected PRNDI prez, and more…

Bates, a producer/director who rose through the ranks to become network chief in 1996, announced his retirement plans June 22, initiating the second leadership transition for the state network’s top job since its founding 58 years ago. Bates arrived at NET in 1975 as a producer/director working on a one-year assignment. He ended up devoting his career to NET, earning a promotion to senior producer and eventually moving into fundraising. He became director of development for Nebraskans for Public Television Inc. in 1985 before being appointed to succeed Jack McBride, NET’s founding general manager, in the mid-1990s. “Rod Bates’ leadership has brought NET to the highest level of service in our history,” said Ron Hull, a semi-retired NET veteran who hired Bates as a TV producer more than three decades ago.

Public Radio News Directors Inc. Awards, 2011

KJZZ, WBEZ, WBGO and KLCC led the annual contest among local pubradio newsrooms.
Each took three or more first-place PRNDI awards in a competition among peer-group stations. PRNDI groups stations into tiers based on the number of full-time news staffers they employ. In division A, comprising stations with the largest newsrooms, KJZZ in Phoenix and Chicago’s WBEZ each received three top prizes. All three PRNDI awards to WBEZ recognized Inside and Out, a special series on juvenile justice that aired across a six-month period in 2010. WGBO, a news and jazz station in Newark, N.J., won six first-place awards in division B, including stations with three or four full-time journalists.

Journalists counted: 3,200 pros; 6,000 total

Public broadcasting has 3,224 professional journalists plus 2,770 nonprofessionals contributing to its reporting, making a total of nearly 6,000, according to a census by a team from Public Radio News Directors Inc. that was commissioned by CPB. Three-quarters appear to work in radio. Almost 80 percent of the professionals are full-timers, according to preliminary figures. The pros would amount to about one in six of total public broadcasting employees, based on the 20,000 total estimated for January in a CPB report. The nonprofessionals are roughly equally split between students and volunteers, according to early figures.

Public Radio News Directors Awards for 2009

Zeleznik tapped for Leo C. Lee Award
Maryanne Zeleznik, news director of Cincinnati’s WVXU, received the annual Leo C. Lee Award from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. during its annual conference in Louisville last week. PRNDI also bestowed 93 awards for public radio work produced in 2009. Among Division A stations, with five or more full-time news staffers, WAMU received three awards, Chicago’s WBEZ, Oregon Public Broadcasting and Pasadena’s KPCC won two each. In Division B, with three or four full-timers, Nashville Public Radio, Connecticut’s WSHU and Cincinnati’s WVXU took home two apiece. Among smaller stations, KCLU (Thousand Oaks, Cal.) and KLCC (Eugene, Ore.) won four awards each.

PRNDI Statement of Ethics, 2003

This revised statement was adopted in July 2003 by Public Radio News Directors Inc., the association of journalists working in public radio. Public Radio News Directors Inc. is committed to the highest standards of journalistic ethics and excellence. We must stand apart from pressures of politics and commerce as we inform and engage our listeners. We seek truth, and report with fairness and integrity. Independence and integrity are the foundations of our service, which we maintain through these principles:

Journalism is the rigorous pursuit of truth.