Mar 30, 2007
"[I]t is fundamentally wrong to exclude the Latino experience on a subject of the magnitude of World War II, especially in a high-profile, publicly supported project like The War," says Eduardo Díaz, executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, in an Albuquerque Journal report on the controversy over Ken Burns' forthcoming PBS series. In an editorial published today, the Journal calls on KNME to drop Burns' documentary from its schedule and highlight local programs on New Mexico's WWII veterans.
Posted by Karen at 1:52 PM
The gaming industry has discovered an enthusiastic and growing audience among retirees, according to the New York Times. “Baby boomers and up are definitely our fastest-growing demographic, and it is because the fear factor is diminishing,” said Beatrice Spaine, pogo.com marketing director. “Women come for the games, but they stay for the community....It’s kind of a MySpace for seniors.”
Posted by Karen at 1:26 PM
Mar 29, 2007
Leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus met with public TV executives on Tuesday to discuss their concerns about the absence of Latino-American veterans in The War, Ken Burns' 14-hour World War II documentary series slated for a PBS debut in September. Lawmakers may try to restrict pubTV's federal funding if PBS doesn't address their concerns, according to Politico, a newspaper and website covering the Washington, D.C., political scene. "The bottom line is we also have the right to do what we can economically with PBS to show our displeasure," said Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas). "I hope it won't come to that."
Posted by Karen at 12:59 PM
The MacArthur Foundation named Chicago's Kartemquin Films, a frequent pubTV producer, as one of this year's eight recipients of its MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. The Chronicle of Philanthropy profiles Kartemquin, headed by co-founder Gordon Quinn. The company is known for Hoop Dreams, Refrigerator Mothers and the series The New Americans, among other social documentaries.
Posted by Steve at 11:35 AM
Mar 28, 2007
Nuestra Familia/Our Family, a Center for Investigative Reporting doc for public TV about the Latino gang that grew in California's agricultural valleys, received an IRE Medal and the Tom Renner Award for crime reporting from Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc., IRE announced Monday. The award credits producer/director Oriana Zill de Granados, Julia Reynolds and George Sanchez of CIR. CPB and Latino Public Broadcasting were among the funders. [Program website.] The doc premiered last year on KQED and aired nationally last fall as part of Latino Public Broadcasting's Voces series, distributed by American Public Television. The film was edited by David Ritscher, who is also production coordinator for Frontline/World. NPR's Daniel Zwerdling, Anne Hawke and Ellen Weiss won an IRE Certificate for "Mental Anguish and the Military," about emotional damage suffered by Iraq War vets.
Posted by Steve at 1:42 PM
The FCC released details yesterday about the settlement of 76 groups of mutually exclusive applications for new full-power noncommercial educational stations. (PDFs of order, attachment.) Universities affiliated with Iowa Public Radio are in line to receive a total of seven construction permits. Other current operators of public radio stations who prevailed include Spokane Public Radio, the University of Wyoming, Temple University and the University of Massachusetts. Unsuccessful applicants: Jefferson Public Radio, Kentucky's Murray State University and WSKG in Binghamton, N.Y. The commission also announced plans to open a filing window for new noncoms in October.
Posted by Mike at 1:15 PM
Dan Savage erupts over a Garrison Keillor column about modern families and gay parenting. "These couples deserve our gratitude and support," Savage writes. "What they don’t deserve is a rich, old hypocrite insinuating that they’re more interested in their fussy hairdos and over-decorated apartments than they are in raising their kids."
Posted by Mike at 8:45 AM
Mar 27, 2007
"All I'm saying is, if PBS has to tart itself up as something it's not in order to attract donors, isn't that a de facto admission that their regular schedule isn't enough of a draw to justify their existence?" A Huffington Post column by Eric Williams drew nearly two dozen comments from blog readers eager to rip up public TV pledge programs.
Posted by Karen at 9:39 AM
Mar 26, 2007
Mar 22, 2007
Paste magazine looks at Bob Boilen and his show, NPR's web-only All Songs Considered: "What is a fresh sound? Who the heck knows? But I look for something that has a vitality, that has a sense of creativity to it, maybe that's breaking new bounds—or something that just feels great."
Posted by Mike at 9:59 AM
Mar 21, 2007
The New York Times previews the TV debut of This American Life: "Mr. Glass was greeted as a conquering rock star in various American cities during a recent live tour, and Showtime is hoping that the rabid, embedded fan base of "This American Life" — as well as the tsunami of media coverage generated by reporters who love to write about someone who actually tells real, live stories — will give it visibility in a cluttered television universe."
Posted by Mike at 11:33 AM
Mar 20, 2007
NPR, Clear Channel and other broadcasting groups filed challenges yesterday to the Copyright Royalty Board's ruling on webcast fees, reports AP. NPR also plans to take the matter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.
Posted by Mike at 10:36 AM
Mar 19, 2007
PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler reports and comments on criticism that The War, the Ken Burns documentary series debuting in September, ignores the contributions and sacrifices made by Hispanic-Americans during World War II. "[W]hat interests me most among the critical public statements, and the questions and criticisms raised by viewers in letters to me, is whether, during the six years of production, anyone did actually think about the Hispanic veterans," Getler writes.
Posted by Karen at 10:14 AM
WNYC, Public Radio International and other partners plan to produce a morning show that will go up against NPR's Morning Edition and pursue a younger audience, reports the New York Times. "We have a vision of what we think is needed, and we think we are the right people to do it," says WNYC President Laura Walker. (More details from WNYC, via PRPD's blog.)
Posted by Mike at 9:18 AM
Mar 16, 2007
Mar 15, 2007
Independent producer Barrett Golding laments the state of public radio conferences in a Web 2.0 world: "Once there was a time-honored tradition of spending conference nights genuinely interacting with real folk, i.e., chasing hookers and hootch. Nowadays, everyone runs back to their hotel rooms to blog, stream, cast, and flickr."
Posted by Mike at 11:53 AM
Mar 14, 2007
Ira Glass of This American Life talks about the TV version of his radio show in a chat on the Washington Post's website: "This week we just finished a six-city tour . . . and in some of the cities, when I'd ask the audience 'were you worried when you heard we were doing a TV show?' they'd ROAR back yes. In Minnesota our director Chris Wilcha joked it's like when Dylan went electric and a guy in the audience yelled 'Judas!'"
Posted by Mike at 4:09 PM
Jake Shapiro has blogged the transcript of an e-mail interview with Current in which he discusses efforts to create a digital distribution system for public media. "I think some version of it will happen, and soon," he says. "The question is whether it will be a truly collaborative venture or something just one or two players begin together."
Posted by Mike at 11:56 AM
Sirius Satellite Radio renewed its programming deal with NPR and will carry the network's forthcoming news show aimed at younger listeners.
Posted by Mike at 10:51 AM
In a long article, Washingtonian magazine looks at NPR's evolution from alternative news source to high-profile outfit that might be recovering some of its old spirit. "We're moving away a little from this gray wash that I've been hearing too much of," says Susan Stamberg. "It's starting to breathe again in ways that remind me of the very earliest days, when we would take any chance, do any goofy thing."
Mar 12, 2007
Mar 10, 2007
John Inman, campy star of the Britcom Are You Being Served?, died Thursday at age 71, the London Times reported. His bustling, punning, happily effeminate shopclerk character rose from background to foreground in the hit BBC comedy in the 1970s and added U.S. fans through repeated play on public TV. Inman's stereotyped behavior appalled gay liberationists at the time, but columnist Matthew Parris salutes "that lifesaving human compromise, the open secret," which was kept through "a dark age" by Inman, Liberace and generations of sissies and drag queens who announced that homosexuals certainly seemed to be present ... and turned "what was once seen as shame into light entertainment."
Posted by Steve at 11:49 AM
Mar 8, 2007
PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler sifts through responses to Frontline's "News War"--from viewers and media critics--and provides a forum for producers to respond. He also offers his own critique of the series: as long as Frontline examined how other news organizations failed to challenge the Bush Administration's case for invading Iraq, Getler writes, producers should have been "a little more upfront" in examining their own record in the Nov. 2001 Frontline documentary, "Gunning for Saddam." While prescient in some respects, "this program presented the equivalent of the Full Monty in making the hardliners' case for war."
Posted by Karen at 11:01 AM
Mar 6, 2007
Marines and their supporters refuted criticism of the Feb. 21 program that PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler recently described as a "very well done testimonial and recruiting film masquerading as a documentary." Getler's critique was lost on one viewer who wrote: "Documentary or recruiting — whatever you want to call it, it was a pretty good show. I want to say 'thank you' in advance for the new ones who might sign with the Marine Corps just because they saw this show."
Posted by Karen at 4:11 PM
Jesse Thorn promotes the Public Radio Talent Quest and comments on public radio's approach to creating shows and cultivating talent. "New programming in public media is largely driven by pre-existing funding, which turns the development process backwards," he writes. "Instead of having a great idea, or a great host, or a great producer and feeding it resources, we find a need or niche we decide to fill, then look for money, then actually build the creative elements. It's anti-entrepreneurial and rewards sameness"
Mar 5, 2007
The Pacifica Radio Archives will donate digital copies of recorded speeches by Malcolm X, Langston Hughes and others to Texas Southern University, reports Diverse. The Archives is donating recordings to universities as part of its Save Our Sound tour. (Via Rolas de Aztlan.)
Posted by Mike at 12:44 PM
Dennis Haarsager lays out his plea for a unified content delivery network in this blog post, which follows the February release of the Digital Distribution Committee report and commentary on that effort.
Posted by Jeremy Egner at 11:52 AM
Los Angeles Times media columnist Tim Rutten reacts to the third installment of Frontline's "News War," which examined the ongoing turmoil at his newspaper.
Posted by Karen at 11:30 AM
The public stations in Austin, Texas, honored public broadcasting pioneer Robert Schenkkan over the weekend with a celebration of his 90th birthday, reports the Austin American-Statesman. Schenkkan helped to create Austin's KUT-FM and KLRU-TV, and also defended public broadcasting against a defunding threat from President Nixon in the 1970s. "Bob Schenkkan is a hero to me and everybody else in public broadcasting," said Jim Lehrer. "He gave us life and then he saved us."
Posted by Mike at 10:52 AM
Longtime Pacifica host and reporter Larry Bensky announced last week that he will retire from the network at the end of April. In his farewell letter, he cites frustration with the state of the network: "As I see it, the so-called 'democratization' of our local and national governance structure has not enhanced our effectiveness as a media outlet, or as a force for peace and social justice. In fact, despite the best intentions of a few people involved, Pacifica's current governance and administration is a wasteful, counterproductive, and far from transparent distraction."
Mar 2, 2007
Public radio's Open Source has received a $250,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to support its integration of radio and the Web. "If you're not familiar with Radio Open Source, this is an approach worth at least serious consideration, and perhaps outright emulation, by broadcasters elsewhere," writes Poynter blogger Amy Gahran.
Posted by Mike at 5:02 PM
Media consultant Amy Gahran asks why most public broadcasters don't allow their web visitors to donate via PayPal: "Seems to me that Paypal [is] a friendlier, less intrusive way to start and build a donor relationship than forcing people to labor through a form and immediately become a member."
Posted by Mike at 12:11 PM
A longtime volunteer host on Maine Public Radio has silenced himself after network execs disapproved of his politically flavored commentary, reports Village Soup. "The guidelines set me up so I have to fail," the host says. "If I don't say anything, they can't get rid of me."
Posted by Mike at 10:21 AM
Mar 1, 2007
In a memo to his newsroom, Los Angeles Times Editor Jim O'Shea describes this week's installment of Frontline's "News War" as "simplistic and excessively negative." The documentary, which aired on Tuesday, examined the newspaper's struggle to continue covering national news as shareholders press for lower costs and higher profits. [Via Romenesko]
Posted by Karen at 10:58 AM