Jun 15, 2007

humble Farmer humbled

Maine Public Broadcasting Network is dropping jazz host Robert Skoglund, a 28-year Friday night fixture, after a lengthy feud over the content of Skoglund's folksy commentaries. Better known as the humble Farmer (the "h" signals his humility), Skoglund was officially fired after he refused to sign off on commentary guidelines that prohibit hosts from taking stances on controversial issues, among other no-nos. The move ended an eight-month spat that started in November when network execs pulled an episode of The humble Farmer, saying it was critical of an upcoming ballot initiative and they didn't want to seem as if the station was weighing in on the issue. Skoglund responded by submitting his shows completely devoid of commentary and waging a letter and e-mail campaign that cast the pubcaster as an agent of censorship.

College may sell pubTV station in Moline, Ill.

Fiscally pinched Black Hawk College in Moline, Ill., is considering selling or leasing out public TV station WQPT, Quad-Cities Online reports. The college trustees will hear the proposal June 21.

One story, reported three ways, on

"It was really a matter of going out with something else in mind, something beyond the tasks required for a good radio piece," says NPR's Howard Berkes in a Poynter Online Q&A devoted to multimedia story-telling. Berkes' recent feature on Arizona physician and aerial photographer Michael Collier, which was the most e-mailed story on for 48 hours and remained on the top-10 list for a week, is the starting point for this reporting how-to.