Oct 29, 2009

You don't need a credit card for StoryCorps' Day of Listening

StoryCorps is gearing up for its second annual National Day of Listening, to be celebrated Nov. 27, the day after Thanksgiving. The event, an extension of the StoryCorps oral history project that has now collected personal interviews of more than 50,000 individuals, invites public radio listeners to record a meaningful conversation with a loved one and preserve it as a piece of family history. "The National Day of Listening, which coincides with Black Friday--traditionally the largest shopping day of the year--proves that simply listening to one another is the least expensive and most meaningful gift we can give," said Dave Isay, StoryCorps founder and president. To help promote this year's event, NPR personalities Dan Schorr, Juan Williams and Will Shortz will record interviews and discuss the experience on-air, and Talk of the Nation will devote its Thanksgiving Day broadcast to the Day of Listening. Local stations also are helping to spread the word. Austin's KUT will open its studios to local families during off-hours on Thanksgiving week and Atlanta's WABE will host a special event for local Girl Scouts. (Those who conduct interviews will earn badges!) StoryCorps has produced a package of promotional materials for stations, posted here.

CPB hires Sanchez for education post

Debra Tica Sanchez is moving from the Association of Public Television Stations to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, according to CPB. As of December, Sanchez will be senior vice president for education services. At APTS, Sanchez had served as v.p. of government relations. Also, CPB's Susan Zelman will be s.v.p., chief advisor and system consultant for education policy; previously she had been s.v.p. of education and children's content.

Seattle PBS, NPR stations partner with newspaper for debates

PBS affiliate KCTS in Seattle has been busy this month, hosting two live debates between candidates for county executive and mayor. Station spokesperson Daphne Adair told Current this was the first time a wireless network was set up in the studio specifically to allow other local media to blog live from the set. NPR stations KPLU and KUOW along with the Seattle Times were partners in coverage. (Photo: In the KCTS control room during a debate, courtesy of the station.)

FCC taps Waldman to recommend policies promoting "vibrant media"

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced an agency-wide initiative examining how the commission should revise its policies to ensure a "vibrant media landscape." Steven Waldman, a veteran print journalist who founded, will lead the study as a senior advisor to the chairman. Genachowski unveiled the initiative as a response to media reform recommendations developed by the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. "A strong consensus has developed that we're at a pivotal moment in the history of the media and communications, because of game-changing new technologies as well as the economic downturn," Genachowski said in a news release. The initiative will balance the policy changes required to meet the information needs of communities with First Amendment protections for the press, he said. Beliefnet, the largest Interfaith website covering religion and providing inspiration, is owned by News Corporation. Waldman has resigned from the company and discontinued both his blog and regular online column for the Wall Street Journal.

"Superharp" blows the blues at WGBH

Blues great James Cotton stopped in to the WGBH studios Wednesday for an interview with Greater Boston's Jared Bowen, and showed off his legendary harmonica talents. Also in the Fraser Performance Center for the show was Huey Lewis of Huey Lewis and the News. Bowen's interview and Cotton's WGBH performance will air tonight. Also tonight, the bluesman is being honored in a "Live Tribute to James Cotton" at Boston's House of Blues. (Photo: WGBH)