Dec 28, 2010

"New York Street Games" on PBS gets nod as one of TV's best in 2010

The documentary "New York Street Games" snagged a spot for PBS in the top 10 TV shows of 2010 as complied by New York Daily News critic David Hinckley. "This fairly modest production is a documentary shown on local PBS stations, which confirms again the value of PBS," he writes. "It's an unpretentious, straightforward and thoroughly charming look at the games New York kids used to play on New York streets —presented not as nostalgia, but a vivid, riveting snapshot of growing up in the melting pot that was early and mid-20th-century New York." Other shows on the list include HBO's miniseries "Boardwalk Empire"; AMC's Mad Men series and TBS's late-night Conan O'Brien.

Knight winner ponders lack of minority participation in ONA confab

2010 Knight News Challenge winner Retha Hill attended the Online News Association gathering in October in Washington, D.C., and found it valuable. However: Where were the minority participants? "The lack of diversity at ONA '10 was the subject of a brief but heated conversation between some National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) members, a few of whom wanted to 'do something' about it, like call ONA's leadership out," she writes on today's (Dec. 28) MediaShift.

"Was it an oversight? A slap?" Hill mulls. "Or was it a reflection of the lack of diversity in the country's online newsrooms? Maybe it is the echo chamber effect of the online news types whose definition of who is innovating is limited to the people they hang with."

She also offers a few "New Year's resolutions" for bringing more diverse voices into the online news world, including tapping the staffs of and

WHRO helps blind listeners keep up with publications

The Hampton Roads Virginia Voice, a service of dual licensee WHRO in Hampton Roads, Va., uses more than 90 volunteer readers to bring newspaper stories (even grocery ads), magazines and online publications to blind listeners. A story in today's (Dec. 28) Virginian-Pilot highlights the program, which uses a closed circuit signal via a specially modified radio; about 1,000 of the devices are in use. Live broadcasts are also streamed over the Internet.

NPR has become "Champale," Shearer opines

"I think comparing NPR to the BBC is like comparing Champale to Champagne," writes actor, satirist and KCRW's Le Show host Harry Shearer in a comment in response to a lengthy analysis of the past year at NPR on Radio Survivor. He adds: "The days when the former would 'go long' on a story of prime importance have long since been superseded by the era of the unbreakable, predictable format."

Perhaps Shearer is still upset with the network because it didn't cover his Cine Golden Eagle award-winning Katrina doc "The Big Uneasy," and wouldn't let him buy underwriting to promote the film.

In the Monday (Dec. 27) Radio Survivor post, writer Gavin Dahl looks at what he calls NPR's "identity crisis," examining everything from minority employment within the network to the politics behind its funding in 2010. It's his second post on the topic; the first is here.