Feb 23, 2011

A little birdie told us . . .

Are you in pubmedia? Here are five Twitter feeds you should be following, as suggested by Bryce Kirchoff at the National Center for Media Engagement.

America's main news diet: Commercial

America is the only major democracy in the West to rely almost entirely on commercial media to comprehensively inform its citizens. So says Rodney Benson, associate professor of media, culture and communication at New York University, in the online magazine The two surveyed 14 countries; in every Western European democracy they examined, public broadcasting channels attract at least a third of the national TV audience. “Who is the average BBC watcher?” Benson says. "Everybody in Britain.”

And foreign public media stations can schedule news programming during primetime.“Whereas there’s a big different in what people know here, when you compare high and low income, high and low education, in some of these countries there’s almost no difference,” Benson says. “The value of having this kind of broad publicly oriented programming available to everyone at an accessible time, and putting a lot of resources behind that to make it available and accessible, is that citizens are better informed in those countries.”

Nation's first all-student state news network to debut Feb. 28 on Hawaii PBS

America's first student news network, Hiki No – it means "can do" – premieres Feb. 28 on PBS Hawaii, reports the Star-Advertiser in Honolulu. Students from more than 50 public, charter and private high schools and middle schools in the state will contribute to the first season. Initially there will be one one new half-hour, student-created newscast each week; eventually, the project is shooting for six new Hiki No newscasts weekly. Newscasts also will be available on PBS Hawaii's website. Funding was provided by CPB and the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation.

Local filmmaker Stuart Yamane also created a half-hour documentary, "Backstory: The Making of Hiki No," which debuted Feb. 21.

Joyce Campbell to retire; worked at KCET, WETA, KQED

Joyce Campbell, who has worked in public television continuously since 1959, is retiring as KCET's vice president of education and children's programming. Her last day is March 18.

Campbell has been with the Los Angeles station for 20 years. She's supervised many of the station's major initiatives, from bi-lingual pledge programs to California Connected, the science series The Human Quest and A Place of Our Own and Los NiƱos en Su Casa, for Spanish- and English-speaking child caretakers. Most recently, she  helped develop Sid the Science Kid with the Jim Henson Co. and served as KCET e.p. on the series through the production of its second season, just wrapping.

Prior to KCET, Campbell was senior v.p. and station manager at WETA in Arlington, Va. She also worked at KUID-TV in Moscow, Idaho. She began her career at KQED in San Francisco, as a senior producer/director helping to cover the tumultuous 1960s in the Bay Area. One memory: While directing a live concert at the Berkeley Folk Festival, Country Joe and the Fish, standing before the American flag, used the “f” word. The next morning, the FBI was at the station. Fortunately, no fines.

Campbell and her husband, David Campbell, are planning an adventurous start to her retirement: a trip to the Serengeti.

PBS, the antidote to "Ice Road Truckers"

PBS President Paula Kerger was in Knoxville recently, and chatted with Metro Pulse. One topic: Why PBS remains unique in the world of TV. "There are just so many options, and so many channels have pursued different niches. ... Other channels, like the Learning Channel, Bravo, and the History Channel started down the path towards being a commercial version of public broadcasting, but they’ve all moved away from it. ... The History Channel’s name franchise is now Ice-Road Truckers, you know? So we’re still providing something no one else is."