May 17, 2011

KCET plans on-air fundraiser for Japan disaster relief

KCET in Los Angeles has received a waiver from the Federal Communications Commission to air a live pledge show for Japan earthquake and tsunami relief. A spokesperson for the FCC said about a dozen such waivers have been granted.

The fundraiser is from 8 to 11 p.m. Pacific May 24. It will feature guests from the Japanese-American community including actor George Takei, and a pre-taped interview with Gene Otani, lead anchor for Newsline, NHK’s weeknight English-language newscast. Also, on May 18, Otani will answer live questions via Ustream moderated by KCET’s editor-in-chief of blogs Zach Behrens that will run on and KCET’s Facebook page during the 3 p.m. Pacific hour.

The station is working with the U.S.-Japan Council to allocate all money raised during the pledge to relief organizations in Japan including the Japan Platform and the Center for Public Resource Development.

PBS Digital Learning Library graduates into larger LearningMedia

ORLANDO — PBS and WGBH today (May 17) announced PBS LearningMedia, the next generation of the PBS Digital Learning Library. It'll be a digital media platform to "help re-imagine classroom learning, transform teaching, and more creatively engage students," the network said in a statement. “Digital media content – so pervasive in the lives of children – has the potential to dramatically change the way students learn and participate in a global society," PBS President Paula Kerger said. Including content from more than 55 member stations, independent producers and public institution partners, the first phase of development will combine existing infrastructure models from the PBS Digital Learning Library (formerly EDCAR) with local services from WGBH’s Teachers’ Domain and its partners, WNET/New York and Kentucky Educational Television (KET). PBS LearningMedia will be offered in two tiers from local member stations: a free version available to every teacher, and a premium service with features such as bulk registrations, analytics, integration with assessments, and credit-bearing professional development courses.

Education Department approves $27.3 million for Ready to Learn

Ready to Learn is safe. On Monday (May 16) the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS expressed appreciation to Congress and the U.S. Department of Education for providing $27.3 million in continued funding for the initiative, which helps public television stations develop educational resources on-air, online and on the ground that provide young children – especially those from low-income backgrounds – with fundamental reading and math skills. The project was endangered in recent budget rounds.

Australian newspaper hits back at ad breaks inserted into "PBS NewsHour" Down Under

ORLANDO — PBS's intention to insert underwriting spots into programming on a test basis beginning this fall, creating major buzz at its National Meeting here this week, comes just as an Australian newspaper is editorializing against new commercial breaks in PBS NewsHour on that country's SBS network. Those interruptions, which began earlier this month, prompted The Australian to write, "Not only is NewsHour now being interrupted with totally inappropriate advertising, but SBS appears to be amateurishly clipping its editorial segments in order to accommodate the ads." The paper also called NewsHour SBS's "most valuable program."