Jul 31, 2012

We've got something new in store for you: a blog that's integrated into

Our news blog is moving on Wednesday, Aug. 1 to the new, where it will reside on the left-hand side of the homepage under a new column headed Quick Takes. It's part of a major upgrade of Current's web service, a redesign that gives readers more tools for keeping current with public media news that fits their needs and interests. If you read our blog through an RSS feed, you'll have many more options from which to choose, or you can subscribe to a feed of everything that's posted on the site.

Thanks for your support of our blog. The growth in readership has helped build our reach and engagement with more of the people who work in and care about public service media. Monthly pageviews have grown from 18,115 in July 2008 to 50,510 in July 2012.

We hope to provide an improved and more integrated online reading experience to you through the new, and look forward to your feedback and, as always, news tips.

Former associates announce first Tim Emmons scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the first Tim Emmons Memorial Mentoring Scholarship.

Emmons, former program director and general manager of Northern Public Radio, died in February after a long battle with cancer. The scholarship was announced today by Peter Dominowski and Scott Williams, longtime friends of Emmons and business associates with him in Strategic Programming Partners.

The recipient, a current or aspiring public radio program director, will work directly with Williams and Dominowski for one year. Mentoring will include major aspects of successful programming, such as program scheduling, effective promotion, understanding audience data and air checking. "Any area that will help them become a more knowledgeable and successful PD," the two said in the announcement.

"Tim was a teacher and mentor to so many people," Williams said. "We can think of no better way to honor and continue his legacy than by mentoring a program director and helping them increase the quality of service to listeners."

"Scott and I are pleased to donate 100 percent of our professional services to make this scholarship possible," Dominowski said. He also thanked members of the scholarship advisory board, Craig Oliver of Craig Oliver Consulting, and Tamar Charney, program director of Michigan Radio.

Deadline for applications is Aug. 24.

Individuals and organizations wishing to fund site visits, job shadowing and other scholarship expenses may send checks to Strategic Programming Partners (Box 115, Matheson, Colo., 80830) specifying that the funds are to support the Emmons scholarship.

Radiolab producers don't believe Lehrer's contributions to be "compromised"

WNYC, the producer of public radio’s Radiolab, has found “no reason to believe” that frequent contributor Jonah Lehrer's appearances on the show are "compromised." Lehrer resigned from The New Yorker Sunday after Tablet magazine revealed that he had made up quotes attributed to Bob Dylan in his book Imagine: How Creativity Works.

Here’s the full statement from WNYC:
Jonah Lehrer has been a regular contributor to Radiolab as an “explainer,” making technical science more accessible and bringing much needed meaning to new scientific research. He has been a lively and compelling voice and has helped make the history of science come alive for listeners. We are deeply saddened by the news this week about such a talented and valued colleague.
Radiolab has not used Jonah as a standalone authority on any topic within an episode. Rather, he has brought new research to the attention of the program and the producers in turn have interviewed primary sources and researchers, weaving the voices together as part of a choir — a style of reporting that defines Radiolab. Since Jonah has not been in the role of reporter for Radiolab and we have employed standard practices of journalism in producing the episodes, we have no reason to believe his work with Radiolab is compromised. But we will review the work as needed.
A WNYC spokesperson would not elaborate when asked how Radiolab’s producers will determine the need for review.

Lehrer first came under scrutiny last month when media watcher Jim Romenesko pointed out that the writer had recycled some of his own pieces for multiple publications. The ensuing controversy over Lehrer's "self-plagiarism" prompted Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad to write a blog post in Lehrer’s defense. “The notion that Jonah is a ‘plagiarist’ is beyond ridiculous,” Abumrad wrote on June 22. “And the way in which some journalists are jumping up and down, claiming he’s no longer a ‘writer’ but an ‘idea man’ or an example of ‘male arrogance’…that’s just plain ugly.” As of that writing, Lehrer had appeared on Radiolab 17 times.

In March, This American Life took down (for a second time) several stories by reporter Stephen Glass, who in 1998 was found to have concocted parts of articles he’d written for national publications.