Articles about "PBS"

Journalism education site hopes to become hub for ‘solutions journalism’

PBS' MediaShift launched a site focused on journalism education Wednesday. EducationShift hopes to become "the central hub for journalism educators, students and professionals to find resources, tools and support for transforming their work," University of Wisconsin professor Katy Culver writes in an introductory post. Culver, who has taught and written for Poynter, is EducationShift's curator.

EducationShift went live with a collection of articles that suggest its focus will indeed be on “solutions journalism," as Culver puts it: Sue Robinson on "Creating a Social Media Class Out of Nothing"; Erica Salkin on how student journalists can avoid legal scuffles; Irving Washington on how to win a challenge grant for journalism education. The effort is funded by Knight and its "charter sponsor" is Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University.

The publication plans biweekly Twitter chats; this Friday at 1 p.m. ET Poynter's Howard Finberg and Eric Newton of the Knight Foundation will discuss whether j-school is necessary. Some texts you might want to bone up on if you're planning to tune in:

Gwen Ifill wrote Dec. 12 for PBS about the media’s coverage of Nelson Mandela’s funeral and a series of non-stories that, together, added up to missing the big picture.

The other non-story that overwhelmed coverage of a historic day was fun but excessive. I admit I shared the picture of the president posing for a “selfie” with the Prime Ministers of Great Britain and Denmark on Twitter. It was cute. It was funny, especially because Michelle Obama seemed so unamused.
But never in a million years did I think it would consume (and obscure) so much of the Mandela coverage. Is it because we can’t resist a caption contest?”

Gwen Ifill

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PBS takes advantage of debate’s ‘Big Bird’ moment

Mashable | The Huffington Post | Chicago Sun-Times | USA Today
PBS bought the term "Big Bird" on Twitter, so anyone searching for the term would see an ad for an advocacy site it's set up. "PBS could teach other brands a thing or two about how to turn a meme into a marketing opportunity," Seth Fiegerman writes.

In Wednesday night's debate, Mitt Romney said he would eliminate the federal subsidy for PBS. In an interview with CNN Thursday, PBS CEO Paula Kerger said, "The fact that we are in this debate at all to me is incomprehensible." (more...)

Survey: Fox most uncivil, PBS most civil news organization

Civility in America (PDF)
An online survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted in April found that 62 percent consider the media uncivil.
While this is considerably lower than last year’s incivility rating of 74%, it ranks among the top five most uncivil aspects of American life. A contributing reason to that perception may be that the vast majority of Americans agree that the media is more interested in controversy than facts (82%).
Cable channels were viewed as more uncivil than broadcast networks, and PBS was considered most civil.
"Americans tend to rate the civility levels of similar TV outlets alike -- cable news channels such as Fox News, MSNBC and CNN are perceived similarly as are broadcast news networks such as NBC News, ABC News and CBS News," says the report.

Ombuds pick their notable corrections of 2011

At newspapers and other media organizations, it’s often the ombudsman — aka public editor, aka readers’ editor — who’s charged with the (mostly) thankless task of receiving error reports from the public and staff, and writing any resulting corrections.

This … Read more


Why Knight Foundation turned down ‘NewsHour’ funding request

The New York Times
In a story detailing challenges facing "PBS NewsHour," Elizabeth Jensen writes that the program must find a replacement for Chevron's $2 million sponsorship, which the company decided not to renew for 2012. NewsHour approached the Knight Foundation, which paid to revamp the "NewsHour" website in 2009, but Knight said no. Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president at Knight, tells Jensen, "Our issue with it is that it’s what they usually do. We’re interested in new and different ways of doing things, because one thing you can say about the future of news is it’s not going to be the same. Folks who can be nimble and change are going to do better in the future than those who are slow to change.” || Related: PublicSource, a Pittsburgh-area investigative news site, launches with the help of a Knight Community Information Challenge grant

Longtime Washington Post exec Bo Jones to MacNeil/Lehrer

Romenesko+ memo
After more than three decades with The Washington Post, Bo Jones will become President and CEO of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, which produces "PBS Newshour." Jones, who is currently chairman of The Washington Post, will lead funding efforts for the hourlong nightly newscast and work with stations and distributors. He will also be involved in program development. "Newshour" original anchor Jim Lehrer will leave the position in December. Jones starts in January. (more...)

PBS eliminates 21 positions
PBS President Paula Kerger announced that the nonprofit broadcasting service will cut 13 occupied staff positions and eight vacant ones, and will add six "new or restructured" spots. "Change can be difficult, but I remain convinced that by focusing on our larger goals, we will come out on the other end as a stronger organization prepared to support our mission and stations," Kerger said, according to
Related: Four executives, including the CEO and president, have left recently. (Street Fight)
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PBS responds to story about program interruptions

Romenesko Misc.
Dru Sefton recently reported that PBS will break into programs with underwriting and promo spots four times per hour on an experimental basis beginning this fall. PBS corporate communications veep Anne Bentley sent this statement after I posted Sefton's story:
We are always looking at ways to improve the viewer experience. In line with that, we've done research and one of the things that we're going to try is to come up with is a way to develop better flow between shows. It is all about the viewer and how the viewer gets an opportunity to see our shows.

Our intention is to test it out with a single night and see how that goes. Depending on what we learn, we'll see where we go from there.

We've done some preliminary testing, but we intend to do more before we move forward absolutely.

Initial testing showed that viewers didn't really notice the change, but we want to do additional testing. As we move forward, we'll be monitoring it closely.

Unknown visitors complain about Goldman Sachs ads
In late April, PBS began adding 15 to 30 second "sponsorship" messages to online presentations of major programs — everything from "Masterpiece" to "Frontline." Investment giant Goldman Sachs is the most prominent sponsor so far. "That firm clearly has a right to present a basically 'goodwill' message," writes PBS ombud Michael Getler, "and if I were in that firm I would see how it might help its damaged image - among non-employees - to be associated with PBS. But to some viewers, it has apparently added insult to injury." Here's what they're saying:
I have to admit that I wasn't exactly surprised to have my "Upstairs, Downstairs" program interrupted with an advertisement, but Goldman Sachs?!!? Really? I suppose if you're going to sell out you might as well go straight to the devil. Pathetic.

Another letter:

Why is PBS interrupting programming to show commercials, and why are these commercials for Goldman Sachs? Goldman Sachs nearly brought down the world economy; I find commercials from them in the middle of PBS programming most distasteful.

A PBS Interactive exec tells Getler that this new revenue stream is needed because PBS has become, in a sense, "a victim of our own success," going from two million to 115 million online video views monthly. The exec notes that there are more than 1,000 hours of full length video available for free on and that "dwarfs anything anyone else has done."

* "When the Facts of PBS Life Collide" []