Saturday, May 25, 2013

Your reply: Your take on Open Air

Last week, the second event for the new Open Air initiative took place in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The initiative, launched by Twin Cities Public Television, was a move to increase the awareness of TPT for those in their twenties and thirties, according to an interview its project leader Andi McDaniel gave to the public media magazine current.

What do you think of the initiative? Were you at their recent bar event? What do you think stations should be doing to attract younger audiences?

Let me know what you think. Leave a comment below, email me through my web site, tweet me or write on my Facebook page.

Friday, May 24, 2013

A note from the editor

I have been wondering for a while since I regularly began posting here again what the best way forward was for this blog. I've been changing this up and am constantly thinking what is the best thing for The Pubcast Diaries now.

I think I might have figured it out. We're going to go back to strictly public media posts, and I think there's some good stuff coming up. Posts will appear as I am able.

As always, get in touch and let me know what you think, either on Facebook, Twitter, in the comments section, or emailing me through my web site.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rob Ford, a video and covering Toronto's City Hall

The mayor of the Canadian city of Toronto Rob Ford, as sen in 2011.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user West Annex News

In the Canadian city of Toronto, its mayor Rob Ford is keeping silent, as a video of him allegedly smoking crack cocaine emerged. It is reported by the CBC that the Toronto Star newspaper and the Gawker web site has seen the video, as the city's Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday said he's been advised that Ford should limit his comments on the matter.

"The only thing I've been able to get from him and some people on his staff is, I guess, that the lawyers that they are dealing with suggest the less they say at this point, the better," Holyday said according to the CBC. "For what reason that is, I don't know."

In later remarks, Ford's brother, Doug Ford, a city politician, said there was no need for Ford to comment because of requests from the media. "He has already addressed these allegations three times on Friday. I don't know how much more he can say," Ford said according to the CBC.

Ford later added that his brother would not "be pressured by the Toronto Star to answer their questions on their timeframe," according to a report in the Star."If the mayor wants to make a statement, his press secretary will notify the media."

The news comes as Gawker launched a crowdsourcing initiative to pay the publishers for the video. Gawker's editor-in-chief John Cook did not respond to a request for comment.

Bob Hepburn, a spokesman for the Star, said reporters were contacted about the video in March. "The source later arranged a meeting on May 3 with another man who he claimed had secretly recorded the mayor on video smoking crack cocaine," Hepburn said. "It was on that evening that the two reporters first viewed the video."

Requests to some reporters at publications who cover City Hall for interviews were not returned.

Alex Howell, a resident of Toronto, said she did not vote for Ford as mayor, but had some respect for him. The incident surrounding this video has changed her perspective, Howell says, and that if the allegations of the video are true, Ford should resign.

Howell adds that there are questions on if Doug Ford is acting in the interests of his constituents. "The Toronto Star allegations aren't accurate," Howell said, adding that journalists should have more access to Ford, so citizens can know more about what is going on. Howell added that she sympathized with journalists because of the access limitations which made doing their work difficult.

Your reply: Reading newspapers on Nooks

A Nook from Barnes and Noble.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user AMagill
Earlier this month, the technology news web site TechCrunch reported on a possible deal that would see Microsoft buying the assets surrounding the digital e-reader Nook, currently owned by Barnes and Noble and other investors.

Internal documents revealed the deal and a discontinuation of the Android model of the Nook, the report says.

A spokesperson for Microsoft declined to comment, while a request to Barnes and Noble did not respond to a request for comment.

Some people do read newspapers on Nooks. Papers like The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post are available to read on the Nook.

What do you think? If Microsoft bought the Nook, would you still read newspapers on the Nook?

You can leave a comment below, write on my Facebook page or tweet me.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Your reply: The Tumblr acquisition

An example of the Tumblr background.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user stephanski
On Monday, Yahoo announced it was acquiring the blogging service Tumblr for $1.1 billion, in what is being seen as a shift in the social media landscape, according to a report in The New York Times.

There are some Tumblr blogs that are from news organizations which promote news and other items, including National Public Radio and the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper in the US.

What do you think of Yahoo's move to buy Tumblr, and what do you think it will mean for Tumblr as an outlet for journalism? Are you excited for it or are you concerned?

Let me know what you think. You can leave a comment below, post on my Facebook page or tweet me.

Gannett's social pitch for Oklahoma funding

The employees of the US media company Gannett, the owners of USA Today, have been utilizing their social media accounts to help encourage people to donate $10 to the American Red Cross in light of the tornadoes in the state of Oklahoma.

Utilizing the Twitter hashtag "gannettcares", followers were asked to donate to the Red Cross by texting 90999 on their phones. A spokesperson for Gannett confirmed a memo was circulated, as reported here, but did not immediately respond to a request to discuss the thinking behind the move.

A spokesperson for the Red Cross declined a request for an interview, citing limited resources.

The tornado touched down in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore May 20, with 24 people confirmed to have died, according to a report from the BBC.

The new Pubcast Diaries

Today, I'm going to begin posting regularly again to The Pubcast Diaries.

In addition to the look at public media in the U.S. and Canada, the blog will also look at journalism and the wider media industry in both countries, addressing current issues and looking ahead. There will also be some things about social media as well.

I hope you'll join me in the next chapter of The Pubcast Diaries! It'll be fun.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Your reply: What should replace Talk of the Nation?

An audience member at a recording of a Talk of the Nation special in 2008. Talk of the Nation ends its run on NPR stations in June.
(Photo courtesy of Flickr user jonny goldstein)

NPR member stations are preparing for a transition of content in its afternoon schedule with the cancellation of Talk of the Nation. The program, ending June 28, is likely to be replaced by many stations with the program Here and Now, which NPR and member station WBUR signed a production agreement on.

A report from the public media magazine Current notes that the distribution of Here and Now, currently done through Public Radio International, is to expire in June. But, PRI is looking to experiment with a combination of national and local content to make the new program. A separate report from Current notes that while Here and Now will be looking for stations to contribute to content, the customized experiment is currently being tested on some member stations.

A spokesperson for Oregon Public Broadcasting, one of the stations taking part, said no decision had been made on what program would replace Talk of the Nation, and declined to comment beyond the Current article.

In San Francisco, a spokesperson for KQED, the most listened to NPR station in the country, said no decision had been made regarding its future afternoon schedule.

What do you think? What should replace Talk of the Nation? Would Here and Now be a viable replacement?

I'm keen to hear your thoughts. You can leave me a comment below, write on my Facebook page, tweet me, or email me (formatted that way to reduce spam).

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bill C-60 and the CBC

The CBC building in Edmonton, in the Canadian province of Alberta, as seen in 2009. A new government bill may have wide affects on CBC.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user marceloilers
The Canadian government has put forward a bill that is said to influence negotiations with employees and unions at Crown Corporations.

The bill, known as Bill C-60, is to monitor the crown corporations of Canada, but there are three specifically that the government are looking after, according to a report from The Globe and Mail newspaper. Those corporations are the Canada Post postal service, the Via Rail train service and the public broadcaster CBC.

In an interview with the Globe, Treasury Board Secretariat Tony Clement said this bill was part of a larger issue. "[It] is part of a broader issue, which is aligning the public-service compensation and benefits to private-sector norms and expectations," Clement said, noting that CBC, Canada Post and Via Rail were examples of the Crown Corporations that the bill was targeting. "These are all examples of Crown corporations [that], when their financial viability goes too far south, always then seem to be at the doorstep of the government of the day," Clement said.

Clement, for the part of CBC, said the broadcaster was "always struggling to put out good content at a time of sometimes declining ad revenues and other revenues."

Canada Post and Via Rail did not respond to telephone messages seeking comment.

In a statement on its web site, which was referred to after a media request, CBC said the employees of the corporation were not public servants under the country's Broadcasting Act, and salaries were determined by the Board of Directors. "In recent years, the Corporation has developed an efficient and cooperative bargaining process with its unions, while ensuring that compensation remains aligned with the broadcast industry in which we operate," the statement said. "Like some Crown Corporations, we also need the flexibility to operate quickly in a fast changing industry, while being able to attract the talent necessary in to order to operate at our best."

CBC added that they would be writing to federal ministers to convey concerns and request a meeting to discuss the repercussions.

A quick editor's note

I can officially confirm that The Pubcast Diaries is on Facebook and Twitter! You can like the blog here, or follow the blog on Twitter here.

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