"This American Life" producer Stephanie Foo is dismayed by all subpar storytelling, but especially that which can be attributed to the lack of diversity in public media workplaces. This week on The Pub, Foo talks about her frank and funny manifesto for Transom.org, “What To Do If Your Workplace Is Too White,” and offers examples of how reporters of any identity can tell better stories about people of color.
Also on the show:
• Novelist and journalist Teddy Wayne describes the contrived informality he hears in the voicing of narrative radio, which he decried in his New York Times piece, “ ‘NPR Voice’ Has Taken Over the Airwaves.”
• We’re at the dawn of a glorious new era! I talk about exciting emerging technologies for recording high-quality remote interviews, from VoLTE to Ringr, while NPR chief audio engineer Shawn Fox predicts the death of ISDN and its replacement.
• What the backlash to a "PBS NewsHour" story about charter schools and the backlash to the New York Times’ exposé about Amazon.com have in common.
Everybody has a new podcast these days, but "Marketplace Tech" host Ben Brock Johnson is launching a show that does something quite novel with the medium, and it’s inspired by premium scripted television series on Netflix and HBO. But there’s a catch. To access the next episode, listeners will have to solve a puzzle embedded in the previous episode. New installments will post for general consumption every week and can be downloaded like any other podcast, but anyone who wants to binge all at once will have to break the code.
This week on The Pub, Johnson debuts some of Codebreaker for the first time in public, anywhere. Also:
• What shotgun microphones have in common with time machines, and why host Adam Ragusea thinks they are overused by public radio reporters.
• Listeners to The Pub share some of the crazy, stupid and/or threatening negative feedback they’ve received, featuring stories from Bullseye, Louisville Public Media, WFYI, KUT, Marketplace, WESA, St. Louis Public Radio and more.
Chris Satullo had big, somewhat unorthodox plans for news at WHYY, Philadelphia’s dominant public radio and television station. Then in September, Satullo abruptly resigned his position as v.p. for news and civic dialogue. Subsequent reporting by the Philadelphia Inquirer suggests he was forced out over conflicts with fellow senior managers.
On this week’s episode of The Pub, we listen back to host Adam Ragusea's conversation with Satullo. Also:
- A reprise of our February interview with former NPR host Jacki Lyden about her new venture "The Seams," an independent news organization and podcast dedicated to covering fashion intelligently.
- In a commentary we first ran in April, Adam explains his catchphrase: Authenticity is the new authority.
Radio researcher and consultant Fred Jacobs noticed something as he conducted his latest Public Radio Techsurvey.
“What the data are telling us is that, to a great degree, public radio has two audiences,” Jacobs told me on The Pub.
“There are the traditional listeners who have been with the space for maybe decades, but then there’s this emerging audience that, really, is smaller — I mean it is younger, it is smaller — but they are fascinating.”
What the latest Jacobs Media research shows is that baby boomers and millennials are not only listening differently — the latter being much more inclined toward digital outlets — but also listening for different reasons.
On this week’s episode, Jacobs does the numbers. Also:
- PBS VP for News and Public Affairs Marie Nelson reflects on her first year on the job, the future of independent film on public TV and the perpetual challenge of diversity.
- Host Adam Ragusea decries the pervasive Auto-Tune used by the producers of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, the PBS show for preschoolers that is otherwise a worthy successor to Fred Rogers’ legacy.
If you want to know how to impress the likes of WNYC, pay attention to how Robin Amer did it. Out of a global pool of 370 applicants, she was one of two winners of WNYC’s Podcast Accelerator competition last week and will now have the opportunity to pilot her show idea, "The City."
This week on The Pub, Amer talks about her big plans, also:
• Evan Smith, c.e.o. and editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune dishes his nonprofit’s secrets to raising money with live events (from a panel at the 2015 ONA conference moderated by Kai Ryssdal).
• Sabrina Roach talks about her job, which is quite possibly the most interesting and unusual in public media: a “doer” at Brown Paper Tickets. The ticketing company pays her to do nothing other than work to make public media stronger.