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Current's The Pub

Current's biweekly podcast about news and trends in public and nonprofit media.
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Current's The Pub
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Now displaying: Category: general
Feb 22, 2018

You’ve done your interviews, written your script and filed your story. But did you do one last fact-check?

No longer just for magazines or long-form projects, some public media newsrooms have begun to apply more robust fact-checking to their daily and feature work.

Our audiences expect our stories to be accurate, and on top of that, they expect our journalists to hold newsmakers to account for falsehoods that come out in interviews.

But how do we balance the need for rigorous fact-checking with the daily pressures of filling newscasts and covering our communities? WFPL News Director Erica Peterson shares what her newsroom has done to avoid errors big and small.

What is your newsroom doing? Share your fact-checking tips (or horror stories) with me at annie.m.russell@gmail.com.

Please subscribe to The Pub in iTunes or your favorite podcast app and leave us a rating and a comment! That will help boost our search results and allow people to find the show more easily.

We welcome your feedback on the show: You can reach me on Twitter; Current’s digital editor, Mike Janssen, is at mike@current.org; and you can contact Current generally at news@current.org or on Twitter.

If you’d like to offer a comment to be used in the program, please send on-mic tape (recorded in a studio, with a kit, a smartphone, anything) to mike@current.org either as an attachment or through Google Drive. Please keep it short!

Feb 8, 2018

So your favorite podcast has a new host! Do you keep listening? We certainly hope so.

I’m Annie Russell, the new host of The Pub. I’m an editor at WBEZ and a stand-up comedian. As I navigate this new role, I wondered how a new host goes about taking the reins of an established program. It looks like I’m not the only one facing that particular question. Researching this episode, I found that quite a few public media programs and podcasts have experienced a changing of the guard in the past year or so.


Russell
For new hosts: How do you fill your beloved predecessor’s shoes while still honoring the longtime audience? When you inevitably make changes, will they run for the hills?

Nobody knows this challenge better than journalist Robert Costa. He’s a reporter for the Washington Post and took over as moderator last year for PBS’ weekly public affairs program Washington Week. Costa describes how he approached what could have been a tricky transition after the death of previous longtime host Gwen Ifill.

Plus, I check in with food writer and host of public radio’s The Splendid Table, Francis Lam, who made the jump from filling in occasionally to taking over the program permanently.

As The Pub’s new host, I hope to continue to have meaningful conversations with folks who work in public media — and I hope to hear from more of you. Please don’t be shy! Write in with a segment idea or a topic suggestion. What’s a question your station or newsroom is grappling with? Whose important voice have we not heard on The Pub?

Please subscribe to The Pub in iTunes or your favorite podcast app and leave us a rating and a comment! That will help boost our search results and allow people to find the show more easily.

We welcome your feedback on the show: You can reach me on Twitter; Current’s digital editor, Mike Janssen, is at mike@current.org; and you can contact Current generally at news@current.org or on Twitter.

If you’d like to offer a comment to be used in the program, please send on-mic tape (recorded in a studio, with a kit, a smartphone, anything) to mike@current.org either as an attachment or through Google Drive. Please keep it short!

Jan 3, 2018

Whether they’re talking to your kids or to Congress, the hosts and characters of public media children's programming are powerful. They promote understanding, inclusion and education. Plus, they’re really entertaining.

But is children’s programming the future of public media?

Mel Kramer and Betsy O’Donovan say it is. In a white paper for the Knight Foundation, they argue that all of public media’s public funding should be spent on content for kids. And not just shows. O’Donovan and Kramer make the case for multimedia, easy-to-access content that reaches young viewers wherever they are. This not only makes for happy kids, they say, but for better citizens.

And it seems like it’s an urgent time to rethink children’s media. Strange, sometimes disturbing videos aimed at kids are winding up in front of impressionable eyeballs, thanks to some nefarious gaming of the YouTube algorithm. One critic puts the blame on the profit motive. Could this plan solve the growing problem?

But not everything online is dangerous. Facebook admits that the psychological effect of its service can vary based on how you use it. In the Opening Shot, we look at the contrast between positive and negative on social media.

Dec 6, 2017

Terry Gross listens to tons of podcasts — including The Pub — and her own NPR show, Fresh Air, is also one of the most popular podcasts around. And yet, she remains committed to radio, both as a host and as a listener.

“I don’t want a world of just podcasts. I don’t want a world where everything is boutique-y and fragmented,” Gross told me on The Pub. “I want a world where there’s an All Things Considered and a Morning Edition — the kind of things you can only do with the kind of model that NPR has.”

In this, host Adam Ragusea's final episode of The Pub, he has a wide-ranging conversation with Terry Gross about all of the big issues facing public media; also, she turns the tables and asks Adam more than a few questions, because — duh — she’s Terry Gross and that’s what she does.

Also on the show, we take the occasion of the Public Broadcasting Act’s 50th anniversary as an opportunity to drill a live audience in Washington about what public media’s fundamental purpose is supposed to be — to raise the bar, or to fill the gaps?

Jul 9, 2015

There’s increasingly money to be made in podcasting. But not much, and drooling over the modest amount to be had is like drooling over a bowl of moldy gruel — you only do it because you’re starving.

But eat we must. So this week we look at the intersection of podcasting and money — how podcasters can make money to support their podcasting, maybe even themselves. And maybe the gruel won’t look so moldy by the time we’re done.

We talked to a panel of podcasting experts at the Public Media Marketing and Development Conference in Washington, D.C.. Our guests:

  • Kerri Hoffman, c.o.o. at Public Radio Exchange, which distributes 13 podcasts through its Radiotopia network;
  • Wendy Turner, v.p. for digital and technical operations at WBEZ in Chicago; and
  • Erik Diehn, v.p. for business development at Midroll Media.

This episode is a co-production with Greater Public.

Jun 4, 2015

On this week’s episode of The Pub, Raney Aronson, the new executive producer of public TV's "Frontline," goes deep on the show's production process, her vision for its future, and even some of the stumbles she’s had with new initiatives, such as the transition from hourlong documentary films to 2-minute web videos.

Also this week:

  • WNYC decides to self-distribute "On the Media" and "Radiolab," and we explore what that actually means
  • WHRO President and CEO Bert Schmidt talks about how his station is now earning 40 percent of its revenue by creating educational materials
Apr 23, 2015

Did one of public TV’s most revered figures really cede editorial control to a celebrity? It certainly looks that way to PBS ombudsman Michael Getler. On this episode, Ben Affleck's request to Henry Louis Gates and the aftermath.

Also, Current’s Dru Sefton dishes on the many other mentions of public media organizations and personalities she’s found in the leaked Sony emails.

CBC gadfly Jesse Brown returns to The Pub to dissect the CBC’s internal investigation into how former "Q" host Jian Ghomeshi allegedly got away with abusing women for years.

And host Adam Ragusea contemplates why local public radio voices tend to sound more bassy and boomy than national voices.

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