News Bites is our quick snack of public media news that you may have missed...


The Decline of Local Newsrooms Could Make It Harder for Us To Detect the Next Disease Outbreak

Many disease-monitoring resources around the world rely on data from local newsrooms. As local newsrooms shrink amid a pandemic, the ironic and troubling implications for disease surveillance are difficult to quantify, but easy to observe.

ProMED—one of the largest resources reporting infectious disease outbreaks in the world, now familiar for its frequent citations in national reporting on COVID-19—also depends on journalism. “Media reports are one of our best and earliest sources of outbreak information,” says Larry Madoff, Editor at ProMED.

“A pandemic starts at the local level,” Madoff says. “The closer you can get to identifying a cluster and outbreak at its origin, the better. The further you get from the local, the bigger an outbreak needs to be before it gets noticed or picked up and the more likely it is to spread.” READ MORE AT CJR...

PLUS: Covering Coronavirus: A Snapshot of the Information People Want and What Local Newsrooms are Reporting

Podcast Ad Revenue of $800 Million in 2020 With a Doubling by 2024

The amount of money advertisers will spend on podcast advertising is projected to more than double during the next five years. PricewaterhouseCoopers forecasts $800 million will be spent this year on podcast ads in the U.S. and by 2024 the total will reach $1.7 billion. PwC says podcast revenue continues to grow at a faster rate than for either radio or the music industry – it estimates an annual growth rate of 18.8% through 2024 – which it says is a reflection of gains made by podcasters in reaching new listeners.

The U.S. accounts for the vast majority of podcast industry revenue. Yet PwC estimates the global growth rate for podcast revenue will be even larger, estimating a 22.2% year-to-year increase through 2024. READ MORE AT INSIDERADIO...

Ohio Stations Move Forward With News Collaborative

A group of public radio stations in Ohio received a CPB grant to support the planning phase of a statewide journalism collaborative, the stations said in a Tuesday news release.

The $56,000 grant will help the stations develop a business and sustainability plan for the collaborative, according to the release.

Leaders of the three stations leading the effort — ideastream in Cleveland, Cincinnati Public Radio and WOSU in Columbus — see the collaborative as a way to pool reporting resources and attempt to fill a gap left by newspapers in the state shutting down and reducing staff.

The collaboration is “an effort to really serve Ohio more than it’s ever been served before and bring the public radio stations together to do that,” WOSU GM Tom Rieland told Current. READ MORE AT CURRENT...

ProPublica to Launch New Regional Units in the South and Southwest

ProPublica announced that it is dramatically scaling up its commitment to local investigative journalism with the launch of three regional reporting hubs. The nonprofit news organization will establish two new units covering the South and Southwest.

“The need for local accountability journalism is more acute than ever, as newspapers across the country contract and in some cases collapse,” said Charles Ornstein, ProPublica managing editor for local. READ MORE AT PROPUBLICA...

2020 Edward R. Murrow Awards Winners

The Radio Television Digital News Association has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Award recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Murrow set as a standard for the profession of electronic journalism.

Categories include: Excellence in Innovation, Excellence in Social Media, Excellence in Sound, Excellence in Video, Excellence in Writing, Feature Reporting, Investigative Reporting and Podcast. READ MORE...