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


Indiana Public Broadcasters Fund $6.7M Toward Datacasting for E-Learning

Indiana has put $6.73 million in grants to the development and deployment of datacasting technology to help deliver educational content using TV signals.

APTS previously urged the FCC to recognize the role datacasting could play in supporting remote educational efforts, citing Indiana, as well as Pennsylvania and South Carolina, as states that have been using datacasting during the pandemic, which is particularly helpful for those who do not have reliable access to the internet.

Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations has reportedly raised the $6.73 million in grants and has the intention of doing a pilot datacasting program in January with Jennings County schools. Mark Newman, IPBS executive director, is coordinating the effort. READ MORE AT TV TECHNOLOGY...

Religious Broadcasters Added Nearly 50 Stations In Past Year

The religious format, which encompasses both teaching and variety stations, picked up 47 stations from October 2019 to October 2020. A close second is classic hits, with the format adding 43 new signals year over year; followed by variety, the catch-all format found at the non-commercial end of the FM dial and on AM, which added 42 stations. The contemporary Christian format also grew during the past 12 months, adding 30 radio stations, Spanish-language formats picked up 28 radio stations and classic rock grew by 15. READ MORE AT INSIDE RADIO...

How Wisconsin Public Radio is Using Surveys to Track Diversity of its Sources

Many at Wisconsin Public Radio have long recognized that the vast majority of sources heard in our news coverage and talk shows are white. The lack of diversity in the voices heard on-air is a problem that many newsrooms have struggled with and are trying with urgency to address.

WPR began working towards a solution two years ago, and this summer completed the first comprehensive analysis of sources appearing in newscasts, feature reporting and talk shows. READ MORE AT CURRENT...

PLUS: KUT and KUTX Commitment to Engaging Diverse Audiences

Spotify to Acquire Podcast Platform Megaphone

The Swedish audio streaming platform announced the move this morning, stating in the official press release that it has “entered into a definitive agreement” to buy the podcast hosting platform currently owned by Graham Holdings. The deal is expected to come in at around $235 million, pending review, according to a person familiar with the matter, and employment offers are expected to be made to all current Megaphone staffers. READ MORE...

Smaller and Nonprofit Newsrooms Are Weathering the Economic Impact of COVID-19 Better Than Most

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism published a report looking at the financial impact of Covid-19 on 165 independent newsrooms from around the globe.

Within much bad news, there was a surprising “significant minority” of independent news organizations surviving — and even thriving — through the crisis. About 14 percent of newsrooms surveyed are seeing “stable or even growing revenue.” The report found these “winners” tend to be small- or medium-sized online outlets, appear online-only, and invest more of their operating costs in their newsroom. READ MORE AT NIEMEN LAB...

Election Brought Record-Setting Numbers To NPR Podcasts, Smart Speaker Apps And Websites

The daily NPR Politics Podcast reached a record high number of listeners last week, as its reach jumped 36% compared to the prior 13-week average as people turned to the podcast for the latest about the election. The podcast’s performance was part of what NPR says was a record-setting week as its digital platforms saw their largest audience ever. READ MORE...

Podcasting’s Share Of Ad-Supported Audio Time Jumps 29% Since Last Year

Podcasting’s share of ad-supported audio listening jumped 29% during the past year according to the latest Share of Ear report from Edison Research. Its data shows podcasts accounted for nine percent of ad-supported audio consumption among Adults aged 18 and older during the third quarter, up two points from a year earlier. AM/FM radio remains the dominant audio source with 43% of all of Americans’ listening time going to radio. When narrowing the scope to just ad-supported audio, the Edison data shows podcast listening now ranks second with 9% with AM/FM far out front with 76%. READ MORE...

Practical Tips for Improving Mental Health in the Newsroom

Working in a newsroom poses particular challenges to mental health: the job typically involves a high-stress environment, long hours, tight deadlines, exposure to graphic images and videos, and an unstable industry with uncertain benefits and job security.

Mental illness is exacerbated when it is not discussed openly or taken seriously. This past July in Portland at SRCCON, dozens of journalists, developers, and newsroom workers sat down together to share their personal experiences with mental health. READ MORE...