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


Michigan Public Television Stations To Launch New Learning Channel

Public Television stations across the state are launching the Michigan Learning Channel, a new way to feature real teachers and curriculum aligned with state standards, for kids at home.

"This will be teachers on television and on every platform imaginable," said Rich Homberg, president and CEO of Detroit Public Television. "The entire state has access to public television and the bandwidth of our channels. Today, we've got four channels and we've acquired the technology to create a fifth. So it's free over the air." READ MORE...

PLUS: Public TV Datacasting Key for Remote Education, APTS Tells FCC

Growing Your Audience During Covid-19

With commute time declines reducing public radio listening in cars it’s important to look at what we can do to stabilize and reverse audience declines and educate our audiences on how to access the station in the digital age.

Jacobs Media TechSurvey has noted three years running that they have rarely seen use of any gadget grow as quickly as the Smart Speaker. From 12% ownership in 2017 to 27% ownership among public radio listeners in 2020. Millennials and Gen X account for even higher ownership percentages at 35%. Four in ten people own more than one smart speaker.

And listening to a local radio station and streaming music are the top uses for smart speakers. READ MORE AT THE UNIVERSITY STATION ALLIANCE...

Media Executives Are Finally Accepting the Decline of Cable TV as They Plot a New Path Forward

There’s a quiet consensus emerging in the hallways and boardrooms of American media companies.

They expect about 25 million U.S. households to cancel their pay-TV subscriptions over the next five years. This is on top of the 25 million homes that have already cut the cord since 2012. At least three major media companies now expect pay-TV subscriptions to stabilize around 50 million, according to people familiar with the matter, who declined to speak on the record because their company plans are private. READ MORE AT CNBC...

Are Local Newspapers Protecting Their Local Government Coverage?

Newspapers have all had to make cuts. But it doesn’t look like they’ve favored the beats that are most important to democracy — watchdog coverage of local governments — over other kinds of news. READ MORE AT NIEMAN LAB...

Sahan Journal Wins Current's "Local That Works" Contest

A nonprofit newsroom that covers immigrant and refugee communities in Minnesota was chosen as the 2020 winner of Current’s annual Local that Works contest.

Sahan Journal, which was relaunched in 2019, received a $20,000 grand prize provided by the Wyncote Foundation.

“This really shows the work of our reporters,” said Mukhtar Ibrahim, founding executive director and editor of Sahan Journal, upon receiving the prize. “It’s for the community that trusts us with their stories. It’s for people who have been overlooked by the media for so many years, and we are really excited to be the winner.” READ MORE AT CURRENT...

PLUS: Explore the LTW Database of 350+ Projects

NewsMatch Opens With 4+ Million in Funds and More Nonprofit Newsrooms Than Ever

The Institute for Nonprofit News, in partnership with News Revenue Hub and The Miami Foundation, today announced that 267 nonprofit newsrooms will participate in the fifth annual NewsMatch fundraising campaign — a 35% increase over last year. NewsMatch has already raised $4.03 million from local and national funders to support this year’s campaign.

This year’s NewsMatch theme, “news for the people, with the people” reflects the increased public awareness of the essential need for credible news in this crisis-ridden year as well as Americans’ willingness to support news as a public good. READ MORE AT INN...

The Future Is Local: City Cast, a Network of Daily Local Podcasts

Launching this winter in a handful of cities, City Cast will be a national network of daily local podcasts. It will combine essential local news with smart, delightful perspective about your community. It will be the passionate, curious, connecting voices of your cities — framing and explaining the news and helping make us more informed and more empathetic — and better citizens in small but meaningful ways. READ MORE...