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


Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Longstanding FCC Case On Relaxing Media Ownership Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court has announced it has agreed to hear a longstanding case dealing with the FCC’s attempt to relax restrictions on local media ownership.

The Federal Communications Commission had referred the case — FCC, et al. v. Prometheus Radio Project, et al. — to the high court in April, supported by the National Association of Broadcasters.

The core is whether the Telecommunications Act of 1996 allows the FCC to repeal or modify media ownership rules that it determines are no longer “necessary in the public interest as the result of competition.” Among other limitations, rules currently don’t allow cross-ownership of a TV station and newspaper in the same market and also limit TV-radio cross ownership. READ MORE AT YAHOO NEWS...

In 50 Years of PBS Programming, Content for Americans of All Classes and Political Views

Polling shows the resilience of the reputation PBS has built over the past five decades. Some 68 percent of respondents told YouGov between August 2019 and August 2020 that they have a positive opinion of PBS, making the service more popular than awards-dominating HBO and putting it on the heels of streaming giant Netflix. A Pew Research Center study on polarization and the American media published in January found that PBS is one of just three outlets — from among 30 choices — trusted by Americans of both parties more than they distrust it. READ MORE AT WAPO...

ALSO: As PBS Celebrates 50th Anniversary, President and CEO Looks To The Future

GBH Brings Popular Public Media Programs To New Social Media Audiences With Multiplatform Interactive Live Streaming Event

GBH will bring the experience of some of its iconic public media programs to new audiences during Chat Plays GBH, a five-hour interactive live streaming variety show produced across Twitch, YouTube and Facebook. Produced in collaboration with Hovercast, Chat Plays GBH is an innovative digital event to showcase the different forms of interactive live streaming, an emerging genre of media that melds television, social media and gaming into an engaging experience allowing audiences to participate in their entertainment. READ MORE AT GBH...

How the Government Can Help Save Local News Without Endangering Its Editorial Independence

A plan from the Rebuild Local News coalition would dramatically increase the number of local reporters without creating a big new government agency.

After the election, will the U.S. be facing a “1967 moment?” The collapse of local news is so severe that Congress may need to pay attention, as it did when it passed the hugely-consequential Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. In fact, Members of Congress have already begun quietly but urgently working on ambitious pieces of legislation to help local news.

But journalists face a horrible dilemma: the crisis in community journalism genuinely threatens democracy. Yet asking for government help seems self-destructive. How can the muckrakers ask for money from the muckmakers? READ MORE AT POYNTER...

What NPR Can Learn From the BBC

In many respects, to compare NPR to the BBC is to compare apples and oranges. Most notably, NPR, via its member stations, receives a modest amount of federal funding via the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, while the BBC is completely funded by license fees levied on all televisions and radios in Great Britain. NPR is a network providing particular programs to independent local stations, while the BBC operates numerous full-time national and regional radio stations. And yet, they are both noncommercial broadcasting organizations functioning in very similar cultures. Are there lessons NPR could learn from its venerable cousin? And are the programming differences between NPR and the public radio media of Great Britain and Canada owing more to differences in funding or philosophy? READ MORE AT CURRENT...