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


Pubmedia’s Meeting Organizers Say Virtual Conferences Are Here to Stay

Public media’s conference organizers are placing calculated bets on when and whether to resume in-person meetings.

PBS, which completely canceled its spring 2020 conferences because of the coronavirus pandemic, announced plans to convene a virtual Annual Meeting this May and an in-person PBS Technology Conference in October.

Leaders of associations that produced virtual events last year said the format has many advantages to improve access to training and professional development. READ MORE AT CURRENT...

PBS, CPB Launch Podcast Training Program

With the pandemic making it even more important that kids are "ready to learn" from home, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are teaming up with PBS Kids and audio tech company PRX on a Ready to Learn podcast training and development program.

The new Ready to Learn Podcast Accelerator will be a 16-week program (May through September 2021) and will be for producers of educational kids content, in this case five production teams. READ MORE AT NEXT TV...

CPB Data Shows Growing Racial Diversity Across Pubmedia Stations

Men and women held equal shares of jobs at public media stations last year, according to newly released data by CPB, and minorities reached a 10-year high in the proportion of jobs held in the system.

Meanwhile, race and ethnicity data shows that minorities accounted for 24.7% of employees at CSG-qualified stations last year. READ MORE AT CURRENT...

In Denver, Public Radio’s ‘The Drop’ Gains FM Signal

One of the country’s first public media urban alternative radio outlets, “The Drop” will gain the Denver-licensed FM translator signal, K284CI at 104.7. The station, operated by Rocky Mountain Public Media, debuted in June 2019 on the company’s KUVO-HD2 and will be available on the FM dial Monday, Feb. 15.

“This station has always been about the people. From our name to how we engage with our listeners, it’s all about our Colorado community,” GM/PD Nikki Swarn said in a release. “Without this local support our 104.7 FM signal wouldn’t be as impactful… The station provides a place in the media landscape for a variety of musical genres and reinforces a sense of community for a diverse listenership.”

Rocky Mountain Public Media President/CEO Amanda Mountain added, “We are thrilled to make an investment in acquiring the 104.7 FM radio home for The Drop.” READ MORE AT INSIDE RADIO...

NZ Government to Fund "Public Interest News and Journalism"

The New Zealand government has pledged $55 million for a new fund for public interest news and journalism - the biggest single boost in media funding for many years. Media companies countrywide will compete for the cash. READ MORE AT RADIO NZ...

Thinking Beyond the Buzzword "Engagement"

Working in local news, it’s a word you probably hear a lot: Engagement.

“It’s the buzzword,” says Sue Robinson, a journalism professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “It’s been around for a few years now at this point, and it’s really kind of taken hold and developed into its own kind of ecosystem.”

Swirling within that ecosystem are a whole host of engagement tools, engagement metrics, and engagement initiatives. But to move beyond the buzzword, Robinson helped organize a recent symposium on the subject, inviting two journalists-turned-academics to share from their new books on engagement — and discuss what it can actually do for a newsroom’s relationship with its audience, according to their research. READ MORE AT CRONKITE NEWS LAB...

New App Podz Thinks Audio Newsfeeds Will Help Podcast Discovery

Podz is a new app launching this week that says it will replace podcast directories with a personalized audio newsfeed of 60-second highlights, automatically selected using the power of AI to help solve the podcast discovery conundrum.

By using information from a user about their interests and information collected from the podcasts they subscribe to on Apple Podcasts, Podz said it will be able to serve up clips of podcasts that might interest them. Users will then be able to click through to listen to the entire episode. READ MORE AT INSIDE RADIO...