View Full Version : NPR News boss on the future of news

Colorado Media Newsroom
March 15th, 2013, 01:42 PM
From The Denver Post:

http://blogs.denverpost.com/ostrow/files/2013/03/npr-270x94.jpg (http://blogs.denverpost.com/ostrow/2013/03/15/npr-news-boss-on-the-future-of-news/13254/npr/)NPR

What’s the future of news now that everyone’s an internet publisher/videographer/broadcaster? News has been with us since smoke signals and it’s going to stick around, but let’s separate what passes for news on commercial outlets and the in the blogosphere from the kind of contextualized take on events that National Public Radio offers. They really do manage a well written, generally smart and classy delivery. Now they’re aiming to sound “more like America” (beyond the Beltway, beyond a certain socio-economic class).
Margaret Low Smith, in town for a public forum on journalism and multimedia newsgathering sponsored by KUNC-FM 91.5, the Colorado Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and Rocky Mountain PBS and KUVO, uses the polite word “differentiated” to describe the kind of news NPR delivers.
Public broadcasters don’t deal in breaking news–except in obvious major cases (the Aurora theater shootings, the killing of Osama Bin Laden)– but instead focus on the implications of news of the moment. Whether they should be more nimble when it comes to breaking news is a subject of debate.
“Audio storytelling remains our competitive advantage,” Smith said, with text, pictures, animation, video and photography joining the the process as the “intellectual, physical, emotional experience translates to other platforms.” She cites these recent examples of what they’re doing right: the map of campaign spending (http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/11/01/163632378/a-campaign-map-morphed-by-money), “Working Late,” a series about baby boomers postponing retirement, (http://www.npr.org/series/171698920/working-late-pushing-back-the-retirement-clock) including the tale of a Fort Collins midwife, and the reporting from Syria of correspondent Kelly McEvers (http://www.npr.org/2013/01/16/169467718/for-those-still-in-syria-a-daily-struggle).

How does she deal with the accusations of political bias on the part of NPR? “Those accusations are like running water,” she said. As long as complaints are coming from all sides, they’re hitting a balance.
NPR’s funding battles, another constant, will bubble up again next year. While President Obama wants to increase funding by $6 million in 2014, House Republicans’ budget plan calls for an end to federal funding for public radio and television.

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