Houston Public Media, which operates News 88.7, is acting after it faced criticism following a paid Chevron segment that some viewers said could mistake for independent news reporting.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the media outlet will examine all advertiser-sponsored content on Houston Public Media’s radio and television stations and website.
Last week, Houston Public Media, the local public television and radio affiliate, notified that it had pulled the Chevron segment amid outcry over its absence of identification as sponsored content. In the past, paid content for the company has included features on local health care issues sponsored by nonprofits such as United Way.
Chevron officials praised their company’s commitment to the energy transition to clean energy during the segment. However, this incident led to many journalists and environmentalists calling out Houston Public Media.
“Chevron sponsored the series but had no editorial oversight of the content,” General Manager Lisa Shumate said in a note to the staff. “We acknowledge that this created confusion.”
Furthermore, Shumate stated that Houston Public Media plans to temporarily suspend similar content as they review it.
“These are not news programs,” she wrote to staff. “They air in programming breaks and appear on our digital platforms. We are reviewing our production process and are suspending the CounterAct series. We have also paused all other community catalysts projects.”
Minnesota Public Radio Cancels Award-Winning Podcast
APM Reports investigative podcast “In the Dark” cancellation might come as a surprise, considering it received several accolades, including a pair of Peabody Awards, and was even profiled on “60 Minutes” last year.
Minnesota Public Radio has decided to cancel a series whose three-year investigation and 20 podcast episodes assisted in overturning a conviction of a Mississippi man on death row.
“As a trusted public media service, Minnesota Public Radio is committed to providing high-quality journalism, programming, and experiences for our audiences and communities,” MPR said in a statement, per Inside Radio.
“In keeping with this commitment, advancement of our strategic priorities, and our responsibility as financial stewards of MPR’s resources, we have made a difficult decision regarding the future of APM Reports. We are dissolving APM Reports as a separate business unit and incorporating select programming elements into MPR News. Unfortunately, this change means that colleagues, who’ve invested their energy, skills, and passion with us, will be leaving our organization.”
The radio station informed the APM Reports team of the decision on Thursday, and it’s uncertain how many of the 18-staffers will face layoffs. The decision to pull the plug on the podcast comes two months after Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media converged into a lone entity under CEO Jean Taylor.
WTOP Receives Three Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards
WTOP advances to the national round of the competition, competing against regional winners from across the country.
WTOP is one of the marquee news-talk stations in the United States and was recently honored with three Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards this week by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).
For the New Series category, WTOP saw their National Security correspondent JJ Green’s COVID Conspiracy series was recognized for its coverage of a secret ploy by Russia to distribute lies and disinformation regarding COVID-19 and vaccines.
“The journalists in our newsroom are dedicated, passionate individuals who want to make a difference in their communities,” Julia Ziegler, WTOP’s Director of News and Programming said in a press release obtained by Barrett News Media. “We are so honored to be recognized with three regional Edward R. Murrow awards.”
Meanwhile, in the Digital category, WTOP.com received a regional award for coverage of news events throughout 2021, including coronavirus, cicadas, and the scandal at D.C.’s crime lab.
Finally, WTOP also received an honor in the Newscast category for coverage of the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. As a result, the radio station advances to the national round of the competition, competing against regional winners from across the country.
WSIU Airing Korean War Documentary for Memorial Day
The documentary will air on Sunday, May 29 at 2 pm and on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30 at 9 pm.
It’s Memorial Day weekend, and WSIU is marking the occasion with a documentary centered around the Korean War. The radio station announced that “Shrapnel Down: My Korean War Story” will be broadcast on the WSIU stations.
The documentary will air on Sunday, May 29 at 2 pm and on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30 at 9 pm. The film plans to feature never-before-seen war footage caught by Iowa native and veteran Bill Rector during his tour of duty during the Korean War.
“There are so many impactful stories WSIU proudly shares, and those of our brave U.S. veterans certainly deserve special attention,” film producer/director Mark St. George said.
“In Shrapnel Down, I hope viewers will discover a personal story that lurks behind the great veil of war; of the humanity that was ever-present beyond the shots fired. Shrapnel Down is a documentary about war – true – but told through the camera lens of one extraordinary sailor who shares his story, documenting his experiences of war, friendship, and loss.”
Rector used an 8mm camera to document his war experiences, capturing this never-before-seen footage. In addition, the film contains an in-depth interview with Rector where he recounts vital moments such as the battles during the Blockade of Wonsan, the most prolonged battle in modern naval history, and the Court of Neptune ritual.
“The film is a time capsule that we are opening with viewers for the very first time,” St. George said. “The documentary features original, 8mm war footage that has, until now, been locked away. Shrapnel Down breaks the seal on this time capsule, and we’re happy to share it with viewers.”