PRNDI By Any Other Name Would Be As Sweet?

Jan 5, 2016

Credit HeatherLWilliams / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Gone are the days of radio as, well, just radio.  

Audiences are engaging with content across a multitude of platforms, and public “radio” newsrooms are doing far more than just producing for broadcast. In today’s ever-changing media landscape, innovation and collaboration are key to engaging with new and younger audiences. Public radio newsrooms across the nation are forging unique partnerships, and creating and distributing stories in ways we never would have imagined even just 10 years ago. Radio newsrooms are producing video for the web and social media, and developing programs that sometimes never even broadcast on a radio frequency.

The bottom line: as the media have evolved so have our newsrooms.

That said, we believe it’s time to consider a name change for Public Radio News Directors, Incorporated, a.k.a. PRNDI.

Join us to discuss the proposed name change Thursday, June 9, at 2:30 p.m. EST. Log on to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7795435561073409027.

To the outside world, the name indicates we’re simply a “club” of public radio news directors. But, as those of us on the inside know, PRNDI is an organization that represents all journalists in public radio newsrooms. Our conference and training programs aim to meet the needs of not just news directors, but reporters, editors, talk show hosts and everyone in between. The industry needs an organization like PRNDI. We are the only journalistic organization that solely represents public radio journalists, but our name doesn’t reflect that to the outside world, and the “radio” in our name is no longer the only medium that reflects the content we’re producing. 

The PRNDI Board would like the membership to consider a name change during the business meeting at our June 2016 conference in St. Louis. We propose a new name: Association of Public Media Journalists.

We believe this will help put PRNDI on a more solid path toward the future as the premiere trade organization for public media journalists, helping us grow membership, conference attendance and standing in the greater journalism community.

What???

What exactly are you asking membership to consider in June 2016?
Simply a name change.

Would a name change also change the organizational structure of the board?
No. In fact, a name change could better reflect the make-up of the board since last year the membership voted to allow public radio newsroom staffers who are not "news directors" to serve in the at-large positions.  

Would this change who has a vote?
No. We would still operate under the “one station, one vote” policy. That said, we believe the membership may want to consider revising the rules in the future.

Would this open up membership to personnel at public television stations and other media outlets outside of public radio?
Nothing currently bars someone from outside public radio from becoming a member of PRNDI. Non-voting individual, corporate, and student membership categories already exist. It is possible (and hoped) that a name change would result in an increase in membership.

Would this change the nature of PRNDI conferences and trainings?
No. We will continue to be as committed to ever to advancing journalistic excellence in public radio newsrooms. Though, no doubt, conferences and trainings will also continue to reflect the changing nature of content production in our newsrooms. And do we believe a name change could help to attract television and digital media journalists to the annual conference and perhaps encourage them to join the organization.