News and Views

Download the complete 2015 Annual Report

Strategic Planning

Each year the PRNDI board holds a retreat to plan the annual conference and set the organization’s goals for the year ahead. Among the initiatives in the works (or already achieved) as a result of that meeting are:

“PRNDI is for news directors” — that’s what we’d been hearing. And it’s true. But we didn’t mean that to exclude other editors and news managers, or, for that matter, reporters, producers or anyone else who wants to participate in the professional development, discussions of our industry, networking and camaraderie that PRNDI is home to.

What’s in A Name?

Apr 20, 2015

Now that radio is, well, no longer just radio, what does that mean for the future of Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI)? I’m not talking about the future of PRNDI as a journalistic organization — that I’m confident is not in doubt — but just what the group is called. In an age where our newsrooms are doing much more than what we broadcast over the air, does “radio” still have a place in our title?

Morning Edition Hosts Need Vacation Too

Mar 13, 2015
Pictofigo

I’ve been hosting Morning Edition (or working the early morning shift) for the better part of the past 35 years. It’s my time of day, I like it!
The 3 a.m. alarm isn’t my most favorite part, but being the first on the roads, the first in to work and (most of the time) the first to go home has its benefits.

But as much as I love my job — and I really do — I value my vacation time.

The new clocks presented challenges for most newsrooms producing local newscasts. The biggest concern was, of course, how to fit everything into a smaller news hole.

In my newsroom, we’ve nicknamed our newscast spots “news haikus."  There was a lot of copy left on the proverbial cutting room floor in the first weeks of the new clocks as reporters adjusted to writing for a smaller hole.

“It’s just too short to provide a meaty newscast,” said one host in response to PRNDI’s call for comments.

Near-live mid-day newscasts are fed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Louisville Public Media and air on four of the five member-stations that make up the Kentucky Public Radio Network.

Todd Mundt (LPM) has led the workflow changes for his newscast unit.

“Until we have an interconnect for live transmission, we are producing and recording the newscasts each hour around 20-30 minutes before broadcast," said Mundt.  “The Master Control system automatically grabs the two-minute audio file and forwards it to FTP servers, making it available to WKYU, WEKU and WKMS several minutes before broadcast.”

Each station can originate the newscasts as a backup to LPM, additionally any station can opt out of a newscast in a breaking news situation. 

Newswriting Tips from Korva

Nov 26, 2014
Korva Coleman
Doby Photography/NPR

Advice from NPR's veteran newscaster.

  1. When writing, keep sentences short and conversational. Like this.
     
  2. Organize and time your stories so that you are able to stop reading a piece of copy before you get to the end of the story. Each story should be written so it can either be cut short or run long. You should be able to fit key elements into the first few sentences and have it make sense if you decide to cut away early for time. Stories should also be able to run long without dragging or boring listeners if you need to fill extra time.
     
  3. Story counts will vary on the amount of news you have available. Don't be wedded to a particular number of stories per newscast.

Death by Chocolate

Nov 26, 2014
This dessert nearly killed the PRNDI Board.
Amy Jeffries

Food and public radio go hand in hand. 

Fund drives, in particular, provide a constant flow of delectable edibles. Anytime a drive rolls around at my station, I don’t have to grocery show for a week. And then there are election nights. Who among us hasn’t bonded with others in our newsrooms over a cold slice of pizza or a hoagie?

Bonding over food also extends to PRNDI Board retreats. For the past couple of years the board has rented a house for our retreats, and we share cooking responsibilities. I especially like to fuel our meetings with this sweet treat. So I topped off our recent meet-up in Salt Lake City with “Death by Chocolate.”

No board members were harmed in the making of this dessert.

PRNDI has joined the Society of Professional Journalists, Student Press Law Center, and 17 other organizations, in urging education leaders to renounce the actions of the Neshaminy School District in Bucks County, Pa. for punishing student journalists and their adviser for resolving not to use the school’s Native American mascot name, in its publication.

What’s more fun than hiring three people to replace reporters who left your news room? Hiring four reporters, a local journalism collaboration reporter, and getting the opportunity to train all of them!

While in the process of hiring a grant funded education reporter and filling a general assignment opening, two of my veteran reporters approached me and said they’d be leaving in a couple of weeks. One took a better paying job; the other decided to quit to deal with some personal matters. Hiring two people was going to be a challenge already, but hiring four people was daunting. 

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