The role of a News Director is not an easy one. Every day can pose a new challenge.
On any given day, we might find ourselves up against a breaking news situation we never faced before, or dealing with a problem employee who is bringing the morale of the entire newsroom down several notches. The days can be long, and sometimes just when we shut down the computer, something comes up that keeps us in the office hours later. But, with these challenges, come countless rewards. We take pride in comprehensive election night coverage, helping a new reporter get their first feature on the network, and producing investigative journalism that leads to real change in the communities we serve.
The Poynter Institute has just launched a blog covering ethics. It's written by Kelly McBride, and, as she describes, it is "dedicated to examining how the transformation of media is changing the ethics of journalism."McBride offers three guiding principles and asks journalists to "debate and debunk" them.
Here's an excerpt describing why she thinks we need a fresh look at ethics:
Public Radio News Directors, Inc. Presents "Breaking News and Getting it Right,"
This panel discussion includes:
John Dinges, Formerly with NPR, was a special correspondent for Time, Washington Post and ABC Radio in Chile. With a group of Chilean journalists, he co-founded the Chilean magazine APSO. Since 1996 he is associate professor and director of radio at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Introduction by Charles Compton, news director WEKU Radio, at PRNDI's 2013 Conference in Cleveland's Idea Center: Engineers take care of our equipment. Our expenses are handled by business managers. And the IT person keeps our computers humming. But, in most cases, only news directors take care of reporters.
PRNDI's President George Bodarky presented the following annual report at the organization's annual business meeting on Saturday, June 22nd.
Each year the PRNDI board holds a retreat in January 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:
A grow-the-membership campaign. The membership committee has set a goal of obtaining 10 new member stations in 2013, securing 5 testimonials for the website and creating an on-line and printed brochure by January 1st, 2014
A mini-conference – stand-alone or attached to another conference (i.e. RTDNA, PRPD). This would be done on alternate years with the first in 2014
Update the Public Radio News Directors Guide, and work to develop a “news director bootcamp” to help foster professional development
Joint sessions at other conferences (two in 2013)
Webinars (at least 1 per month with an average attendance of 50)
Press releases to raise the organization’s profile
Reporter Trainings (2 per year)
Expand and increase promotion of PRNDI news training
Launch PRNDI college chapters (2 off the ground in 2013)
Respond to news-related threats to reporters or media outlets with public statements from PRNDI or jointly with other media outlets
Everyday news professionals scour the landscape for stories that excites emotion in viewers (and listeners) and provides vital information potentially relevant for their survival.
Truly, news professionals live their professional lives on a beachhead of trauma secretly praying for a tsunami of events that will thrust them into a national news spotlight. Stories involving terrorism, mass casualties, death, and widespread human trauma spawn just such a media tsunami. Unfortunately, often news professionals not only report on these incidents, they become unintended victims of the trauma on which they report.
Joining with journalistic organizations like RTDNA and SPJ, the PRNDI Board has called upon the University of Kentucky to release documents requested under the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Open Records Laws. The records were requested by the University’s public radio station, as part of an investigation into the competency of care provided by the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Program at UK Healthcare. The program was shut down last year by UK Healthcare and patients referred to out of state providers.
The University of Kentucky refused an initial request from WUKY Radio reporter Brenna Angel, who then appealed to Kentucky’s attorney general. After UK Healthcare refused to release the documents for review by state lawyers, the AG ruled again the health provider and ordered their release.