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Public Broadcasting in the News

PBS Newshour’s Shields Dies at 85

Mark Shields, who spent 33 years at the PBS NewsHour, was a widely-known political commentator and the liberal counterpart to several conservative sparring partners on the show. The Washington Post, whose editorial board he joined in 1979, described him as “one of Washington’s most respected political commentators.” 

PBS Legal Promotes Rosen, Hires Stillwell from NPR

The PBS Legal department promoted Talia Rosen to vice president of standards and practices and associate general counsel while hiring Walter Stillwell as VP and associate general counsel. Stillwell last worked at NPR, which announced internal promotions in its editorial ranks, reports Current.

Judy Woodruff to Step Down as ‘NewsHour’ Anchor

The veteran journalist and longtime PBS NewsHour anchor said she will transition into reporting longer pieces and special projects for the producers of NewsHour. Woodruff will stay on as anchor through the midterm elections this year, and as a reporter at least through the 2024 elections, reports Current

News Deserts

Do you live in a ‘news desert’? The University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Journalism looks at the growing gaps in news coverage left by the closures of local newspapers around the country.

Nonprofit Newsrooms a Promising New Model for Local News, Writes Margaret Sullivan

Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan writes that nonprofit newsrooms like the Texas Tribune, show promise as a prospective new model for struggling local news. 

Family-run Iowa Newspaper Spotlighted in PBS Doc About Local Journalism

A documentary about the struggles of local journalism – think newspapers that cover the daily news of a town like Storm Lake, Iowa (population: 10,000) – airs the week of Nov. 15 on PBS. The Storm Lake Times, the subject of the film, is the second smallest news organization ever to win a Pulitzer Prize. It fills a vital need in this rural community.  Poynter has a write-up on the project, as does The Houston Press

Nonprofit Newsrooms Increasingly Filling Local News Void

The latest Institute for Nonprofit News survey, known as the INN Index, found that a growing portion of nonprofit newsrooms are dedicated to local public affairs, Neiman Labs reported. 

When Texas Border Town Lost Its Only Paper, Local Start-up Filled Void

When the Southwestern border town of Del Rio, Texas, lost its only newspaper, a local man stepped in with an investment in print, turning his event-oriented website into a news outlet with a print edition. He’s helping fight back against the encroaching edges of a news desert.

...more on 'News Deserts' and what PBS can do about them (older coverage)

Against the growing phenomena of news deserts in the United States – areas where local news outlets have failed or have been gutted by the loss of ad revenue – PBS is being called upon to act. One suggested remedy is overhauling the way the Corporation for Public Broadcasting issues grants for public affairs programming, from a Washington, DC -based metric to spending decided by local news producers. ...