Blog Together

It's a big bloggy weekend!

The main event is a gathering tomorrow morning at UNC. I hope many of you readers will come. The Triangle Bloggers Conference 2005 (a.k.a. C.H.BloggerCon) will start 9 am in the auditorium of Murphy Hall. The format will be open but facilitated.

WCOM: Important community voice

Chapel Hill Herald, Saturday, January 29, 2005

Aided and abetted by the Federal Communications Commission, an ever-shrinking number of corporations control an ever-larger proportion of the media. This has prompted media critic Robert Mc-Chesney to label media reform our most pressing issue, linking the corporate media to misplaced government priorities, a variety of corporate scandals and our troubled campaign finance system.

Recently, McChesney reported optimistically that "the movement to fix our badly broken media system is gathering momentum." He includes in this movement, efforts "to strengthen alternative, independent and non-commercial media." Our area is home to a number of those initiatives, most recently WCOM community radio.

In January 2000, the FCC authorized the licensing of Low Power FM radio stations (LPFM). This opened the door for community and alternative radio, previously pretty much confined to large metropolitan areas, to spring up in small towns across the country.

Some questions about WUNC

Can anyone explain to me why I should be glad about this:

Chapel Hill-based WUNC, the area's largest National Public Radio outlet, has struck a deal with an NPR business and finance program to launch a southeastern bureau in Chapel Hill. The bureau's reporter, slated to start around May, will concentrate on North Carolina news -- especially the Triangle's big businesses.
- Chapel Hill Herald, 1/18/04

Much to my surprise I actually like this business show, Marketplace. It's a little more interesting than NPR's headline news, and it doesn't always fall into the ideological rut you might expect. I can see why WUNC, especially it's leadership, would like to have their profile enhanced by this new situation. But how does it serve the people of North Carolina?

There's no crying in journalism

Guest Post by Jean Bolduc

As of this writing, I have yet to receive my actual letter of termination from the Herald-Sun (how appropriate - not by email or fax, it will come through the slogging U.S. mail). I do trust in the conveyance of my editor, Neil Offen, that it is on the way and that its contents are as he represented them to me - that my services are no longer required.

All the blah, blah, blah about the Herald-Sun's Editor (Bob Ashley) and his shifting explanations about my exit are available on my ever-so-controversial blog. Please do stay tuned to see what the soap opera will deliver next, but I wanted to use this space just to say thanks.

Herald Tightens Its Belt

If you read this morning's papers, you already know that the Durham Herald-Sun's new owners took over with a bang, firing nearly 25% of the workforce. Haven't heard to what extent those cuts affect news in general or Orange County in particular [Ray?]. On the face of it, it's hard to imagine that it bodes well for the paper's commitment to provide quality coverage for Granville, Person, Chatham, and Orange counties as well as Durham.

Also troubling is the new owner's clear concern about cost rather than quality of product. Check out the stories in both the N&O and the Herald itself for a sense of that. Paxton Media has sent 80 unhappy former employees on the streets. Not great for PR. They have done little to introduce the new owners to the community and readers nor have they explained their vision for the paper or strategy for achieving it.



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