Sounds like Vanderpool wasn't doing basic fact-checking AGAIN! Next stop... the Dandy Dime!
Spoken like a true "useful idiot".
And the beat goes on... I was one of the first "targets" of "Sleaze-Bag Jack Gibson" several years ago... this was a published report from that time period...
Changes at NPR stations prompts newsman to retire
Inside Tucson Business
When it comes to economic realities, public broadcasting has marched to the beat of a different drummer n especially in Arizona, where the major public TV and radio stations operate under the auspices of our major universities.
At the KUAT Communications Group, there have been some changes in the last few months. One who hasn’t seen them as changes for good is Nelson Warnell, a news veteran with almost 30 years experience in local radio, who seized the opportunity to retire earlier this year.
“Quality is no longer job one,” Warnell says of the University of Arizona’s two radio stations, National Public Radio affiliates KUAZ 89.1-FM/1550-AM and classical music KUAT-FM 90.5-FM/89.7-FM.
As a result, he says, he thinks listeners are getting an inferior product these days.
Jack Gibson, who took over 13 months ago as general manager and director of the KUAT Communications Group, acknowledges there have been some changes, mostly related to consolidating separate radio and TV departments into one in which “content producers” are responsible for programming that can air on the radio stations, KUAT-TV 6 as well as KUAT MultiMedia, on-campus and cable television channels.
Gibson says there are 14 people working as “content producers,” which is four more than existed previously under the old system.
Warnell had specific examples of changes that have not been for the better. Some of them dealt with management interference, which Gibson says is not coming from him. He said the points were better responded to by Peter Michaels, news director for KUAZ/KUAT.
Here are Warnell’s points:
• Routine fact and pronunciation checking and rewriting stories for clarity and grammar is no longer being done and considered “too picky” detail work.
“I’m not clear on what he means by that,” Michaels said, adding that normal journalistic practices should not have changed.
• In an apparent effort to cut expenses, the news gathering operations of the radio stations and KUAT-TV 6 have been merged resulting in features done for “Arizona Illustrated” being rebroadcast on the radio stations, complete with references to what’s appearing on the screen. “Television journalism does not automatically translate into good radio journalism and vice versa,” Warnell said.
Michaels said some of the features created for “Arizona Illustrated” are reworked and aired on a radio program titled “Arizona Spotlight” but the majority of reports on the radio are created specifically for radio. If there has been a higher number of reports being reworked lately, Michaels said it probably has something to do with the fact that host Julie Bierach had been out on maternity leave. Michaels also disputed the notion of trying to cut costs, saying the station is still sending reporters on assignments. Reporters recently have returned from San Diego, Prescott and Washington, D.C.
• Newscasts are taped in advance, sometimes hours ahead of when they air.
Yes, Michaels said, some of the radio station’s newscasts are recorded in advance and, frankly, he wants to do more of it because it facilitates streaming them on the station’s website. “But I don’t know about us doing it hours ahead of time. We always can update them before they air,” Michaels said.
• Management is dictating editorial content, insisting that reports on crime, sports and stories about gasoline prices be limited.
If continuing to report weekend sports scores on a Tuesday is an example of a management dictate, then Michaels said he might be guilty. But he said he has encouraged the staff to develop reports that are not the kind “listeners will hear other places. We don’t do a lot of individual crime stories.”
• Advocacy journalism is creeping in through the use of certain phrases. Warnell said it was one thing when the term “illegal aliens” became “undocumented immigrants” but in one story it went so far as to become “migrants in shoes filled with blood.”
“I don’t recall that last one. If it got on, it slipped by me. I suspect it was a feature and it was used in some sort of context,” Michaels said. “But ‘illegal aliens’ and ‘undocumented immigrants’ are consistent with NPR style and that’s what we’re to use.”
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