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media and journalism

Craig Windham, a voice familiar to many NPR listeners, died unexpectedly last night of a pulmonary embolism. He was 66.

Windham was an award-winning journalist who covered presidential campaigns, hurricanes, earthquakes and the first Persian Gulf War. More recently, he focused on anchoring and reporting for NPR's Newscasts. In less than 40 seconds, Windham could explain the intricacies of a complicated bill or capture the glory of a space shuttle flying over the nation's capital.

An image of man passing a baby under a fence at the Hungarian-Serbian border has taken top honors at this year's World Press Photo of the Year.

The photo, titled "Hope for a New Life," was taken by Australian photographer Warren Richardson and shows a man with his eyes set on the horizon, passing the infant under coils of razor-wire into outstretched arms in the moonlight.

A Reporter's Life In Burns, Oregon

Jan 14, 2016
Ammon Bundy, center, one of the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, walks off after speaking with reporters during a news conference at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, near Burns, Ore.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Bill Radke spoke with KUOW's Anna King about what it's like being a reporter covering the occupation of the Malheur Refuge in Burns, Oregon. 

A photocopy of the Seattle Times' front page the day after 9-year-old George Weyerhaeuser returned home to Tacoma. A sports reporter found him in Issaquah and drove him home.
Seattle Public Library archives

It was the Northwest’s most notorious kidnapping case. Little George Weyerhaeuser had been snatched off the streets of Tacoma and held for $200,000 ransom.  

Eighty years later, Weyerhaeuser, the timber titan, told me he hadn’t read much news coverage about his kidnapping. 

He has a vivid memory of those eight days, he said, but he hadn’t dug through those old stories from 1935. He was 9 at the time, after all, and his parents wanted to leave the kidnapping in the past. They wanted him to grow up without this traumatic event hanging over his life.

Al-Jazeera told its staff on Wednesday that it was shutting down its American network in April.

Financed by the ruling family of Qatar, Al-Jazeera America was launched in the summer of 2013 promising thoughtful, serious news coverage.

Recording in the KUOW studio on University Way in Seattle.
KUOW File Photo

A campaign to save public radio station KPLU got under way on Monday.

Fans of KPLU now have until June 30 to raise at least $7 million.

SPU shooting: Seattle Pacific University students pray and comfort each other the day after a campus shooting on Thursday, June 4, 2014.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Bill Radke talks with Seattle attorney Eric Stahl of Davis Wright Tremaine about the ruling by a Washington state court that says the public can see surveillance video of the June 2014 fatal shooting at Seattle Pacific University. The Court of Appeals ruled that state public disclosure law requires the videos to be released to local media organizations, with partial editing to protect some identities. 

Earlier this month, the Las Vegas Review-Journal was purchased under mysterious circumstances. When the buyer's name wasn't revealed, the paper's reporters did some digging and revealed that the Adelson family was behind the deal.

The Seattle Times is offering buyouts to its newsroom employees in an effort to cut its budget. But officials say the situation is less drastic than at other papers around the country.

This week, the latest installment in the Star Wars film saga is posting record numbers around the world. In 1981, NPR hoped the interstellar fable would do the same for its audience numbers. That's right: Some of you may have forgotten (and some might not even know) that the network created three radio dramas based on George Lucas' original three movies.

studio record
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Fans of KPLU are expressing delight at news that the public radio station might not disappear after all.

Hundreds of KPLU listeners have been fighting the station's proposed sale to competing public radio station KUOW and its license holder, the University of Washington. This week they won a key victory.

Bill Radke talks with University of Washington spokesman Norm Arkans about the latest developments in KUOW's proposed acquisition of KPLU. Arkans, associate vice president for media relations and communications at the UW, is also a member of KUOW's board of directors.

Courtesy of Devin Kelly via @avaderaday

Bill Radke speaks with Devin Kelly, the man behind the @avaderaday Instagram feed, about the lighter side of Darth Vader.

studio record
KUOW Photo

Public radio listeners who oppose the sale of KPLU are getting a chance to try to raise the money necessary to buy the station. 

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl described how he became imprisoned by the Taliban in his first publicly released interview Thursday. The soldier from Idaho is the subject of a new season of the public radio podcast “Serial.”

The second season of Serial, a podcast produced by This American Life and WBEZ in Chicago, is here.

This season focuses on the controversial story of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. We've covered that case quite a bit on this blog, but Serial is giving it the long-form investigative treatment and also has obtained 25 hours of recorded conversations between Bergdahl and Hollywood screenwriter Mark Boal.

KEXP DJ John Richards began the 'Mom Show' a decade ago after his mother died of cancer.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

When KEXP DJ John Richards lost his mom to lung cancer, he went on the air, played songs that he played at her funeral and talked about what he was going through.

A decade later, Richards still does that on the anniversary of his mom's death. But now listeners get involved too.

Ending a run of more than 30 years on the air, talk show host Diane Rehm plans to retire, according to WAMU, the NPR member station where the show is produced in Washington, D.C.

Rehm's exit from the show will not take place immediately; she is expected to remain as its host through the 2016 presidential election. A date for her exit has not been established.

A story about a deadly terrorist attack briefly inspired a frenzied media scrum Friday morning in Southern California when dozens of reporters and TV news crews entered the home of the two shooters in the San Bernardino massacre.

One of the editing/control booths at KCTS 9.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Seattle's public television station KCTS said Wednesday that it's merging with two local news websites, including Crosscut.com.

More than 200 people showed up at a meeting of KPLU’s Community Advisory Council on Monday to express frustration over the recently announced sale of the public radio station by its owner, Pacific Lutheran University, to the University of Washington, and its licensee KUOW.

Two major terrorist attacks happened last week. One killed at least 129 people in Paris, France. Another killed at least 43 people in Beirut, Lebanon.

ISIS claimed responsibility for both attacks, but the global support and attention given to each incident varied widely.

To quantify the difference in online attention since the attack in Beirut happened, PRI has done some simple estimations using several free online tools. The evidence unfortunately has confirmed the observation above.

L122, one of the newest members of the Southern Resident Community of orcas, spotted Sept. 7 near Sooke, British Columbia.
Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research

Why is KUOW acquiring KPLU 88.5? Also: What war on Christmas? And should we keep orcas off display? Bill Radke distills the news with Luke Burbank, Erica C. Barnett, Bill Finkbeiner, KUOW General Manager Caryn Mathes, Rob Vernon of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Donald Trump helps out a bit too.

Caryn Mathes, president and general manager of KUOW Public Radio, spoke to the University of Washington Board of Regents Thursday.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

At KPLU studios in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, some employees said they’re disappointed that Pacific Lutheran University would sell the station.

KPLU reporter Gabriel Spitzer said that right up to this announcement he had been making plans for the new local program he hosts, called "Sound Effect." This announcement came as a shock.

A Proposed Seattle NPR Station Sale Would Align Two Overlapping Stations
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Editor's note: The online and on-air versions of this story were edited by the team at Oregon Public Broadcasting.

KUOW, Seattle's NPR member station, announced plans Thursday to purchase and absorb Seattle’s other major NPR station, KPLU, for $8 million. The acquisition would create one large public radio entity in Seattle with KUOW as the central provider of NPR news.

Seattle skyline
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Pacific Lutheran University on Thursday announced its intent to sell KPLU 88.5 to the University of Washington.

A formal agreement has not yet been finalized.

It is expected that KUOW will manage 88.5 FM, which currently is operated by KPLU.

Outside the US, nudity OK for Playboy

Oct 14, 2015
Daniel Becerril/REUTERS

Who reads the fine print anyway in Playboy?

Behind the announcement that the magazine was ditching images of naked women was a caveat: Only in America.

International versions of Playboy can keep the nude images, the company told PRI late Tuesday. They are published by local licensees that create region-specific content. Said one spokewoman: "We expect some editions will continue publishing nude pictorials if it makes sense in their market, and others to follow our lead and move forward with a non-nude edition."

The White House sent out this pool report by Seattle Times reporter Jim Brunner.
White House local pool report

Our radio friends at KEXP and KNDD got some love from the Obama press corps when the president was in town last week.

Jim Brunner, a government reporter at the Seattle Times, was taking notes for local reporters. At 6:39 p.m., Brunner filed a brief report that was later shared by the White House press office. The motorcade had just left the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle, where Obama was fundraising for Sen. Patty Murray.

studio record
KUOW Photo

After the massacre at an Oregon community college, the local sheriff made a stand about the gunman. "You will not hear anyone from this law enforcement operation use his name,” said Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin.

But Mark Memmott, NPR's supervising senior editor for standards and practices, told KUOW’s Ross Reynolds that “the ‘who’ is an important part of the story.”

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