media and journalism | KUOW News and Information

media and journalism

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.

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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.

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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.”

David Schmader wrote The Stranger's "Last Days" column for 15 years.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

For David Schmader the state of U.S. media is summed up by what happened after New York magazine published a cover story about Bill Cosby’s accusers.

Schmader, who recently left The Stranger after 16 years, told KUOW’s Jeannie Yandel that he had been chafing under the changes wrought by the Internet over the past decade. And then came that story and cover.

Bertha K. Landes served as mayor of Seattle from 1926 to 1928. She was Seattle's first and only female mayor -- also Seattle's first female police chief, according to journalist Emmett Watson.
University of Washington Digital Archives

Before Bertha was a boring machine stuck under Seattle, she was Seattle’s first female mayor.

In 1926, her campaign motto was “municipal housekeeping.”

Bertha K. Landes was her full name and “she was wonderful,” according to columnist Emmett Watson.

Smoke 'Lumbers In Like A Wayward Drunk'

Aug 26, 2015
Don Nelson, the editor-owner of the Methow Valley News, with the Methow Valley in the background. The fires this season are the biggest on record in Washington state.
Courtesy of Don Nelson

Driving back to the cabin last night, I encountered almost no traffic on Highway 20 between Twisp and Winthrop. 

It is a Sunday night in August, the heart of what has been a record year for tourism here, Labor Day and the rodeo coming up, and the RVs, motorcycles and station wagons with fully laden bike racks are somewhere else that has not been evacuated or cut off from its main flow of visitors. Even Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe, which would usually be hopping with people loading up two – no, make that three – scoops of home-made ice cream onto a delicate waffle cone is closed and quiet.

There's a battle brewing between Facebook and the people who make professional videos on YouTube. Facebook has made video a priority over the past year and many of the most popular videos turn out to have originated on YouTube.

A lot of YouTube stars say Facebook is taking money right out of their pockets — and many of them are talking about big money.

RadioActive Explores Minority Representation With Hari Kondabolu

Jul 31, 2015
KUOW Photo / Jenny Asarnow

Aisha Burka and Mimansa Dogra explore the representation of minorities in the media, and discuss what needs to be changed. Hear their interviews with Tani Ikeda, co-founder of imMEDIAte Justice, a program built to empower young women through film, and Hari Kondabolu, known for his politically and socially charged comedy. 

'Seattle Is A Creepy, Salty Town With Dirt Under Her Nails'

Jul 14, 2015
The cover of the Seattle DIY zine from the Zine Archive and Publishing Project collection. The collection of 30,000 or so zines is currently in cold storage at a Seattle Public Library warehouse.
Courtesy of ZAPP

Seattle has one of the largest collections of zines -- tiny underground art manifestos that have usually been photocopied. ZAPP, the Zine Archive and Publishing Project, has been collecting them since 1996 and has amassed more than 30,000.

This essay comes from the 2002 edition of "The Puget Front." (Warning: Explicit language.)

Seattle is a creepy, salty town with dirt under her nails.

What's Trending On Instagram? A Battle With Twitter

Jun 23, 2015

Consider yourself warned: Instagram rolled out an update Tuesday, and the photo-sharing app may be about to eat up a lot more of your time.

More substantial than other recent makeovers touting new filters, this change will transform Instagram into a stream of real-time updates from around the country. Following in the footsteps of Twitter and Facebook, Instagram wants to be a source for your news.

KUOW Wins Murrow, Gracie Awards

Apr 24, 2015
KUOW reporter Liz Jones conducting an interview in a farmers market in Hyderabad, India.
KUOW Photo/Harsha Vadlamani

“What a way to cap a Friday!” managing editor Cathy Duchamp wrote to KUOW’s staff.

She was referring to regional and national awards our newsroom won this week.

On Thursday, reporter John Ryan and editor Carol Smith won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for an investigation into landslide safety in Washington state.

When Online Rants Become Criminal Acts

Mar 20, 2015
Flickr Photo/Matthew (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with David Green, First Amendment attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, about social media rants and when online comments cross the line from hyperbole to a criminal act. 

Frank Blethen, publisher of The Seattle Times, shows off his tattoo of the Times' eagle. He has pestered his son to get one too, to no avail.
KUOW Photo/Ross Reynolds

Ross Reynolds interviews Frank Blethen, Jr., who has been the publisher of The Seattle Times for 30 years. He is the fourth generation of Blethens at the paper but calls himself an "accidental publisher."

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