media and journalism | KUOW News and Information

media and journalism

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.”

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.

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."

Richard Sher, host of Says You, left, and KUOW Programming Director Jeff Hansen, in the spring of 2014. They are standing on Sher's favorite spot in a gated cemetery in Boston.
Courtesy of Jeff Hansen

Phyllis Fletcher, Managing Editor, Northwest News Network:

"It’s not important to know the answers. You just have to like the answers.”

I hoped to see Richard Sher again – and I assumed it would be soon. He brought his show “Says You” to the Puget Sound area at least once a year. I wanted to come back to at least sit in the audience or maybe even be picked as a panelist again.

They made it look so easy — and for me it wasn't! But Richard's enthusiasm for the whole enterprise of “Says You” was infectious. I particularly liked seeing how much he enjoyed the kids who helped out on this night by keeping score and that he wanted them to feel special. 

The subject of the popular public radio "Serial" podcast, who was convicted as a teenager 15 years ago in the murder of his ex-girlfriend, has been granted an appeal.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has granted the request for review from Adnan Syed, whose case has been examined in-depth in the podcasts, which raised questions about his guilt.

Today marks the return of a cult public television hit — Foyle's War. It previously appeared as part of PBS's big Sunday night Masterpiece lineup, but it won't be on TV tonight. For now, viewers will have to stream the show digitally. Acorn, the company that produces Foyle's War, has embarked on something of a Netflix strategy — raising the question of whether a niche pay portal can be a going concern.

Ivy Huang and Terry Weng host a show on a recent
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

When Yunfei Zhao first arrived at the University of Washington, he felt like he was mostly prepared.

“I learned how to check out a book in the library in my English class back in China,” he said. “I learned how to greet people; I learned how to find my way someplace.”

Then he got hungry.

Two teenagers in Kivalina, Alaska, play near a skinned polar bear. Scientists predict Kivalina, an Alaskan village, will be the first casualty of climate change and sea rising in the U.S.
Suzanne Tennant

I first heard of Kivalina, a sliver of an island in far northwest Alaska, when I was looking for a photo project.

It appealed in part because of this one startling fact: Scientists believe that Kivalina, population 457, will be the first casualty of climate change in the U.S., and that it will be inundated by sea water by 2025. That’s in just a decade.

Sports. TV shows. Daily news. All grist for online arguments. (Not to mention culture, politics, race and feminism.)

Now, everyday people can communicate directly with people in news stories, celebrities and activists on social media. But not every conversation works on every platform. We're getting more sophisticated about choosing where we say things online.

A frequent sight in our newsroom: Business reporter Carolyn Adolph arguing with Siri, the iPhone personal assistant.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Dear KUOW listeners,

We apologize for the inconvenience several of you experienced recently when listening to a story about distracted driving and Siri, the personal assistant who lives inside the iPhone.

Public broadcasters are calling on the U.S. Forest Service to make a number of changes in its regulation of photography, filming and recording on public lands.

Several public media organizations jointly submitted comments Wednesday (PDF) to the Forest Service. That agency is considering a proposed directive that would require permits to film, photograph, and record in wilderness areas.

Did host Scott Simon unfairly—and sordidly—ambush Bill Cosby by raising rape charges in a Weekend Edition interview that was otherwise about art?

The 77-year old comedian and wife Camille—she was present—were being interviewed on air Saturday about the many pieces of art that they are lending to the Smithsonian Museum when Simon, at the end, changed the subject:

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