Monday, December 5, 2011
Ten NBC-owned television stations across the nation will team with nonprofit news outlets in an attempt to beef up their enterprise and analytical reporting, the network announced Monday.
NBC affiliates in Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia will work with work with non-commercial outfits in those cities -- KPCC public radio, the Chicago Reporter and WHYY public radio and television, respectively -- while all of the network's owned-and-operated stations will get early access to investigative reports from the independent, nonprofit newsroom Pro Publica.
The arrangement comes as Comcast moves to fulfill its commitment to federal regulators to strengthen local, public-interest programming in the wake of its purchase of NBCUniversal earlier this year.
The partnerships also continue the trend toward content sharing throughout the media industry as operators try to trim the high costs that come with producing stories on their own. The New York Times, for example, has expanded its editions in Chicago, San Francisco and other locations via publishing partnerships with nonprofit news outlets. In Chicago, the New York Times gets local stories from the Chicago News Cooperative, while in the San Francisco area the newspaper features content from the Bay Citizen. Both of the Times partners are nonprofit, Web-based news start-ups.
In Los Angeles, Pasadena-based KPCC-FM (89.3) and KNBC-TV Channel 4 plan to use content produced by the other and, in some cases, stories that the two outlets will develop together. Details and a starting time for the joint-content programming remain to be worked out.
KPCC Chief Executive Bill Davis said the for-profit television station and his nonprofit radio outfit will be able to expand the size of their audiences and the reach of their reporting.
"We can get to the kind of investigative and enterprise stories we wouldn’t be able to singularly," Davis said.
ProPublica, a New York-based Web operation that already shares content with many news organizations, will give NBC stations an early look at databases it develops on a range of complicated subjects. Its previous projects have, among other things, showed which doctors took payments from drug companies, rated the quality of care at dialysis centers and the performance of secondary schools.
NBC stations will be able to look at ProPublica data to focus such reports on their local communities. "We put the reporting at their fingertips and they can do terrific local stories with it," said Richard Tofel, general manager for ProPublica. "We get a greater and wider impact, which is ultimately our mission."
The model for the new partnerships comes from San Diego, where the nonprofit news Internet site Voice of San Diego has worked with NBC Channel 7. Among several features the TV station gets is "San Diego Explained," a Wednesday night segment in which a reporter from the website delves deeper into local issues. This week, the program is being expanded to five parts to focus on the financial crisis in San Diego schools.
NBC pays $3,900 a month to Voice of San Diego. That does not entirely cover the website's costs, said Voice of San Diego CEO Scott Lewis. But the nonprofit benefits by expanding its audience and its profile in the San Diego area, which helps its fundraising.
NBC will not pay for content it will receive from ProPublica and KPCC, though both of the non-commercial outlets said they expected to get voluntary financial donations from the television network. The payments were not a condition of the content sharing, they said.
-- James Rainey
Photo: Bill Davis, president of Southern California Public Radio, which operates KPCC. The station plans to share content with KNBC-TV Channel 4 in Los Angeles, one of four new cooperative arrangements announced by the NBC television network. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times
FROM "SUPERMAN" TO "I LOVE LUCY," WE LOOK BACK AT THE ROLE THIS OUTDATED PLAYED IN TELEVISION AND FILM
For an interesting illustrated history of the land line home phone, click here.
From Wikipedia (not to be confused with "Wikileaks", pardon the pun):
Prohibition in the United States, also known as The Noble Experiment, was the period from 1920 to 1933, during which the sale, manufacture, and transportation ofalcohol were banned nationally as mandated in the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Under substantial pressure from the temperance movement, the United States Senate proposed the Eighteenth Amendment on December 18, 1917. Having been approved by 36 states, the 18th Amendment was ratified on January 16, 1919 and effected on January 16, 1920. Some state legislatures had already enacted statewide prohibition prior to the ratification of the 18th Amendment.
The "Volstead Act", the popular name for the National Prohibition Act, passed through Congress over President Woodrow Wilson's veto on October 28, 1919, and established the legal definition of intoxicating liquor, as well as penalties for producing it. Though the Volstead Act prohibited the sale of alcohol, the federal government did little to enforce it. By 1925, in New York City alone, there were anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 speakeasy clubs.
While Prohibition was successful in reducing the amount of liquor consumed, it tended to undermine society by other means, as it stimulated the proliferation of rampant underground, organized and widespread criminal activity. Prohibition became increasingly unpopular during the Great Depression, especially in large cities. The bulk of America became disenchanted after the St. Valentine's Day massacre in 1929.
On March 22, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law an amendment to the Volstead Act known as the Cullen-Harrison Act, allowing the manufacture and sale of certain kinds of alcoholic beverages. On December 5, 1933, the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment. However, United States federal law still prohibits the manufacture of distilled spirits without meeting numerous licensing requirements that make it impractical to produce spirits for personal beverage use.
Hollywood's ambitious campaign to educate the public and its own workforce about the perils of film piracy has produced -- what else -- another film.Creative America, the group launched this summer to muster support in the creative community for tougher anti-piracy laws, recently debuted a 12-minute video that highlights the impact of content theft on all aspects of the filmmaking chain -- from the grips to the independent filmmakers. The video, which was more than two months in the making, is posted on Creative America's website atwww.creativeamerica.org.Through internal videos, newsletters, emails and booths set up in company commissaries, media giants such as NBC, Viacom, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. have been encouraging their employees to join Creative America. NBC recently aired on its various broadcast and cable channels a public service announcement starring stand-up comedian and television writer Tom Papa, host of the 2010 TV series "The Marriage Ref" and star of the 2004 NBC comedy "Come to Papa."Through the Creative America website and online petitions at Change.org, more than 60,000 individuals have sent more than 153,000 emails to their legislators in support of stronger legislation that would make it easier for the Justice Department to crack down on foreign websites trafficking in pirated movies and other materials. The campaign, however, is facing some stiff opposition from Internet giants like Google and EBay that view the measures as legislative overkill that would limit free speech and curtail innovation on the Internet. For more on the divide, see Monday's story in the Los Angeles Times.RELATED:-- Richard Verrier
NPR to gain Sesame Street Executive The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Point and Purchase TV, TV Nets now pay billions for sports (raising your cable bills) , Piracy Wars
Jumping the gun. The New Yorker is planning to publish a review of Sony's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" this week. Only problem is that Sony had asked all critics to wait until late next week before publishing. This has, of course, set off a brouhaha over embargoes on reviews and whether journalists should play ball. All I'll say is, if you agree to it, you honor it. Coverage and debate from Hollywood Reporter, Hollywood Elsewhere, Deadline Hollywood and the New York Post. At least producer Scott Rudin doesn't seem like the type to hold a grudge so I'm sure this will all blow over.
Learning curve. Gary Knell, formerly the chief executive of Sesame Workshop, the maker of the acclaimed kids show "Sesame Street," has moved to a rougher neighborhood. As the new head of National Public Radio, Knell will face funding and programming issues and be required to balance the needs of NPR with those of the local stations that carry its programming. A look at what's ahead for Knell from The New York Times.
Point and purchase. Next time you're watching Las Vegas based Pawn Stars on History Channel and you see something you'd like to buy, all you'll have to do is point your remote at the screen. Verizon Communications, the History Channel and tech company Delivery Agent are announcing Monday a new television commerce initiative. “The History Shop application is an exciting first, because it enables viewers to see and buy things at the moment they’re most interested — while their favorite shows are on screen,” said Mark Garner, senior vice president for the cable network. Soon enough you'll be buying underwear in your underwear.
Still plenty of bite. The experts projected that "The Muppets" would take first place at the weekend box office. But they were wrong. Once again, "Breaking Dawn," the latest chapter of the "Twilight" saga, finished first, taking in almost $17 million. "The Muppets" collected $11.2 million. The box office for "Hugo" shrank by about one-third, but Paramount is still slowly rolling the movie out. Box office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.
Talk about a hike. Although the National Football League's current television deals with CBS, Fox and NBC aren't up until after the 2013 season, talks are already on for new deals. According to Sports Business Journal, each of the networks will end up paying an average of $1 billion per season when the dust has settled on the current negotiations. Earlier this year, Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN struck a new deal worth about $1.8 billion per season. What does this mean for you? It means the broadcast networks will squeeze the cable operators for more money to carry their channels and the operators will then turn around and raise your bill. See, it's a win-win. Oh, except for us.
Don't get any ideas, Rupert. Washington Post Co. Chairman Donald Graham says he would never sell the company's struggling flagship newspaper. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Graham said he lives by friend Warren Buffett's "rule against engaging in 'gin rummy behavior,' where you discard your least attractive asset for short-term gain."
I Want Media, an aggregator of media stories, holds a vote for media personality of the year. This year's hopefuls include new New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson, embattled News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, the late Steve Jobs and even Charlie Sheen. I'm a write-in candidate so feel free to throw some love my way.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: A look at the bitter fight between the entertainment industry and Silicon Valley over legislation aimed at fighting piracy.
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter. It's the future of journalism. Twitter.com/JBFlint
Photo: A scene from the film "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Credit: Columbia Pictures