You'll be quick to peg this as unvarnished good news:
Using grants totaling $578,000, the Pittsburgh Foundation this summer will launch an on-line initiative "to preserve and strengthen the delivery of local news and information." Foundation President and CEO Grant Oliphant says the initiative will offer in-depth reports on "key issues impacting the Pittsburgh region and cultivating broad community involvement." (WDUQ)
Blast! Just when I gave up on journalism...
According to Oliphant, this venture will seek to work closely with regional partners in the mainstream broadcasting and print media, and initially will use a core of independent freelance journalists. (ibid)
It's about time. Partners, eh?
“Independence and impartiality are critical requirements for the successful and credible operation of our on-line news service and Pittsburgh Filmmakers is an ideal partner, providing a resourceful base from which this initiative will continue to develop and grow." (ibid)
Three cheers for independence and impartiality in the media. I heard this news story reported on 90.5 FM WDUQ in my car before I spotted it online. It happens to be pledge drive season, so before and after this news, pledge hosts were going on and on about the intelligent, non-agenda-driven, high-caliber news available on NPR and DUQ. Anyway, if the Foundation and the Filmmakers are embarking on a new regional news venture, they are to be congratulated and encouraged to roll things out on the best possible footing.
Speaking of WDUQ, it is in the process of being sold from Duquesne University to a new media venture, Essential Public Media. It could mean some changes for the station's programming.
WYEP, Mr. Cardamone added, has talked informally with local foundations to gauge interest in supporting the new public radio station.
"The foundations have been on the scene from the very beginning. We need to build a sustainable radio station," Mr. Cardamone said. (Marylynne Pitz)
Hmm, there again are the foundations. Might there be any connection?
Asked by WDUQ-FM staff member Kevin Gavin if the new station will offer jazz, Mr. Cardamone replied, "We don't really have specifics. We understand the legacy that jazz represents in Pittsburgh." (ibid)
So it was written. See, it's the jazz listeners here, who must make up a sizable portion of WDUQ's member base which is harvested from these very pledge drives, whom many see as potentially having the most to lose in this sale.
Well, who knows. Hopefully it will all work itself out, as good people with extremely laudable intentions have productive conversations which lead to to smooth processes and regional innovation based on sound grassroots principles.
*-SEE OTHER: Slag Heap, Chris Potter.