Challenges to Public Broadcasting to Be Discussed by Top Leaders and Journalists

Washington, D.C. (April 12, 2011) — Public broadcasting is facing the most serious threat to federal funding in its 44-year history. Top industry leaders and journalists will gather to discuss this issue at the 2011 Curtis B. Hurley Symposium on April 26 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Leading the dialogue will be the presidents of the country’s leading public broadcasting corporations. They are: Patrick Butler, president and CEO, Association of Public Television Stations; Paula Kerger, president and CEO, PBS; Bill Kling, CEO, American Public Media; and Joyce Slocum, interim president and CEO, NPR.

Joaquin Alvarado Patrick Butler Barbara Cochran Jacquie Jones Paula Kerger Bill Kling
Jim Lehrer Caryn Mathes Dean Mills Janet Saidi Joyce Slocum Hari Sreenivasan

Top row, from left: Joaquin Alvarado, Patrick Butler, Barbara Cochran, Jacquie Jones, Paula Kerger, Bill Kling. Second row: Jim Lehrer, Caryn Mathes, Dean Mills, Janet Saidi, Joyce Slocum, Hari Sreenivasan.

Jim Lehrer, executive editor and anchor of PBS NewsHour, will make opening remarks. Tom Rosenstiel, founder and director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, will present research on public broadcasting audiences.

Barbara Cochran, Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Journalism in the Missouri School of Journalism’s Washington program, will moderate the discussion. She is the author of “Rethinking Public Media: More Local, More Inclusive, More Interactive,” a white paper published in December 2010 by the Aspen Institute and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“Public broadcasting is an essential part of the media ecosystem citizens need to stay informed. In local communities, public broadcasting can play an even more important role as other sources of news and information diminish,” Cochran said. “At the Hurley Symposium, we will explore how public broadcasting leaders and journalists are meeting current challenges and envisioning the future.”

Journalists from NPR, PBS NewsHour, Minnesota Public Radio, KBIA-FM in Columbia, Mo., WAMU-FM in Washington and WNET-TV in New York will discuss digital innovations such as the Public Media Platform and Public Insight Network and local news ventures such as Project Argoand Local Journalism Centers. These include:

  • Joaquin Alvarado, senior vice president, digital innovation, American Public Media/Minnesota Public Radio
  • Jessica Clark, director, Future of Public Media Project, Center for Social Media
  • Jacquie Jones, executive director, National Black Programming Consortium
  • Caryn Mathes, general manager, WAMU-FM
  • Richard Meyer, executive editor, NPR
  • Janet Saidi, news director, KBIA-FM, Columbia, Mo.
  • Hari Sreenivasan, correspondent, PBS NewsHour
  • Kay Summers, director of marketing and communications, WAMU-FM
  • Laura van Straaten, Metrofocus editor-in-chief, WNET-TV
  • Kinsey Wilson, senior vice president and general manager of digital media, NPR
  • Linda Winslow, executive producer, PBS NewsHour

The symposium will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, April 26, at the National Press Club, 14th and F Streets NW, in Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the Missouri School of Journalism and the Eric Friedheim National Journalism Library at the National Press Club, the Hurley Symposium will be introduced by Dean Mills, dean of the Missouri School of Journalism.

Updated: May 21, 2020

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