Press Digest March 20-26, from WNET.ORG

March 26, 2009

Selected press/media items featuring WNET.ORG programs, projects and services, March 20-26, 2009.

from Newsday:

“Officials at WLIW/21 continue to worry over the governor’s proposed budget, which if enacted would cut their state funding by 50 percent. Coupled with the economic downturn, which has affected corporate and individual gifts to the public-television station, the cut would be a most unwelcome one, said WLIW president Terrel Cass. ‘Faced with everything else, it mounts up,’ Cass said. ‘It’s a back-breaker.’ The 50 percent cut adds up to about $4.4 million for WLIW and sister station WNET/13, both of which are based in Manhattan. It represents 10 percent of WLIW’s budget. In January, WLIW cut about 18 percent of its staff, and already has cut 20 percent in other areas of its budget. Cass said if the governor’s budget passes as is, the 50 percent cut is likely to mean the station will reduce its educational services, such as GED training for adults and educational outreach to Long Island schools. Programming also could be affected, he said.”

From the monthly newsletter of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop:

“Creativity and innovation in education were the resounding themes of this year’s Celebration of Teaching and Learning Conference. Hosts Thirteen/WNET13 and WLIW21 organized the event into content strands that reflect contemporary educational challenges: Technology, English Language Learners, Literacy, Math, Science, Global Awareness, and Autism. I had the opportunity to listen in on some of the plenary sessions, become inspired by featured speakers, and participate in workshops that addressed those challenges to improve the educational experiences of every child. Thinkers, practitioners, and dreamers from around the country and across the globe set aside thoughts of shrinking budgets and stretched resources to consider their collective mission: to craft a better future for the next generation. The annual conference, held at the Hilton New York on March 6th and 7th, was a joyous celebration of that shared purpose. Perhaps Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt said it best: “An educated population is the only thing that’s important.”

Stephen Segaller is quoted in The Deseret News about Great Performances’ broadcast of King Lear:

“Unless you were able to get to New York, London, Los Angeles, Singapore … or New Zealand at just the right time, you missed unquestionably a major dramatic performance featuring simply titanic talent…And that is the brilliance of Great Performances. It brings audiences around the country an incredible range of music, drama and dance performances, performances they would never be able to see otherwise.”

The Los Angeles Times states “This is an easily intelligible, ultimately moving production of a monumental play…” and The Boston Globe writes: “If, like me, you didn’t make it to London or New York last season for Ian McKellen’s acclaimed performance in King Lear, you might be interested in tonight’s broadcast on PBS’s Great Performances. Just be forewarned: …[this is] an adaptation made especially for television. It’s better because codirectors Trevor Nunn (who helmed the stage version) and Chris Hunt can use the strengths of TV, such as closeups and intimately pitched conversational tones – ideal for the intrigues and family quarrels swirling around Shakespeare’s aging king.” USA Today goes on to say “If you’ve been looking for a reason to support PBS, there you have it.” Syndicated writer Mike Hughes hails the production as “Brilliantly acted and superbly directed, this may be as good as Shakespeare gets.” Hartford Courant calls Great Performances: King Lear “The classiest thing on TV this week.” You can watch King Lear in full online here.

The Washington Post on Worldfocus and BlogTalkRadio:

“BlogTalkRadio, the site where anyone can set up a podcast or radio talkshow over the web using phone calls, is playing in the enterprise space. The site, which has over 1000 live broadcasts per day, has been launching content partnerships with major publishers and media organizations over the past few months. PBS, Women’s Day Magazine and others are using BlogTalkRadio’s tools to create podcasts and shows, as well as syndicate content across the web. For example, PBS’s Worldfocus TV newscast is syndicated on the BlogTalkRadio.”

Blueprint America’s recent two-part series on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer was featured on the blog Planetizen.

San Francisco Chronicle praises Nature in HD: “A new era has started. High definition video technology is creating outdoors shows where you get views into secret outdoor worlds and adventures. More than anything broadcast before, with HD, you can feel it as you watch it…The must-see shows are…the Nature series on PBS.” Nature Online gets mentioned at UDL Spotlight. “We congratulate the PBS Nature website for the many options it offers its users to move beyond the traditional passive viewing of a TV show into the realm of active, engaged learning – ‘beyond the four walls.’ As Yvonne points out in her video overview, the website aligns with all three of the UDL Guideline principles, offering users multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement. Website users are offered multiple points of entry and ways to explore the rich content depending on area of interest. We also found the multiple options for collaboration (e.g., posting and sharing via blog-like comments about eagle sightings, posting of photos) to be particularly engaging and effective — and in alignment with the UDL Guidelines. Well done, Nature!”

The American Spectator reviews Niall Ferguson’s book The Ascent of Money and mentions its companion series on PBS. As does the blog T3c Idea Exchange which states, “The Ascent of Money is actually the history of money – and worth the watch!” online.

Weeksville gets noticed by Harlem+Bespoke, Only The Blog Knows Brooklyn and Bed-Stuy Banana.

Unsung Heroines, the online feature at, has been noted by Research America, Boggs Blog and Imagine a World of.

The Houston Examiner on The Artist’s Den:
“What began as a series of living room concerts in private homes has become a series of memorable performances in some of the most interesting and unexpected locations and is now making it’s way to television as the series, Live from The Artists Den.”