WGBH’s Callie Crossley wins commentary award from NABJ

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Callie Crossley. Photo via WGBH News.

There she goes again. My friend and WGBH colleague Callie Crossley won top honors for her radio commentaries at the recent National Association of Black Journalists conference in Washington. The press release follows.

BOSTON—WGBH News award-winning journalist Callie Crossley was recognized with top honors in the Commentary category at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Conference, held August 3-7 in Washington Crossley, host of WGBH News’ Under the Radar, won first place for Top 15 Markets for her three-part compilation of commentaries “Race Matters: Echoing History,” which explores current racial issues in the United States through the lens of the country’s civil rights history.

“We are proud of Callie and have long believed that her observations are the best offered by local radio,” said Phil Redo, WGBH General Manager for Radio. “Callie’s examination of race and media coverage has come at a critical moment in the current political climate, and her unwavering commitment to telling the stories that are often overlooked is what makes her so original and so compelling.”

A former producer for ABC News’ 20/20, Crossley is also a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow through the Council of Independent Colleges, guest-lecturing at colleges and universities about media, politics and the intersection of race, gender and media. She also holds two fellowships at Harvard University. Crossley was a producer for Blackside Inc.’s Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, which earned her an Oscar nomination, a National Emmy Award and the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award. Crossley has earned the Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Clarion Awards for writing, producing and hosting.

In addition to hosting Under the Radar, which features stories not usually covered by traditional media outlets, Crossley appears weekly on WGBH’s Beat the Press, examining local and national media coverage, and Basic Black, focusing on current events concerning communities of color. She also contributes to national programs including CNN’s Reliable Sources, PBS’s NewsHour and PRI’sThe Takeaway.

Under the Radar airs Sundays from 6 to 7 p.m. EDT on 89.7 WGBH. Crossley’s weekly commentaries air Mondays during WGBH’s Morning Edition.

Race Matters: Echoing History

Callie Crossley wins major award for Katrina commentary

Callie Crossley. Photo via WGBH News.
Callie Crossley. Photo via WGBH News.

Congratulations to my WGBH colleague and friend Callie Crossley. Do yourself a favor and click on the link below to hear her award-winning commentary. Press release follows.

BOSTON—WGBH News award-winning journalist Callie Crossley was recognized with top honors in the Commentary category at the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI) Conference, held recently in St. Louis, Missouri. Each year PRNDI recognizes the best of local public radio news in a wide array of categories. Crossley, host of WGBH News’s Under the Radar, won first place for her story marking the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina—“Tomorrow Is Not Promised: Life after Hurricane Katrina”—in which she chronicled the lessons learned from her late father after the storm.

“Hearing well informed voices on local and global issues is a goal for WGBH News 89.7,” said Phil Redo, WGBH General Manager for Radio. “This story is yet another example of Callie’s signature voice: thoughtful and powerful. We’re all proud of Callie and I greatly look forward to hearing her thoughts every Monday morning.”

A former producer for ABC News’ 20/20, Crossley is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, guest-lecturing at colleges and universities about media, politics and the intersection of race, gender and media. She also holds two fellowships at Harvard University. Crossley was a producer for Blackside Inc.’s Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, which earned her an Oscar nomination, a National Emmy and the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award. Crossley has earned the Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Clarion Awards for writing, producing and hosting.

In addition to hosting Under the Radar, which features stories that are often overlooked by traditional media outlets, Crossley appears weekly on WGBH’s Beat the Press, examining local and national media coverage, and Basic Black, focusing on current events concerning communities of color. She also contributes to national programs including CNN’s Reliable Sources, PBS’s NewsHour and PRI’s The Takeaway.

Under the Radar airs Sundays from 6 to 7 p.m. EDT on 89.7 WGBH. Crossley’s weekly commentaries air Mondays during WGBH’s Morning Edition.

Ferguson and the importance of citizen media

2848609_300Two of my WGBH colleagues, Callie Crossley and Jim Braude, were welcomed to the honorary board of Cambridge Community Television recently. (Robin Young of WBUR and I were the picks last year.) Congratulations to both Callie and Jim. CCTV is a great example of how volunteer media can make a difference in providing local news and fostering civic engagement.

CCTV executive director Susan Fleischmann asked me to speak for a few minutes, and then published a tweaked-up version of my remarks in Open Studio, the organization’s newsletter. You can read what I had to say here or below:

On the evening of Aug. 13, while I was checking Twitter, I started to see reports coming in that the police in Ferguson, Missouri, were forcibly suppressing nonviolent protests. Five days earlier, on Aug. 9, a teenager named Michael Brown had been killed by a police officer under circumstances that are still unclear.

I turned on CNN, which was running a story on the death of Robin Williams. So I turned back to Twitter.

Several people I was following posted livestreams. I clicked on one called “I Am Michael Brown Live” from KARG Argus Radio, a community radio station. What I saw was incredible. It certainly wasn’t HDTV — the video was dark and green, likely shot with nothing but a smartphone, showing a column of police officers advancing and using flares and rubber bullets to disperse a peaceful crowd.

Later, the cable channels started covering Ferguson live — but they were mainly showing the KARG footage, as it was pretty much the only material they had.

Ferguson showed the power of citizen media. Reports from the scene on Twitter, Instagram and the like kept growing and building until finally the mainstream media were forced to take notice and cover the story.

At a time when the traditional media don’t have the resources to cover stories the way they did 20 years ago, ordinary people armed with smartphones can serve as an early warning signal. A story can begin with citizen media and work its way into the mainstream — and from there into the national consciousness, as was the case in Ferguson.

It was widely reported that two journalists were arrested the night of Aug. 13 — Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of The Huffington Post. In fact, there was a third — Antonio French, a St. Louis alderman who had been covering the protests on social media from the beginning.

Lowery — who video-recorded the officer who was arresting him — and Reilly were quickly released. It took longer for French. But how much longer still if he hadn’t been an elected official? At at time when everyone can engage in acts of journalism, we need protection not just for professional journalists but for people using the tools they have available to report what is happening around them.

What professional journalists do is incredibly important. The stories they tell, when done well, give us the information we need to govern ourselves in a democracy.

What you as citizen journalists involved in public media such as Cambridge Community TV are doing is every bit as important. Many times you are on the front lines of local stories that are too local for the mainstream to bother with. And you’re the early warning signal for the mainstream.

What happened in Ferguson underscores the value and importance of what you do every day. All of us in professional journalists admire what you’re doing, or at least we should. This evening is to salute you.

Advance praise for “The Wired City”

I am thrilled and honored to report Jay Rosen, Callie Crossley, Dan Gillmor and Bill Densmore have weighed in with advance praise for “The Wired City.” Their reputations precede them. You can read what they have to say by clicking here.

Braude and Eagan to host WGBH Radio midday show

Jim Braude and Margery Eagan

Well, that didn’t take long. The only real assets at former talk radio station WTKK, Jim Braude and Margery Eagan, have been hired by WGBH Radio (89.7 FM) to helm the midday news and public-affairs program “Boston Public Radio” from noon to 2 p.m. (I am a paid contributor to WGBH-TV’s “Beat the Press,” where Eagan is a frequent panelist.)

Braude is also the host of “Broadside: The News with Jim Braude,” on New England Cable News, and Eagan is a columnist at the Boston Herald. Their hiring appears to be an attempt to give some definition to “Boston Public Radio,” which was created last June when Emily Rooney’s and Callie Crossley’s one-hour shows were combined. Rooney and Crossley will continue to be heard on “Boston Public Radio.”

Braude and Eagan already have a Twitter handle: @JimMargeryWGBH.

In other post-WTKK news, afternoon drive-time host Michael Graham popped up this week on stations in Worcester, Concord, Plymouth and Southbridge.

Here is the full press release from WGBH:

Jim Braude and Margery Eagan to join WGBH’s Boston Public Radio

Pair will anchor mid-day talk program on WGBH Radio 89.7; WGBH expands on commitment to local coverage, builds on Rooney and Crossley’s growth

BOSTON, Mass. (February 6, 2013) – Jim Braude and Margery Eagan will serve as the new co-hosts of 89.7 WGBH’s Boston Public Radio beginning Monday, February 25. The format change is part of WGBH News’s ongoing evolution and continued commitment to strengthening the region’s most dynamic local news team. The live local program airs from 12-2pm each Monday through Friday on 89.7 WGBH.

Braude and Eagan will lead two hours of local conversation that will continue to combine newsmaker interviews, conversation with experts, and listener call-ins. Callie Crossley and Emily Rooney, the awarding-winning veteran journalists who have led the consistent growth of Boston Public Radio, will continue to contribute to WGBH’s local, daily public radio talk show. WGBH and Boston Public Radio will also continue to include regular contributors Kara Miller, Jared Bowen, and Edgar B. Herwick III. As co-hosts of Boston Public Radio, Braude and Eagan will host a monthly Ask the Governor program on WGBH, a series they hosted in their former role at WTKK radio. 89.7 WGBH will make that monthly program available to any other Massachusetts station free of charge.

WGBH will announce other major contributors and regular guests from politics, press, and culture in the coming weeks.

“As WGBH Radio continues to develop and grow, we are excited to build on a strong foundation and serve audiences with the smartest on-air guides to the breadth of stories happening in our region and around the world. Jim and Margery are extremely talented broadcasters who will make our strong team even stronger. Like all of our Boston Public Radio contributors, they are smart and engaging and share our passion for local discussion and commentary,” said 89.7 WGBH Managing Director Phil Redo. “We are very happy that Governor Patrick will be resuming his regular appearances on radio, now here on WGBH. It is a genuine public service and an opportunity for residents of the Commonwealth to engage directly with their governor.”

For 13 years, Braude and Eagan co-hosted the Jim & Margery Show on WTKK 96.9FM. Braude, an Emmy-award winning journalist, started his career as a legal services lawyer in the South Bronx. Braude hosts Broadside: The News with Jim Braude weeknights on NECN. He founded and served as the first president of the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, a union representing staff in civil legal offices for the poor in 35 states. He published Otherwise, a magazine on American politics, and served as a Cambridge city councilor. Braude graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and New York University School of Law.

“We are excited to join the WGBH News team and to be staying together as a team ourselves,” said Braude.

Eagan, a columnist for the Boston Herald, grew up in Fall River, Mass. She is a graduate of Stanford University. Throughout her career, Eagan has written for a number of publications, including Boston Magazine. She has appeared on national and local news programs and is a regular guest on Greater Boston and Beat the Press on WGBH-TV.

“I’m a huge fan of WGBH’s Boston Public Radio and am thrilled to be joining the terrific journalists there,” Eagan said. “They’ve built one of the strongest local news teams around.”

“I congratulate Jim and Margery on this next adventure and look forward to continuing our thoughtful conversations on how policy touches people in their everyday lives,” said Governor Patrick.

Callie Crossley will continue to lend her signature perspective to the exploration of important topics, both local and national. Emily Rooney will provide a take on stories she is following for the WGBH-TV program Greater Boston. Kara Miller, who also hosts WGBH Radio’s Innovation Hub, will offer a window into the region’s most creative thinkers. Jared Bowen — Boston television’s only full-time arts journalist, a recently named Commonwealth Award winner and host of Open Studio, which premieres on WGBH 2 this Friday at 8:30pm — will continue to provide unique coverage of New England’s vibrant arts culture. Edgar Herwick, who developed the Web series One Guest, will continue to report on interesting and unusual topics that engage audiences.

The re-formatted Boston Public Radio program reflects the continuing evolution of 89.7 and the growing WGBH News team, which draws significantly on the expertise of staff across radio, television and the Web. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of schedule changes that more prominently feature unique local programming throughout the week, including the new timeslot for Innovation Hub, hosted by Kara Miller, now at 10am on Saturdays.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Shuffling the deck at WGBH Radio

WGBH Radio (89.7 FM) has announced some changes to its schedule that suggest station executives are planning to up the ante in their competition with WBUR (90.9 FM) for the news-and-information audience on public radio.

Disclosure for those who don’t know: I’m a paid contributor to WGBH-TV’s “Beat the Press,” and appear occasionally on the radio station as well.

The most significant move is that “Eric in the Evening,” the daily jazz program hosted by Eric Jackson, is being cut back and moved to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 p.m. to midnight. It’s a shame, but I suspect not many people listen to terrestrial jazz radio in the age of Pandora.

The individual one-hour local talk shows hosted by Emily Rooney and Callie Crossley will be melded into a two-hour block called “Boston Public Radio” that will be hosted by Crossley on weekdays from noon to 2 p.m. Crossley will be joined by Rooney, Kara Miller, Adam Reilly, Jared Bowen and others. “Boston Public Radio” will be rebroadcast Monday through Thursday from 9 to 11 p.m.

Two NPR staples are notably absent from the line-up: “Fresh Air” and “The Diane Rehm SEO Services Show.” (Update: The original schedule sent by WGBH had nothing listed for 10 to 11 a.m. Turns out that’s when “Diane Rehm” will be broadcast.)

The full text of the WGBH press release appears after the jump, supplemented by a few additions emailed in response to an inquiry. Continue reading “Shuffling the deck at WGBH Radio”

Talking about local news in the digital age

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The video from a Sept. 22 event that I moderated at MIT is now online. The program, titled “Local News in the Digital Age,” featured David Dahl, regional editor of the Boston Globe; Callie Crossley, host of “The Callie Crossley Show” on WGBH Radio (89.7) and a regular on WGBH-TV’s “Beat the Press” and “Basic Black”; and Adam Gaffin, co-founder, publisher and editor of Boston-area metablog Universal Hub. The first person you’ll see speaking is David Thorburn, a professor of literature at MIT and director of the MIT Communications Forum.

Two hours is a long time to sit in front of your computer watching video. Fortunately, you can download an MP3 here.

Talking online local news at MIT

Please mark this on your calendar — it should be a good one. Next Thursday, Sept. 22, I’ll be moderating a panel on “Local News in the Digital Age,” part of the MIT Communications Forum.

We will have an all-star cast: David Dahl, the Boston Globe’s regional editor, who’s in charge of the paper’s regional editions and the hyperlocal Your Town sites; Callie Crossley, host of “The Callie Crossley Show” on WGBH Radio (89.7 FM) and a fellow panelist on “Beat the Press” (WGBH-TV, Channel 2); and Adam Gaffin, the co-founder, editor and publisher of Universal Hub, Greater Boston’s one essential hyperlocal news site.

The free event will take place from 5o to 7 p.m. in the MIT Media Lab’s Bartos Theater, at 20 Ames St. in Cambridge. It’s being held at the same time that the Online News Association’s annual conference gets under way in Boston, and we’re hoping a few attendees decide to wander over as well.

Public radio’s new local focus

Good news for fans of quality local radio: WBUR (90.9 FM) is expanding its “Radio Boston” program from one day a week to five. Along with Emily Rooney‘s and Callie Crossley‘s new shows on WGBH (89.7 FM), that’s three hours a day of local programming on the city’s two largest public radio stations. Adam Gaffin has the news, and Adam Reilly has more.

WBUR’s other news and public-affairs programs, “On Point” and “Here and Now,” are excellent but lack a local focus, as they are both nationally syndicated. By going daily, “Radio Boston” plugs a hole at WBUR that was left in the 1990s, when Christopher Lydon‘s legendary program “The Connection” went national.

My disclaimer: I am a paid weekly panelist on “Beat the Press,” a WGBH-TV (Channel 2) program of which Rooney is the host and Crossley is a regular.

Public radio listeners will be the winners

Best of luck to my “Beat the Press” colleagues Emily Rooney and Callie Crossley, whose hour-long programs debut today on WGBH Radio (89.7 FM) — Emily at noon and Callie at 1 p.m.

Rooney is competing with one of my favorite people in radio, Robin Young, whose “Here and Now” is broadcast on WBUR (90.9 FM) from noon to 1. Crossley is up against syndicated fare on ‘BUR except on Fridays, when “Radio Boston” airs.

So I’m hoping the public radio audience expands and everyone wins. Including the listeners.