Category Archives: MAPB

MSU Professors Win Top Awards for Film About Latino Lynchings

MSU Professors of Practice John J. Valadez and Carleen Ling-an Hsu will receive two top honors from the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) at its annual conference in Las Vegas. There they will be presented with the Faculty Documentary “Best of” award and the first-ever “Diversity and Inclusion Creative Award” for their WKAR/PBS film The Head of Joaquin Murrieta.

More than 1,550 entries, representing more than 175 colleges and universities across the country, were submitted for this year’s competition. Valadez and Hsu, who each have dual appointments in the Department of Media and Information and the Film Studies Program in the Department of English, had the top overall entry in the Faculty Documentary Competition.

“As filmmakers, we spend years thinking about our subject, then painstakingly try to articulate the idea and craft it into a film for a wide audience. In the end, we send it off into the world over the airwaves or through cables in the ground. We often don’t know how it impacts people because we are not in their living rooms watching with them,” Hsu said. “Winning these awards from BEA is not only a huge honor because it comes from our fellow educators, it is a reminder and affirmation that what we do both as filmmakers and educators really does matter.”

Written and directed by Valadez and produced and edited by Hsu, The Head of Joaquin Murrieta is a short documentary that follows Valadez as he travels across the country — from New York to California — with the 165-year-old severed head of the legendary Mexican outlaw Joaquin Murrieta.

The Head of Joaquin Murrieta was released in 2016 and submitted in late 2017 to the BEA’s Festival of Media Arts Competition, which is a competitive forum open to BEA faculty and student members. The 16th annual festival will be held in Las Vegas on April 7-10, 2018.


‘Protect My Public Media’ Declares Victory in 2018, Looks Ahead to 2019

“Protect My Public Media” leaders declared “a major victory” when President Trump signed  a bill this week that fully funds public media through September 30, 2018.

They credited 694,605 communications to Congress generated by the effort since March 2017 for the funding success.

With Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 funding finished, Congress will soon start its work on FY 2019. “Protect My Public Media” leaders say it will again be vital to remind lawmakers that you support public media.

“Important groundwork has already been laid by advocates who asked lawmakers to sign the public media support letters. Thanks to their outreach, the House of Representatives letter secured a record-breaking number of signatures and the Senate letter is on its way to attaining similar results,” they wrote in a recent email to to constituents.

PBS President will Deliver Keynote at 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference


Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO

PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger will deliver a keynote address at the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference May 29-June 1, the Detroit Regional Chamber has announced. She will discuss the importance of building trust and restoring confidence in the critical institutions of government, media and business.

For 14 consecutive years, PBS and its member stations have been ranked as the most trusted national institution by independent research.

Since joining PBS in 2006, Kerger has helped grow the system’s audience to become the nation’s sixth most-watched network in the United States. She is the longest-serving president and CEO in PBS history.

“Detroit Public Television is thrilled to have Paula return to our state. Last year, when federal funding for public broadcasting was being challenged, she spoke to our Detroit Economic Club. We’re proud to have her back to speak to the state’s premier gatherings of thought leaders on issues that will shape the future of Michigan,” wrote Rich Homberg, President and CEO for Detroit Public Television, in an email announcement to members.

“Paula will share her insights on how media institutions such as PBS can contribute to greater levels of trust in society in a session sponsored by PNC Bank. We look forward to streaming the session online, so you can see and hear it.”

Kerger also serves as the board chair for Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and has been named to Hollywood Reporter’s “Women in Entertainment Power 100,” an annual survey of the nation’s top women executives in the media.


WKAR’s Elkins Featured in Podcast

Susi Elkins

WKAR’s Russ White recently sat down with Susi Elkins, director of broadcasting and general manager of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University to talk about evolving the station’s mission to “serve, educate, inspire and entertain” in the digital age.

She said it’s a great time to be in broadcasting, in part due to the many different ways the audience can consume WKAR content in 2018.

“That means to me that we follow our mission to ‘serve, educate, inspire and entertain’ even more ardently,” she said. “It’s less about figuring out the program schedule and determining when people will hear or watch something and more about thinking about each member of our audience as individuals and providing choices and options for them in content and information.”

The challenges ahead for media organizations mostly all involve serving audiences. Elkins said, “It’s understanding them and understanding what they’re interested in.”

Listen to the interview here.


WKAR Upgrade FM Translator for AM Rebroadcast

WKAR Public Media’s WKAR-AM (East Lansing) recently upgraded its FM translator, moving from 94.5 on the FM dial to 105.1 with a substantial power increase.

The FM signal airs the AM station’s 24/7 radio news, including feeds from  NPR, BBC and the WKAR news team.  The station also airs some new programming including “Hidden Brain” and  “It’s Been a Minute,” plus the return of listener favorites like Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and This American Life.

The station is also available on a new WKAR app.

MAPB Elects Officers

Newly elected MAPB Board of Directors President Gary Reid (left), Director Emeritus for Michigan State University Public Broadcasting, and immediate past-president Eric Smith (right), Director of Broadcasting, Northern Michigan University.
The Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB) elected its 2018-2019 Officers of the Board of Directors during a board meeting held on Tuesday, March 6 in conjunction with the Great Lakes Media Show at the Lansing Center.
Officers elected to the 2018-2019 MAPB  Board of Directors: 
President: Gary Reid, Michigan State University Public Broadcasting
Vice-President: Steve Schram, Michigan Public Media
Treasurer: Tom Bennett, Delta College Public Broadcasting
Secretary: Ken Kolbe, Central Michigan University Public Broadcasting
For more information about MAPB and the board members visit

NPR’s Lakshmi Singh Guests at Upcoming WGVU Fundraiser


Lakshmi Singh

WGVU Public Media (Grand Rapids) will present Brunch at the Gardens: A Toast With Your NPR Hosts to honor the work of their local NPR team with special guest, NPR Newscaster, Lakshmi Singh.  The event will be held on Saturday, March 10 at 11 a.m. at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.

Guests will enjoy highlights from some favorite stories of the past year as well as give station hosts a chance to discuss what stories have them excited about 2018. Appearing will be Shelley Irwin of WGVU’s Morning Show and Jennifer Moss of Morning Edition West Michigan.  They will sit down for a conversation with Lakshmi Singh about the importance of local and national news partnerships as well as the issues facing media outlets today.

$75 ticket includes 3 drink vouchers, brunch buffet, silent auction, and admission to the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park after the event (it’s butterfly time!).  Details here.

WKAR Takes Home National Awards

Via Imani Farmer, WKAR.ORG:

(l-r) Robin Pizzo, WKAR director of education; Susi Elkins, WKAR director of broadcasting and general manager; and Julie Sochay, WKAR content and community engagement manager all honored to accept two awards at the 2017 NETA conference on January 23.  Photo credit: WKAR.

WKAR Public Media from Michigan State University received  two awards at the 2018 National Education Telecommunications Association (NETA) Conference on January 23 in Washington, DC.

The honors included a promotion award for the special event WKAR Family Launch Open House and a production award for the performance of BackStage Pass: Toronzo Cannon.

The 2017 NETA awards were presented to 30 projects from 20 public television stations at the annual NETA Conference in Washington, DC. The competition honors member stations’ finest work in community engagement, promotion, instructional media, and content production.

“It was an honor representing our amazing WKAR team at the NETA awards ceremony,” said Julie Sochay, WKAR content and community engagement manager. “The opportunity for the station to be highlighted in this way, and in front of so many stations and organizations from around the country, is important as we continue to grow our reach.”

The promotion award for WKAR Family Launch Open House is a testament to all the hard work and effort of WKAR Family. An initiative which brings together the resources of PBS KIDS and Michigan State University to provide free programming, technology and learning tools to kids, as well as dedicate resources to researching early childhood development.

“Receiving an award for our PBS KIDS 24/7 Channel and WKAR Family launch event is especially important as it brings awareness to the growing educational needs within our local community and beyond,” said Sochay.

The production award won for BackStage Pass: Toronzo Cannon performance helps bridge WKAR’s own original showcase with bluesman Cannon to provide outstanding and award winning entertainment.

“We filmed it at Blues Fest in Old Town, Lansing,” said Nicole Zaremba, BackStage Pass producer. “Cannon was amazing, a Chicago staple as Blues goes. It was an honor to host him on the show and highlight his musicianship and learn about his inspiration towards and behind his music.”

In this award winning BackStage Pass video, contemporary bluesman Toronzo Cannon from Chicago performs the title track from his album, “John the Conquer Root,” “Ti Ni Nee Ni Nu,” and more.

You can watch Toronzo Cannon’s performance and other BackStage Pass episodes at In addition, families and parents can enjoy more WKAR Family segments at

WKAR was very pleased to receive both awards at the 2017 NETA Conference and looks forward to continue providing award winning content.

WCMU Presents Pinkalicious Kids and Culture Day

This Saturday, February 17, WCMU Public Media will host “Pinkalicious Kids and Culture Day” from 10 a.m. to Noon on the campus of Central Michigan University.

As part of this great event, WCMU is introducing kids to the brand new PBS Kids show, “Pinkalicious & Peterrific.” Families can stop by for games, activities and a sneak peek of this fun new program.

“Pinkalicious & Peterrific” is based on the beloved children’s books and encourages kids to get creative with art and self-expression.

WCMU is partnering with “Kids & Culture” which brings free events like this to the Mt. Pleasant community and encourages kids to learn more about culture and the arts.

For more information, visit the station’s website here.

WCMU To Present Kids and Culture Event

WCMU Public Media is partnering with Art Reach of Mid-Michigan’s Kids & Culture free event from noon to 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 17, for a variety of activities such as bracelet making, coloring, etc.

The event will be held at the WCMU studios in Mt. Pleasant.

Alysha Fisher of WCMU said, “The date of our event ties in nicely with the launch of a new PBS Kids show, ‘Pinkalicious and Peterrific’. The program is based on a book series which encourages kids to get creative with art and self-expression.”

“Pinkalicious and Peterrific” will premiere its on-air broadcast on WCMU on Monday, Feb. 19.

“I’m excited to add WCMU Public Media as a new partner to Kids and Culture in 2018,” said Amy Powell, executive director of Mid-Michigan Art Reach. “Kids and Culture is in its third year, and each year we add new elements to keep the kids engaged.”