Interest in Cuba has surged since the Obama administration’s announcement of a thaw in U.S.-Cuban relations. Tourism is up 15% since just last year, and American businesses are eyeing opportunities to build trade with the communist island nation. With this in mind, Michigan Radio is sending two journalists to Cuba to tell some of the stories of Michigan’s connections to the Caribbean nation. Michigan Radio reporters Tracy Samilton and Mercedes Mejia will travel to Cuba from April 8-17, and will file stories that will air on Michigan Radio and online at michiganradio.org.
Among the stories Samilton and Mejia intend to pursue are efforts that may allow Michigan farmers to sell produce, meat and other products in Cuba; accompanying a group of Michigan State University medical students on the school’s first ever study trip to observe the country’s highly-regarded health care system; and a Michigan company overseeing a project to construct an Ernest Hemingway archival laboratory near the author’s historic Havana home.
“Michigan has a surprising number of cultural connections to Cuba,” said Michigan news director Vincent Duffy, “and international trade is a big part of our state’s economy. As Cuba begins to open up for business in the future, there may be opportunities for Michigan businesses. We want to find out what these opportunities may be, and share them with our audience, and hopefully be able to tell some fascinating history and cultural stories too.”
The Pure Cuba reports will be heard on Michigan Radio beginning the week of April 18. Listeners can follow the station’s Cuba coverage here. They can also join in the discussion on twitter using #PureCuba, and on Michigan Radio’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
With the departure of Jake Neher for WDET-FM (Detroit), Michigan Public Radio Network (MPRN) has an opening for a State Capitol Correspondent. The person in this position is responsible for reporting news stories for use by stations within the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB). The MAPB is seeking an experienced multi-platform journalist to cover the state legislature, state government and politics.
Major duties and responsibilities:
News reporting, including coverage of the Michigan state house, major state departments, the courts, politics and elections and other timely issues of statewide interest.
Production of content for broadcast and web, including spots, features, and interviews.
Production of digital content including: web stories that may include images and video; possible podcasts, social media posts and other content as directed by the Bureau Chief/Managing Editor.
Live event coverage which may include hosting Public appearances as approved by Bureau Chief/Managing Editor.
Excellent reporting, writing and editing skills, with an ability to convey the human story behind public policy issues.
A passion for breaking news.
The ability to work on tight deadlines and meet them.
A degree in journalism or related field, or equivalent experience.
For consideration: Please send cover letter, resume, writing and audio samples to:
MPRN Managing Editor Rick Pluta
Michigan Public Radio Network
819 N. Washington Ave
Lansing, MI 48906
Michigan Radio (WUOM-FM/WFUM-FM/WVGR-FM) has announced that The Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has named Michigan Radio reporter Lindsey Smith as a finalist for Journalist of the Year. Based in Grand Rapids, Smith is Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter. Over the past year, however, she has reported extensively on the Flint water crisis, including producing a special documentary about the crisis, “Not Safe to Drink.”
The Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists recognizes the Detroit area’s top print, online, radio and television journalists. Finalists are selected by a jury of veteran journalists and educators from several news media outlets outside of Metro Detroit. Other finalists for SPJ Detroit’s Journalist of the Year include Ron Fonger, The Flint Journal; Nancy Kaffer, Detroit Free Press and Keith Naughton, Bloomberg News. The winner will announced at the Detroit SPJ’s annual banquet on April 12.
Original story by Steve Chrypinski, Marketing Director, Michigan Radio
In the last several weeks, we’ve noticed a couple of instances that are reminiscent of the days when radio stations featured live musicians in their studio. Both WKAR-FM (East Lansing) and Interlochen Public Radio (Interlochen) shared some examples recently through social media and regular websites.
On March 24, WKAR-FM presented a performance of Brahms Scherzo in c-minor as part of the station’s “Live From Studio S” series. The performance featured Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s assistant concertmaster Hai Xin Wu & Michigan State University College of Music collaborative piano professor Zhihua Tang (who is hidden from view in this video):
Also on March 24, Interlochen Public Radio hosted siblings Penny and Radel Rosin of Grayling, who perform under the name “Oh Brother, Big Sister.” While the duo has already released two albums, they treated Interlochen listeners to a new song titled “Michigan Daydream.”
On March 23, WGVU Public Media hosted national PBS talent Alice Ferris during their recent TV Membership Drive. Alice joined the station team for its presentation of Michigan Hometown Stories: Saugatuck/Douglas, a local WGVU production highlighting the history and story of the local west Michigan community.
During the night, the station announced that the series will be available via PBS LearningMedia, so everyone could learn about this great Michigan community. The program can also be viewed online here.
The night was a great success with phones being answered by the Grand Valley State University Football Alumni Association.
Michigan Public Radio Network (MPRN) State Capitol Reporter Jake Neher has joined public radio station WDET-FM (Detroit).
In his new postion, Neher will serve as producer for WDET’s daily talk show Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson. In addition, he will be doing feature reporting and working on special projects.
Neher told MAB/MAPB “It has been a privilege to cover the state Capitol for public radio stations across Michigan for the past four years. I’ve had the opportunity to witness the passage of several pieces of historic legislation and other momentous events up close and alongside great journalists who make up the Capitol press corps. I look forward to continue to contribute to the Michigan Public Radio Network from my new job at WDET, albeit in a different role.”
Neher joined MPRN in September of 2012. Before that, he served as a reporter and anchor for WFUV Public Radio in the Bronx, New York, and as News Director for KBRW Public Radio in Barrow, Alaska. He has been working in radio in some capacity since he was 15-years-old.
A native of Southeast Michigan, Neher graduated from Central Michigan University in 2010. He has a Master’s degree in Public Communications from Fordham University.
Jake began his new position with WDET on March 28.
This summer, PBS KIDS and the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative will bring the “Odd Squad: Be the Agent” camp program to select sites and is inviting all interested PBS member stations to apply to participate. 50 stations will be selected from the pool of applicants to host these summer camps in their communities. These stations will receive Odd Squad camp curriculum materials and activities, as well as PBS KIDS Media Lab that will include:
2 PBS KIDS branded Odd Squad bannerstands
USB with Odd Squad curriculum materials
Odd Squad badges that can be given to the children participating in the camp.
More information on the “Be the Agent Camp” and the grant requirements can found on the Odd Squad Camp Station RFP here.
DEADLINE TO APPLY: Wednesday, MARCH 23, 2016
If you have any questions about this application process, please contact Celeste Ho: email@example.com.
Detroit Public Television (WTVS) is honoring the memory of Michigan radio legend J.P. McCarthy with J.P. – The Voice of Detroit, an hour-long documentary that tells J.P.’s story, the ultimate local-kid-done-good tale.
Working extensively with the McCarthy family and conducting over 20 interviews with J.P.’s friends, family, co-workers, and contemporaries, J.P. – The Voice of Detroit is a fitting memorial to someone who was considered more of a family member than a voice on the radio to anyone who tuned in to hear him.
The program has aired twice on WTVS and can be seen on demand here.
Michigan State University and WKAR-TV have put the power of information in the hands of Flint residents through a new tool that navigates community resources in the wake of the ongoing water crisis.
The mobile app “Empower Flint” provides a checklist of important actions people can take to protect themselves, their families and pets as they battle elevated lead levels in the water supply. Released March 1, the app was developed by a team of researchers and specialists from MSU, the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, and WKAR-TV in collaboration with the people of Flint.
“Our goal was to build something that adapts to the needs identified by Flint residents, and that stands the test of time as community needs evolve,” said Kami Silk, MSU associate dean for research and professor of communication and agbio research. “Our hopes are that the app will fill an information gap and be embraced as coming from a trusted and familiar voice in Flint: MSU.”
The app’s “find” operation enables users to search for the closest water stations, free water filters, lead testing sites, community events, and sources of nutritious food. Users will also find directional maps, news feeds, and volunteer and community activities at their fingertips. Most important, “Empower Flint” pushes out critical alerts about water safety, lead levels, and immediate steps that residents can take for personal and public health.
“We saw a lot of experts and community partners providing a lot of important information,” said WKAR-TV Station Manager Susi Elkins. “Since we’re communicators, we saw it as a chance to put our expertise to use for the greater good and devise a way to make communicating that information as easy as possible.”
Associate Professor of Media and Information Brian Winn led the development of the app starting in mid-January with members of the College of ComArtSci’s GEL Lab. Silk and Elkins assembled ongoing focus groups of residents to test and provide feedback the app.
The app may be downloaded to both iOS and Android devices here.
On February 26, WGVU (Grand Rapids) held its 27th annual Wine and Food Symposium, presented by D&W Fresh Market. Station supporters were able to sample from over 300 wine and beer selections as well as gourmet food from around the world and were able to converse with experts on the menu.
Those attending were also treated to live music by Dutcher Snedeker on the piano.
The event was held at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. More photos here.