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Michael V Marcotte
Albuquerque, NM
Veteran public media news executive now teaching and consulting
Interests: Reading, networking and blogging. Discovering great journalism on all platforms. Enjoying music, theater and outdoor stuff like running, biking and hiking. A fan of yoga. I'm the proud owner of two Bajaj scooters and for some reason I'm certified in transcranial magnetic stimulation.
Recent Activity
BY TERESA GORMAN / 2020 APRIL 15TH This post was co-authored by Christine Schmidt. Over the past month, 30 states have made journalism an essential service in their disaster declarations, putting local news outlets on par with hospitals and grocery stores. It makes sense: local news is how we find out about stay at home orders and whether our nearby hospital has tests available. It lets us know which grocery stores are holding senior hours, which schools are delivering hot lunches, and how to get help with rent and mortgage payments. And it powers the work of infectious disease detectives, who refer to local reporting as “the bedrock” of their work tracking the spread of illnesses across the country. Nearly eight in ten Americans are following coronavirus news closely. And they’re getting more than just news: Chalkbeat built maps of all the places New Jersey families can get free meals... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2020 at Mike Marcotte
Never before has there been such a collective cry for the federal government to fund journalism ­­­­– especially local newsgathering – an idea that reporters and editors once considered toxic. These calls have come over the last two weeks from respected industry leaders seeking to staunch the current carnage in commercial and nonprofit newsrooms. Ideas that once were regarded as controversial are now treated as possibilities to be pondered – and actively pitched. Indeed, just Wednesday, more than 50 journalism organizations and journalism schools sent Congress a letter pleading for $5 billion in relief in the next emergency legislation, saying the pandemic has “accelerated the decline of local news and information.” If these pleas gain traction, public broadcasters will have newfound competition for taxpayer dollars, even as digital news providers are already homing in on pubcasters’ donors, members and funders. Some of the proposals call for markedly redefining public media... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2020 at Mike Marcotte
By Jan Schaffer As malls hollow out or go belly up across the country, two public broadcasters are staking a claim to helping repurpose shuttered retail behemoths in their communities. In the process, they are expanding public media’s mission in novel ways. For KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, a move to the former Highland Mall, purchased by Austin Community College, will fortify its partnerships in local workforce development initiatives, create a center for teaching digital storytelling, inaugurate new studios and event space, and create a meeting hub for local nonprofits. For WUMR 91.7 FM, the jazz station licensed to the University of Memphis, its move to the once-blighted, massive Sears distribution center will involve a spin into a new nonprofit. Later this year, it will embark on a different life in what has become Crosstown Concourse, an arts and mixed-use complex where it will program a revised music line-up and start hosting... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2020 at Mike Marcotte
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Pilot grant addresses urgent needs in local news (ALBUQUERQUE, NM) -- The University of New Mexico Department of Communication and Journalism has received a $100,000 grant from the New Mexico Local News Fund for a fellowship program to place three recent graduates in local newsrooms for eight months of professional training. This pilot project seeks to demonstrate the viability of a field-based fellowship model designed to address several critical needs in New Mexico’s local news ecosystem: The need for an effective in-state school-to-career pathway for young journalists; The need to reinforce journalistic capacity in New Mexico newsrooms; The need for innovation in local newsrooms to cope with significant change. “The New Mexico Local News Fund is excited to partner with UNM on this important project,” said NMLNF program coordinator Sarah Gustavus. “Local journalism is crucial for our democracy and the Local News Fund hopes this program will effectively serve both... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2020 at Mike Marcotte
(Required reading for any journalists in a campus environment, including university-licensed public media...) Seeking leads from sources whose stories haven’t yet become public is a routine reporting practice. That’s why reporters — as part of an unsettling package of news stories about how the University of Illinois allowed professors found culpable for sexual harassment to resign quietly without creating a record of wrongdoing — invited readers to submit their own confidential news tips about other cases of sexual misconduct at the Champaign-Urbana campus. The university’s response was anything but routine. Because one of the lead reporters, Rachel Otwell of NPR Illinois, works out of the University of Illinois campus in Springfield, the university insisted that any information about sexual misconduct involving UI employees or students would have to be disclosed to the campus Title IX office — even if the sources requested anonymity. By designating NPR Illinois journalists as “responsible... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2020 at Mike Marcotte
Interesting update to PMC's October post. Seems you need to slice the public TV data more carefully to see the more recent trends. Still, public radio is going strong! Are Public Radio & TV Station Revenue Trends Really That Different? - Public Media Company. Are Public Radio & TV Station Revenue Trends Really That Different? - Public Media Company Our October blog post explored how public radio revenue is now higher than public television revenue thanks to significant radio growth over the past decade. The post also highlighted great disparities between radio stations of different sizes – big growth for large stations and revenue declines for small stations. The variation by station size is also very evident in public television. Small TV stations (those with annual revenue below $5M) declined by 32% between 2008 and 2018 but large TV stations (those with revenue above $10M) declined by a much lower... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2019 at Mike Marcotte
Check out this startling report from Public Media Company showing how the public support (the dollars raised by individual stations, not from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) for radio is overtaking that of public TV. I've always maintained that when public radio concentrates on its public service journalism mission, it will grow audience... and that's what's been happening over the years. Partly this graph shows the challenge of public TV in this highly competitive environment for video attention, but it also shows radio's exceptional staying power. Public Radio Overtakes Public TV – Public Media Company. While both public radio and television revenue have grown in recent years, radio’s higher growth rate has led to public radio revenue overtaking public TV’s revenue for the first time ever (based on Non-federal Financial Support (NFFS) data from CPB). It is easy to see why when you compare the revenue growth rates of public... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2019 at Mike Marcotte
7 lessons from revenue teams at exemplary Civic News Organizations. During the American Journalism Project’s first few months, one focus of ours has been to understand what’s known and what’s not known about Civic News Organization revenue operations. We’re learning a lot about the Civic News Organizations, or CNOs, doing crucial public-service journalism throughout the country, in order to be prepared in our own work to boost the sustainability efforts and the revenue-generating capacity of the CNO ecosystem. We know, for example, that people matter. The success of revenue teams depends on the talent and effort of people who believe in local news and spend all day, every day figuring out how to pay for it . As such, one of the first projects we undertook was to study existing revenue roles and teams within exemplary CNOs, in partnership with the News Revenue Hub and the Impact Architects. Today we’re... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2019 at Mike Marcotte
(I'm glad to see Pew rolling out its 2019 State of the News Media, piece by piece. Yours truly pays close attention to the public broadcasting industry, so it makes sense to highlight that section here on the blog. Good to see stability and financial growth in NPR/PBS land, but troubling to see audience growth is flat.Click through for the full dive! -- MM) Hundreds of local and regional radio and television stations comprise the U.S. public media system. On the radio side, organizations such as NPR, American Public Media (APM) and Public Radio International (PRI), which merged with PRX in 2018, produce and distribute programming, reaching audiences through local stations as well as digital channels. Individual stations, such as New York’s WNYC and Chicago’s WBEZ, produce nationally syndicated original journalism as well. On the television side, PBS NewsHour produces an evening newscast that airs on local PBS stations around... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2019 at Mike Marcotte
(It's been happening gradually for many years. Public radio has invested in news coverage. Commercial radio has gambled on talk, talk, talk. So here we are... the cross fade in audience loyalty is happening. Having spent my career in building local public media news, I'm feeling satisfaction today. -- MM) What do heritage commercial News and Talk stations WBAP, KIRO-FM, KOGO and WBT have common? Not so long ago, each was the leading radio news source in their market. According to Nielsen Audio May 2019 PPM ratings, they were replaced in the top spot by a local NPR News/Talk station. Spark News readers know about the amazing progress NPR News/Talk stations have made in growing their listening and number of listeners in recent years. However, commercial radio operators are just beginning to hear the news... Read Ken Mills' full article: SPARK NEWS: IN 32% OF NIELSEN PPM MARKETS, NPR NEWS... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2019 at Mike Marcotte
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SEATING IS LIMITED. REGISTRATION DEADLINE: MAY 1st! Sixth Annual PRNDI News Manager Training & Certification When: June 12-13, 2019 (prior to the start of the PRNDI Conference) Where: NPR Headquarters, Washington, DC Who: Public media news directors, managers or aspiring news managers from any size shop, any experience level. Seating limited to the first 20 applicants. What: Two-day training on essentials of modern public media newsroom management, resulting in a custom action-plan and a PRNDI certificate of completion. "Presenters were well-prepared, organized and very helpful." -- Aaron Schachter, WGBH Why PRNDI provides this important training Today's newsroom leaders face BIG challenges: they set editorial strategy and ethical standards for their organizations; they plan short-term and long-range coverage; they assign and edit stories to serve changing audience needs; they manage people and budgets; and, they're helping navigate a digital future for public media journalism. This dynamic, interactive two-day workshop will focus... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2019 at Mike Marcotte
American Journalism Project Launches Major Effort to Reinvigorate Local News with $42 Million in Founding Commitments - American Journalism Project. American Journalism Project Launches Major Effort to Reinvigorate Local News with $42 Million in Founding Commitments - American Journalism ProjectNew venture philanthropy organization will work collaboratively to catalyze a new generation of civic news organizationsFeb. 26, 2019. Miami, Fla. — The American Journalism Project, a new initiative to reinvigorate mission-driven local news through the power of venture philanthropy, today announced its official launch with $42 million in lead funding commitments, a Board of Directors, and its first three hires.Founded by Elizabeth Green and John Thornton (founders of Chalkbeat and The Texas Tribune, respectively), the American Journalism Project is the first venture philanthropy organization dedicated to strengthening an ecosystem of civic news organizations that believe local journalism a public good.The organization will support existing and emerging news organizations with grants and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2019 at Mike Marcotte
Things We Don’t Talk About (But Should): An Open Letter to Media FundersJessica Clark, Dot Connector StudioMolly de Aguiar, News Integrity InitiativeNext week, several hundred people from national, community, and place-based foundations, as well as newsrooms and other nonprofits, will come together at the Knight Media Forum in Miami. The conference focuses on philanthropy’s role in strengthening local news and information, which is essential for healthy communities and a vibrant democracy. We believe there’s an important conversation missing from the conference schedule: a discussion of the power imbalance inherent in funder-grantee relationships, and what we can do about it.Funders wield immense power over the field of nonprofit news, from what they choose to value and support, to how the boundaries of “journalism” are defined, to how they design their systems and processes. Any nonprofit that has ever tried to figure out how to get its foot in the door with... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2019 at Mike Marcotte
REPOSTING FROM ASU SITE. BIG NEWS IN PUBLIC MEDIA.October 26, 2018 The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has awarded a grant of $1.1 million to Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication to develop and manage the Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative. The two-year initiative will provide training for 100 editors to strengthen their ability to lead public media’s growing newsrooms and collaborations while upholding the highest editorial standards. ASU's Cronkite School is establishing an initiative that will provide training for 100 editors to strengthen their ability to lead public media’s growing newsrooms and collaborations through a $1.1 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.Download Full Image “Skilled, effective editors are vital to the success of public media’s journalism as they oversee the development of content that informs our country’s civil discourse,” said Kathy Merritt, CPB’s senior vice president of journalism and radio. “This initiative will... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2018 at Mike Marcotte
Journalism School Educators Academy – The Whole Story. On July 12 and 13, nine journalism educators from universities across the United States gathered in Portland to take part in the inaugural Solutions Journalism Educators Academy at the University of Oregon’s George S. Turnbull Portland Center. The Academy is an initiative of the Catalyst Journalism Project. Kathryn Thier, a University of Oregon instructor and leading expert on the practice and teaching of solutions journalism, developed and taught the intense two-day training on teaching solutions journalism at the collegiate level. Thier covered sessions on teaching the four qualities; framing, sourcing and finding solutions stories; advocacy, rigor and impostors; community engagement and interviewing; story structure; creating learning goals and objectives; and refining assignments and instructional activities. Nicole Dahmen and Brent Walth, also UO faculty members, contributed sessions on how solutions journalism connects with visual communication and investigative reporting. In addition, participants heard from... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2018 at Mike Marcotte
Letter from the executive director: Announcing ‘Local that Works’ finalists | Current “What is happening in public media is the best-kept secret in America. Stations are amplifying under-covered stories, seeking solutions and doing a good job with limited resources. We have to shout from the rooftops how public media is improving people’s lives.” The four finalists for 2018 are: Alaska Public Media in Anchorage for “Community in Unity” — a solutions-based journalism project that convenes face-to-face conversations between people who would normally never interact, such as incarcerated people and those who’ve never been in a prison. KALW-FM in San Francisco for “The Intersection” — a radio series that documents the social, demographic and economic changes in Bay Area neighborhoods through the voices and stories of people who live and work near a specific intersection or corner. PBS Charlotte for “3D: Dreamers, Doers, Destiny” — a multiyear, multifaceted initiative to engage... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2018 at Mike Marcotte
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Beloved war correspondent Ernie Pyle would've turned 118 years old today. He never reached his 45th birthday, as he died instantly from a Japanese sniper shot to his head during a battle in Okinawa. The Pulitzer-winning Pyle was among the most famous journalists during WWII, revered for his honest, folksy accounts of the boys in the trenches. Born in rural Indiana, he planned to retire in New Mexico, where he had built a small wood-frame house on a hill in Albuquerque. That house became the Ernie Pyle Branch Library, the first branch in the Albuquerque-Bernalillo Public Library System. Librarian Leslie Fox asked me to speak at today's Ernie Pyle Day celebration. Here are my remarks. Thanks to Leslie Fox for putting this together… and thanks to presenter Ron Paneboeuf (from NM Veteran's Memorial Park, who talked about Pyle's connection with New Mexican war cartoonist Bill Maudlin)… and thanks to the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2018 at Mike Marcotte
News From Your Neighborhood, Brought to You by the State of New Jersey - The New York Times. Like publications in the rest of the country, New Jersey’s suburban newspapers pulled back as their business model vaporized, leaving fewer reporters to dig into local scandals or dispatch to neighborhood events. Tiny outfits like The Village Green, which covers two North Jersey towns, have sought to fill the void. The website recently featured articles about a coming vote on installing a four-way stop sign in South Orange and an update on an overnight police chase. Mary Mann, one of The Village Green’s two editors, juggles writing stories with running the website, working from her kitchen counter when she is not at meetings or protests. “I would love for us to have more county coverage,” Ms. Mann said, adding to her wish list more reporting on public schools, affordable housing and how... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2018 at Mike Marcotte
“Known but not discussed”: Low-income people aren’t getting quality news and information. What can the industry do about it? » Nieman Journalism Lab. “Known but not discussed”: Low-income people aren’t getting quality news and information. What can the industry do about it? » Nieman Journalism Lab Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2018 at Mike Marcotte
(From Judith Smelser Editing & Consulting March 2018 Newsletter) It was early 2014. I'd just left my job as managing editor at Colorado Public Radio and launched into the world of self employment as an independent public media consultant, trainer, and editor. Then-PRNDI President George Bodarky and longtime trainer and consultant Mike Marcotte asked for my help with a new project that PRNDI hoped would fill a major gap in the public media training world: a workshop for current and aspiring news managers. This was a subject close to my heart. Like many public media news directors, I had been thrust into the job for the first time when my predecessor stepped away. I was a pretty decent reporter, but I had no idea how to run a newsroom, much less how to manage the colorful personalities that tend to inhabit newsrooms. I learned by trial and error, but it... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2018 at Mike Marcotte
SEATING IS LIMITED. REGISTRATION DEADLINE: MAY 15th! Fifth Annual PRNDI News Manager Training & Certification When: June 20-21, 2018 (prior to the start of the PRNDI Conference) Where: DoubleTree Hotel, Philadelphia, PA Who: Public media news directors, managers or aspiring news managers from any size shop, any experience level. Seating limited to the first 20 applicants. What: Two-day training on essentials of modern public media newsroom management, resulting in a custom action-plan and a PRNDI certificate of completion. "Presenters were well-prepared, organized and very helpful." -- Aaron Schachter, WGBH Why PRNDI provides this important training Today's newsroom leaders face BIG challenges: they set editorial strategy and ethical standards for their organizations; they plan short-term and long-range coverage; they assign and edit stories to serve changing audience needs; they manage people and budgets; and, they're helping navigate a digital future for public media journalism. This dynamic, interactive two-day workshop will focus... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2018 at Mike Marcotte
Democracy Fund establishes two new local funds By Teresa Gorman and Josh Stearns Local news is critical to a healthy democracy, and we believe that the future of local news is local. This simple idea has shaped the way Democracy Fund has thought about its work to support and strengthen the public square in America. Today, we are announcing two new locally-based and locally-driven funds – totaling more than $2 million – that will invest in ideas, people, and organizations that are working to ensure people have access to the news and information they need in these communities. The funds will focus on building more healthy news ecosystems as a vital part of just communities and a healthy democracy. These funds are not focused on maintaining the status quo in local news, but on pushing forward changes that improve how journalism serves the public and makes news and information more... Continue reading
Reblogged Feb 25, 2018 at Mike Marcotte
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Author’s Pretext: In Part One, I described the evolution of the New Mexico News Port as an innovation-collaboration-publication lab seated in the Communications & Journalism Department at the University of New Mexico. We explored how it started, how it now operates, its successes and challenges, and what the lab could become. In this part, I flip the telescope around and describe this teaching-hospital-model from the vantage point of the classroom instructor. This series is my contribution to the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism’s “Disruptive Educator” program, for which I was named a 2017 Fellow. I welcome your questions and comments. In the Classroom: Where the Heavy Lifting Happens Busy is the journalism instructor who succeeds in publishing every student in his reporting course. It’s not enough to impart best practices, set a deadline and then give a grade on a paper or test. Rather, you have to guide every story... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2018 at Mike Marcotte
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I figure the big J-programs like Cronkite, Missou, Grady and the like are light years ahead in the Teaching-Hospital-Model of journalism They’ve grown the culture and have the resources to launch working newsrooms that produce real-world journalism from inside their schools. But what about the rest of us? Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2018 at Mike Marcotte
Imagine that public broadcasting never happened in the United States — that the educational stations and networks never formed; that the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 never passed; that NPR, PBS and all of their hundreds of member stations never existed. Now imagine that this year, in 2017, there was a sudden, national wave of interest in creating a new media system subsidized by taxpayer dollars. What would such a system look like? via www.knightfoundation.org Continue reading
Reblogged Dec 8, 2017 at Mike Marcotte