PRPD offers new round of trainings

By Mike Janssen

The Public Radio Program Directors Association will expand its training programs for stations this year and continue its Sense of Place studies of local audiences, with funding from NPR and the Millstream Fund.

PRPD will offer three workshops based on the Morning Edition Grad School classes that it has offered in recent years. “New MEGS” will extend training to all newsmagazines, including All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, and is designed for hosts, news directors and program directors. The first workshop will be offered May 18 in Charlotte, N.C.

“JMEGS” (MEGS for Journalists) applies MEGS principles to journalism, focusing on selecting stories, interviewing, writing, planning newscasts and promoting news reports. JMEGS was piloted in 2009 but has not yet been implemented. The first workshop will be held June 23 in Cleveland, following the Public Radio News Directors Inc. conference.

A third workshop with a focus yet to be determined will be held in late fall. PRPD plans to develop online multimedia modules based on the workshops and offer them to members.

PRPD will also work on making its Sense of Place project more affordable for stations to employ by providing surveys for listeners. The first round of the Sense of Place project, fielded in 2006, relied on focus groups of station listeners who talked about how they perceive their hometowns. The research, which grew out of PRPD’s earlier Core Values study, was intended to guide stations in tailoring their coverage and presentation to complement listeners’ perceptions.

In 2011 and 2012, PRPD began developing a web-based Sense of Place survey with WKSU in Kent, Ohio, and Capital Public Radio in Sacramento, Calif. For the next round of research, the project will work with two additional stations to further refine the survey.

The projects will all be managed by Strategic Programming Partners, the consulting practice of Peter Dominowski, president of Northeast Indiana Public Radio, and Scott Williams, p.d. at KBAQ/KJZZ in Phoenix.

Questions, comments, tips? mike@mikejanssen.net
This article was originally published in Current, April 1, 2013.
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