Wednesday roundup: more on AmGrad money; former NPR journos prep WWI doc

By Andrew Lapin

• CPB and PBS released more info about their new $20 million American Graduate initiative, first announced Monday at the Public Media Summit in Washington, D.C. The two backers will each contribute $5 million per year for two years to support station projects “for the creation of content and tools to help parents, particularly those from low income communities, better prepare their children, ages 2-8, for educational success,” according to a Wednesday release. A portion will be earmarked for stations to educate viewers about the link between early learning and increased high-school graduation rates.

CPB and PBS plan to release a request for proposals soon. “We benefit from not being under a sequester this year, which give us the ability to devote funds to this initiative,” CPB spokesperson Michael Levy told Current.

The Great War Project

The Great War Project

• A group of former NPR reporters aim to produce The Great War Project, a radio documentary series focusing on stories of World War I. Led by former foreign correspondent Mike Shuster, the team also includes former reporter John McChesney, reporter and Day to Day co-host Alex Chadwick, and Katie Davis, an NPR alum who recently reported for WUNC’s The Story. They have launched a Kickstarter to raise money for the project, which they hope to distribute on public radio and via podcasts to correspond with key dates of the war. “It’s incredible how much of today’s conflicts have originated in WWI,” Shuster said in the pitch video.

• Miles O’Brien, an independent science reporter who has worked with PBS programs including NewsHour, Frontline and Nova, had his left arm amputated last week after an accident. As O’Brien recounted on his blog Feb. 25, he was struck with camera equipment while on assignment, causing his arm to swell. Days later, a doctor suspected O’Brien had Acute Compartmental Syndrome, “an increase in pressure inside an enclosed space in the body.” The doctor recommended an emergency fasciotomy that led to other complications and ultimately resulted in the loss of O’Brien’s limb, just above the elbow.

“Life is all about playing the hand that is dealt you,” O’Brien wrote. “Actually, I would love somebody to deal me another hand right about now — in more ways than one.”

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