Tuesday roundup: Book highlights NPR’s history, ONA backs net neutrality

By Current Staff

• Simon & Schuster will release a book by author Steve Oney later this year about the history of NPR. A 21-page excerpt from the book, titled The Philosopher King and the Creation of NPR, was published this month by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center, where Oney is a fellow. The excerpt focuses on the chaotic early days of NPR’s newsgathering team, when Jeff Kamen, Bill Siemering, Linda Wertheimer, Robert Conley and the rest of the All Things Considered team cobbled together coverage of Vietnam War protests unfolding in Washington, D.C.

• The Online News Association came out Monday against proposed FCC rulings that would create a tiered Internet, arguing on its website that the end of so-called net neutrality could have “a pernicious effect” on online journalism. “By giving priority to some content, making it faster and easier to consume, ISPs could, intentionally or not, give some information or journalistic outlets a market advantage, solely because they can afford higher tolls,” the group wrote. The FCC’s window for comments on net neutrality closes Tuesday.

• The Media Audit, a survey of media consumers in 81 markets across the country, found that public radio has the third-largest reach of the 50 or so radio formats it measures. The survey conducted by International Demographics Inc. also found that public radio ranks high in listener loyalty. Public radio had the most listeners of any format among several demographic groups, including females 18 and older, people 18-34 who earn more than $100,000 in household income, and those with advanced degrees. Public radio was also the most popular format among first-time home buyers, those planning to take a college course in the next 12 months, and people between 18 and 34 who are already investing in retirement accounts.

• Russ Stanton, who stepped down last month from his role as Southern California Public Radio’s v.p. of content, is joining a PR firm. San Francisco–based communications group G.F. Bunting + Co. announced Monday that it will bring Stanton on board as a senior executive based in Southern California. The company, which bills itself as the “anti-PR firm,” is headed by Glenn Bunting, a former Los Angeles Times journalist and former colleague of Stanton’s from the Times.

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