Friday roundup: WYPR union effort stalls; Downton Abbey reportedly bans modern undies

By Andrew Lapin

• A drive to unionize at Baltimore’s WYPR-FM has reached a standstill, reports In These Times. With nine votes for union representation, 11 against, and seven contested by both sides, the question of whether WYPR staff will gain SAG-AFTRA representation will likely come down to a battle between lawyers, a National Labor Relations Board attorney tells the magazine. The station is the latest in a string of pubcasters to seek representation from SAG-AFTRA.

• As penance for the release of a publicity photo featuring an anachronistic water bottle, the cast of Downton Abbey has reportedly been instructed not to bring anything modern to the set — not even designer underwear. But the Granthams turned a negative into a positive by posing with water bottles as a publicity still for WaterAid, a charity dedicated to water access.

• Mike Starling, former executive director of NPR Labs, went low-tech for his latest venture: running a low-power FM station. In the first in a series of essays for Radio World, Starling describes his experience launching WHCP in Cambridge, Md., and his for the station to serve as a hub of local civic engagement.

• Liz Danzico, NPR’s first creative director, spoke to Technically about her work process. It involves running in Brooklyn every morning, writing emails that are “impossible to respond to” and taking breaks outdoors.

• Laura Ortiz-Luis, an alum of the pubmedia-funded start-up accelerator Matter, shared her experiences in the tech collective on Medium and with PBS MediaShift. She praised the collective spirit of the program and the “sense of fulfillment” she felt at seeing her design feedback incorporated into successive product redesigns.

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