Category Archives: News_Releases

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News releases generated by FPBS and/or its partner stations

PBS Digital Innovators Program Announces Call for Applicants

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Now in its 5th Year, Annual Program Recognizes Top PreK-12 Educators Using Digital Technology and Tools in the Classroom

Arlington, VA, December 12, 2016 – Beginning today, educators from across the country—classroom changemakers who excel at using technology and digital media to spark excitement and drive learning in their classrooms—are encouraged to enter the 2017 PBS Digital Innovators Program.

The call for entries officially opens today and will remain open through midnight, February 13, 2017. Educators are asked to submit a 60- to180-second “mini-presentation” video to show how they’re using resources from PBS LearningMedia, the free media-on-demand service for classrooms from PBS and the WGBH Educational Foundation, along with digital technology and tools in their classroom to enhance their teaching and inspire of love of learning in their students. Entrants will also be asked to complete a profile and answer a short essay question. The PBS Digital Innovators online application is available at: www.pbs.org/education/digitalinnovators.

“Over the past five years, PBS Digital Innovators have served not only as role models for using digital content and instructional resources in the classroom, but also as true change makers in their classrooms and communities,” said Lesli Rotenberg, SVP and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “Education is at the core of PBS’ mission, both at the national and local level. Through our partnership with PBS stations, based in every community, this unique program allows us to recognize these leaders whose transformative work is inspiring a generation of lifelong learners.”

A panel of esteemed judges will seek to select one educator from each state throughout the U.S, its territories and the District of Columbia as PBS Digital Innovators. The Digital Innovators will receive a three-day all-expense paid trip to San Antonio, Texas, June 24-26, to participate in the 2017 PBS Digital Innovators Summit and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference. Attendance at these conferences will provide the Digital Innovators the opportunity to meet with, and listen to, renowned speakers, experts and educators; to discuss strategies for delivering best practices in digital education that they can immediately apply to the classroom and across their schools; and an opportunity to network with educators from across the country.

All PBS Digital Innovators will also receive ongoing professional development opportunities, including unique virtual trainings focused on digital best practices, access to exclusive resources from PBS LearningMedia Custom, invitations to special events, a free PBS TeacherLine professional development course, networking opportunities, a choice of a digital gift to use in their classroom and more. PBS Digital Innovators will also receive ongoing support from, and opportunities to work with, their local PBS member stations.

PBS continues to deepen relationships with educators across the country, so all educators who meet the entry requirements, follow the guidelines and submit their application to the Digital Innovators Program will automatically become a member of a robust professional learning community with ongoing professional development opportunities and access to free webinars from PBS LearningMedia.

The 2017 PBS Digital Innovators will be announced on March 15, 2017. For more information on PBS LearningMedia, visit www.floridapbslearningmedia.org.

 

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Health News Florida Wins National Edward R. Murrow Award

Health News Florida, a statewide multimedia and broadcast collaboration between WUSF Public Media, WMFE 90.7, and WLRN Public Radio and Television, has been honored with the 2016 national Edward R. Murrow award for “Best Small Online News Organization Website.”

The national Murrow award is considered one of the most prestigious honors in the broadcast and multi-media industry. It is presented by the Radio and Television Digital News Association, which has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism since 1971. The awards are named after legendary broadcaster Edward R. Murrow, who is widely recognized as one of broadcast journalism’s seminal figures.

“The Health News Florida project demonstrates an essential service that WUSF provides on perhaps the most vital topic possible – health,” said WUSF General Manager JoAnn Urofsky. “My congratulations to the team across the state of Florida for their excellence in reporting.”

This year’s award recognizes Health News Florida for original reporting projects such as HIV in Florida, a series looking at poor Floridians caught in the Medicaid Gap, and ongoing coverage of statewide health care policies. This award follows other recent recognitions for Health News Florida, including regional Murrow awards for the site and in the news documentary division; and three awards from the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

“WMFE is very proud to partner with WUSF and WLRN,” said WMFE President and General Manager, LaFontaine Oliver.  “The Health News Florida project has multiplied the reporting power of our individual stations resulting in an incredible health news resource and service to all of Florida.”

Health journalist Carol Gentry created Health News Florida 10 years ago as an independent health news organization, at a time when the number of health journalists in the state was dwindling. It was acquired by WUSF in 2012 and expanded to the collaboration with partner public broadcasters WLRN and WMFE in 2014 as a result of a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

“This is a remarkable accomplishment and reinforces not just WLRN as a news leader in South Florida, but it also reflects the tremendous work from our fellow public media stations across the state of Florida, ” said John LaBonia, General Manager of WLRN.  “I am very proud of this news partnership and congratulate the entire team for this well-deserved recognition and their collaboration in making Florida Health News such a valuable public service.”

Florida public radio and television stations have a strong history of collaboration on projects the benefit the citizens of Florida. Florida public radio stations joined forces with the Florida Division of Emergency Management to form the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN) in 2014, which covers 99 percent of the state and is locally staffed and equipped to stay on the air to deliver important information to local audiences before, during and after an emergency. Florida public television stations work together across the state to provide Florida teachers, parents, students, and mentors with the Florida PBS LearningMedia, a free and innovative digital library developed to support curriculum-based teaching and learning from pre-K through college. The success of these initiatives, along with the award-winning Health News Florida, demonstrates the deep commitment of Florida public television and radio stations have to serving the state and its citizens.

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Get emergency info on free Florida Storms mobile phone app

 

GAINESVILLE, Fla.  – Florida residents and visitors have a new resource to help them prepare for destructive storms and other emergencies.  The Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN) today launched Florida Storms , a free, mobile weather application that offers a simple way to stay informed of potential weather and other hazards, backed by real-time credible information from the nearest Florida public radio station.

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Using a combination of state of the art weather tracking and forecasting technology and the expertise of staff meteorologists at WUFT-FM, the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications public radio station and host to the FPREN StormCenter, Florida Storms helps deftly navigate weather-related emergencies, from preparedness checklists to storm updates to evacuation routes.

“Millions of people visit this state every year, and millions more have moved here since a hurricane last struck our shores ten years ago,” said Jeff Huffman, Florida Public Radio Meteorologist at UF. “Think about this: Twitter, YouTube, and even the iPhone weren’t around when Wilma made landfall back in 2005. To say there will be a lot of Floridians experiencing a potential disaster for the first time on social media or the smartphone is an understatement. We hope Florida Storms will help them cut through the noise and come to rely on a service that’s been proven for decades to be there in time of need, which is the backbone of public radio.”

FPREN communicates emergency information statewide through a seamless system of free over-the-air FM radio stations. The new mobile app extends the reach of the Florida station network with reliable and immediate accessibility on weather developments.

“The launch of the Florida Storms app is the natural next step into mobile distribution of the critical lifesaving information FPREN provides,” said Randy Wright, executive director of WUFT-FM and the Division of Multimedia Properties at UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. “The features of the app are groundbreaking and it’s very user-friendly.  Combine that with it being available at no charge equals what we believe will be an essential mobile tool for Floridians and visitors to our state.”

The iOS app, now available free in the Apple App Store, was developed in collaboration with mobile engagement provider Mobiquity. An Android version will be ready early this fall.

Among the features of the new app are:

  • Weather map: Clean and fast national radar with 1-hour past loop and future radar up to 48 hours, including current temperatures, wind speeds and lightning data
  • Radio streaming: Live stream of nearest FPREN partner station, with ability to customize based on desired location
  • News feed: Multiple feeds of real-time watch and warning information from various sources, with simultaneous advisory text and radar view
  • Emergency preparedness: Information for a weather disaster, including what to do before, during and after a storm
  • Push notifications: Customizable, from the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center.

The app can be downloaded here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/florida-storms/id1011397030?mt=8

About FPREN

Florida public radio stations joined forces with the Florida Division of Emergency Management to form FPREN in 2014. The FPREN Storm Center is operated by WUFT-FM at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications providing local 24/7 weather, data and storm updates to all stations in the network.

 FPREN stations collectively cover 99 percent of the state and are locally staffed and equipped to stay on the air even during times of massive power outages in order to deliver important information to local audiences before, during and after an emergency. In the event of a weather incident, the FPREN stations will continue to provide recovery information for as long as necessary. Working in partnership with the Florida Division of Emergency Management and local Emergency Operations Centers, listeners and users of the mobile app can be assured of having access to the most up to date information.

About FPBS

FPBS is a non-profit association of public radio and public television stations in the state of Florida. As the largest broadcasting network in the state, we reach more than 99 percent of Florida’s population through traditional broadcast, online tools and community engagement. FPBS stations are a state partner in education, emergency management and public affairs. Through our collaborative efforts, we identify and implement regional and statewide projects that enhance and sustain community initiatives that serve the citizens of Florida. For more information, visit the FPBS website at www.fpbs.org.

 

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WUSF Public Media Handed Over “My Last Tour” Material to the Library of Congress Veterans History Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: WUSF Public Media Handed Over “My Last Tour” Material to the Library of Congress Veterans History ProjectAudio and archival material features interviews with U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Rex Temple during the airman’s final deployment to Afghanistan

 TAMPA, Fla. (August 3, 2012) – More than 30 people gathered last Friday afternoon at WUSF Public Media’s studios in Tampa as the public media organization handed over the “My Last Tour” audio and archival material to the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. Congressman Bill Young, Congresswoman Kathy Castor, and WUSF Public Media General Manager JoAnn Urofsky were joined by members of the USF and military communities and station staff, as retired U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Rex Temple presented the material to project director, Bob Patrick.

“The importance of this project was made clear to me when I heard Honor Flight veterans retell their compelling and heroic stories during their visits to our nation’s capital,” said Congressman Young. “These are stories that we must preserve and remember because we need to remember the sacrifices our men and women have made. Americans need to remember what has made America great. That is what the Veterans History Project is all about.”

“Military veterans and their families are such a big part of our community here in Tampa Bay,” said Congresswoman Castor. “Reporting on veterans and military affairs through projects like “My Last Tour” and archiving them with the Library of Congress is not only honoring those families but preserving part of our history.”

“The “My Last Tour” project features WUSF reporter Bobbie O’Brien’s weekly interview with SMSgt. Temple during the airman’s final deployment to Afghanistan between May 2009 and April 2010.

The passing of the material officially launches the Veterans History Project and will use Temple’s series as an example of the projects it hopes to collect from veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The project is also collecting stories from veterans of all generations, including WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

“It was a great experience for WUSF Public Media to participate in a project that impacted so many people in our community,” said Urofsky. “It is an honor for the work of our reporters and staff to be included in the Library of Congress archives.”

If you would like to view the archives of “My Last Tour”, visit the WUSF Public Media website at http://www.wusf.usf.edu/news/specialreport/afghanistan_my_last_tour.

The Library of Congress Veterans History Project is still collecting material. If you have a first-hand remembrance of veterans, please visit the project website at http://www.loc.gov/vets/. 

About The Library of Congress Veterans History Project

The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

About WUSF Public Media

WUSF Public Media is a comprehensive media organization that provides media services to the community and businesses through public broadcasting and multi-media production services.  Licensed to the University of South Florida, WUSF Public Media serves the public interest through programming, educational outreach and community partnerships. For more information, visit www.wusf.org.

 

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FPBS launches Florida PBS LearningMedia

The new digital learning library aims to increase student achievement throughout Florida

FPBS, the association of public media in Florida, announced today the launch of Florida PBS LearningMedia, a free digital public media platform to serve as an education resource for PreK-12 classrooms in Florida.  Utilizing more than 18,000 high-quality resources from PBS stations and public media productions, the digital learning service delivers classroom-ready content tied to Common Core State Standards, as well as professional development courses, a robust content delivery system and a flexible infrastructure designed for seamless integration into existing services.   The announcement was made at the FETC Conference in Orlando.

“We are proud to offer educators in the state of Florida this powerful online resource,” said Janyth Righter, executive director of FPBS. “Florida PBS LearningMedia is another example of how public broadcasting in Florida is invested in the future of our educators and children.”

Florida PBS LearningMedia is going to provide state educators a myriad of resources for both their classrooms and for professional development,” said Commissioner Gerard Robinson, Florida Department of Education.  “Through all delivery methods available on this site our students will benefit greatly from this opportunity to bring the world into the classroom.”

FPBS is working with other organizations throughout the state to ensure that as many teacher, students and parents as possible know about the initiative. Florida Virtual School (FLVS) will be providing training to its instructors on how to incorporate Florida PBS LearningMedia into their instructional delivery.

Teachers will use Florida PBS LearningMedia to supplement the FLVS curriculum. Potential uses include enhancing live learning sessions, individualizing instructional experiences, and creating real world connections for a variety of student activities. 

“FPBS, like Florida Virtual School, understands the importance of creating innovative ideas that will help students succeed,” stated Julie Young, president and chief executive officer for Florida Virtual School. “Incorporating comprehensive, digital resources, such as Florida PBS LearningMedia, helps Florida Virtual School to ensure our children receive a high quality, technology-based education that provides them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in this competitive world.”

Florida PBS LearningMedia(florida.pbslearningmedia.org) is the statewide version of PBS LearningMedia, and features a robust content library with tens of thousands of digital assets, videos and interactives perfect for the Interactive Whiteboard, plus audio and photos, and in-depth lesson plans and discussion questions for PreK-12 educators aligned to Common Core State Standards.  PBS’ online media-on-demand service combines links to resources from the U.S. Department of Education’s Learning Registry with original content from public broadcasting producers and programs like NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, and SID THE SCIENCE KID, all in one place and free.  Florida PBS LearningMedia’s growing library of curriculum-based assets is designed to support classroom and student achievement across math, science, reading/language arts, social studies, health/physical education, as well as world languages. 

About FPBS

FPBS is a non-profit association of public radio and public television stations in the state of Florida. As the largest broadcasting network in the state, we reach more than 99% of Florida’s population through traditional broadcast, online tools and community engagement. FPBS stations are a state partner in education, emergency management and public affairs. Through our collaborative efforts, we identify and implement regional and statewide projects that enhance and sustain community initiatives that serve the citizens of Florida. FPBS member stations include WBBC TV (Cocoa), WDSC TV (Daytona), WGCU TV/FM (Ft. Myers),WQCS FM (Ft. Pierce),  WUFT TV/FM (Gainesville), WJCT TV/FM (Jacksonville), WFIT FM (Melbourne), WLRN TV/FM (Miami), WPBT TV (Miami), WUCF TV (Orlando), WMFE FM (Orlando), WKGC (Panama City), WSRE TV (Pensacola), WUWF FM (Pensacola), WFSU TV/FM (Tallahassee), WEDU TV (Tampa), WUSF TV/FM (Tampa), WMNF FM (Tampa), WXEL TV (West Palm), and WPBI FM (West Palm). For more information, visit the FPBS website at www.fpbs.org.

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The Association of Public Media in Florida Launches New Brand, Website

New name and graphics meant to better convey role of public broadcasting in the state of Florida

The association of public broadcasters in Florida announced today the organization has updated its brand. Formerly known as Florida Public Broadcasting Service, Inc. the organization has now changed its name to FPBS. With the new name, the association also has a new logo and website. 

“The new brand is intended to convey all that FPBS has to offer, including initiatives beyond traditional public broadcasting.” said Janyth Righter, Executive Director of FPBS. “These changes are a clear sign of our ongoing commitment to our member stations and the extensive services they provide to the communities in which they serve.”

FPBS member stations are involved with various project in the areas of education, public affairs and emergency management.   They partner with the state to provide valuable, cost-effective communications infrastructure, results-driven literacy & STEM educational initiatives, and quality statewide public affairs programming.

“These changes better exemplify the core mission of FPBS and its member stations: strengthening the community, empowering families and educating the public through public media and community outreach,” said Righter. “

About FPBS

FPBS is a non-profit association of public radio and public television stations in the state of Florida. As the largest broadcasting network in the state, we reach more than 99% of Florida’s population through traditional broadcast, online tools and community engagement. We are a state partner in education, emergency management and public affairs. Through our collaborative efforts, we identify and implement regional and statewide projects that enhance and sustain community initiatives that serve the citizens of Florida.  For more information, visit our website at www.fpbs.org.

 

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NPR AND PUBLIC RADIO STATIONS IN EIGHT STATES TO PILOT StateImpact

Major Journalism Partnership Creates Network Of Station-Based Public Radio Journalists Dedicated To Covering Impact Of State Government Actions

Washington,D.C.– NPR and public radio stations in eight states are collaborating to pilot StateImpact, an ambitious local-national journalism initiative to   report on state government actions and their impact on citizens and communities. The partners include NPR member station clusters inFlorida,Idaho,Indiana,New Hampshire,Ohio,Oklahoma,Pennsylvania, andTexas(the full list of stations and the focus of their projects follows). All are participating in a two-year pilot phase of the project. NPR will invite applications from additional stations and states to join the project this Fall.

The StateImpact network builds upon the best of local and state reporting at NPR member stations across the nation by focusing on how governmental decisions affect citizens in such areas as education, healthcare, business, the environment, energy and jobs. StateImpact will ultimately put reporters on the ground in all 50 states to serve public radio’s growing audience of 34 million listeners, and tens of millions more online and on mobile.

Reporting produced by the participating stations will appear on every available media platform to reach the widest audience – including radio stations throughout each state, websites, blogs and mobile services. One station in each state serves as the project lead, creating a reporting “hub” to focus on an issue critical to that region or state. ForIndiana, its education;New Hampshireis reporting on the impact of economic and tax policies on business; andPennsylvaniawill tackle energy policy and regulation. Each lead station will collaborate and partner with other public radio stations throughout their state, and with each other. Lead stations will provide a two-person reporting team, with one correspondent focusing on coverage for radio and the web, and the other developing an extensive web site featuring original reporting, content curated from across the web and a destination for public discussion. Station web sites will launch this summer, with all eight sites live by September 2011. They will be linked through a central hub at stateimpact.npr.org.

“StateImpact is launching at a time when investments in local media are shrinking or have disappeared all together, “ saidMargaret Low Smith, NPR’s interim SVP for News. “StateImpact will deliver first class accountability reporting at the local level. This vital reporting is nowhere to be found in dozens of cities and towns acrossAmerica, and we want to fill that void.”

Several foundations, corporations and individual donors have made philanthropic contributions to NPR and partner stations in support of StateImpact: including the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Florida College Access Network, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Melville Charitable Trust, the Open Society Foundations, the School of Business at Southern New Hampshire University, the William and Salomé Scanlan Foundation of Austin and San Antonio, and The Wallace Foundation. These grants fund the planning and launch phases, and have made it possible for NPR to staff an eight-member StateImpact desk to run the project. NPR is working collaboratively with partner stations to seek additional funding for the overall initiative, and local and regional matching funds.

NPR serves as a central editorial and technical resource, enabling stations in every state to work collaboratively with one another to develop stories and share content on common issues, and identify national trends. The StateImpact desk is led by deputy director Cathy Duchamp, former editor of the Northwest News Network based in Seattle, Wa.; editorial coordinators are Ken Rudin, longtime NPR Washington editor, and Elise Hu, who recently joined NPR from the Texas Tribune.  Helping stations to uncover stories now locked in state databases will be the mission of Matt Stiles, database reporting coordinator for the project, who also came to NPR from the Texas Tribune.

StateImpact is the latest NPR initiative to build the reporting capacity of public radio across all platforms at both the national and local level. Earlier contributions by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) jointly funded the first phase of the Argo network. Knight previously funded intensive multiplatform training at NPR, and CPB is supporting the planning phase of the Public Media Platform, a digital distribution network to serve all public media via a common infrastructure. Each of these projects sets the stage for the ambitious and broad scope of StateImpact.

NPR is an award-winning, multimedia news organization and an influential force in American life. In collaboration with more than 900 independent public radio stations nationwide, NPR strives to create a more informed public – one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.

NPR-

NPR Media Relations:          Anna Christopher 202.513.2304 / achristopher@nullnpr.org

List of Pilot StateImpact Stations:

StateImpact Florida: Putting Education Reform to the Test

WUSF, Tampa(project lead)

WJCT, Jacksonville

WLRN, Miami

WMFE, Orlando

WUWF, Pensacola

StateImpact Idaho: Bringing the Economy Home

Boise State Public Radio, Boise(project lead)

Idaho Public TV

KISU, Pocatello

Northwest News Network

StateImpact Indiana: The Education Shift, from Pre-K to College

WFIU, Bloomington(project lead)

WNIN, Evansville

WBAA, West Lafayette

WFYI, Indianapolis

IPBS

WBST, Muncie

WBNI, Roanoke, Ft.Wayne

WVPE, Elkhart

StateImpact Ohio: Eye On Education

ideastream, Cleveland(project lead)

WKSU, Akron

WOSU, Columbus

StateImpact Oklahoma: On the Money Trail

KGOU, Norman (project lead)

KOSU, Oklahoma City

KWGS, Tulsa

Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA), Oklahoma City

StateImpact New Hampshire: Business and the Economy in the Granite State

New Hampshire Public Radio, Concord

StateImpact Pennsylvania: Energy, Environment, Economy

WITF, Harrisburg (project lead)

WHYY, Philadelphia

WDUQ, Pittsburg

WPSU, State College

WDIY, Lehigh Valley

WQLN, Erie

WVIA, Wilkes-Barre

StateImpact Texas: Connecting Power Policy and the People

KUT, Austin (project lead)

KUHF, Houston

 
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