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Posts Tagged ‘National Public Radio

“Public radio is alive and kicking, it always has been”*…

(From left) Renee Chaney, visitor Louisa Parker, Linda Wertheimer and Kris Mortensen, in the first All Things Considered studio in 1972

Public radio in the U.S. dates back to the birth of the medium, with the up-cropping of community and educational stations across the nation. But it was in 1961, with the backing of the Ford Foundation, the the first real national public radio network, devoted to distributing programming, was formed– The National Educational Radio Network.

Then, in 1970 (after the passage of the the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 and the establishment of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, NERN was replaced by National Public Radio, which aired its first broadcast on April 20, 1971, covering Senate hearings on the ongoing Vietnam War.

But the NPR we know was born a couple of weeks later, 50 years ago today, when it broadcast its first original production…

NPR as we now know it began with the May 3, 1971, debut of All Things Considered, in an episode covering, among other items: an anti-war protest, barbers shaving women’s legs (due to “the decline in business with today’s popularity of long hairstyles in men”), and addiction.

The Morning News

Hear that inaugural outing– an aural time capsule– here.

* Harold Brodkey

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As we tune in, we might recall that today is World Press Freedom Day, observed to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is scheduled to mark the anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration, a statement of free press principles put together by African newspaper journalists in Windhoek in 1991.

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And information wants to be expensive*…

Finally it’s here!

Eager enthusiasts dressed as “tops” waited anxiously at bookstores  until midnight, January 12, to grab their copies of Jean Demaison’s and Jürgen Vogt’s Asymmetric Top Molecules, Part 2 (Landolt-Börnstein: Numerical Data and Functional Relationships in Science and Technology – New Series / Molecules and Radicals) (English/English Edition).

But readers needn’t brave the crush; the volume is available at Amazon… for $4,719.00.  And of course, it’s eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.

* While many quote Stewart Brand’s observation that “information wants to be free,” most have either forgotten or never known that what Stewart actually said was that “information wants to be free and information wants to be very expensive.”

As we take advantage of one-click, we might remember that not all valuable information is pricey, as we recall that it was on this date in 1970 that National Public Radio was founded (replacing the National Educational Radio Network).  Its signature show, All Things Considered, premiered the following year.

Your correspondent will, as it happens, be attending an NPR Board meeting today, where a central topic is bound to be the current assault on federal support for public broadcasting.  Readers who share the sense that public broadcasting– NPR, PRI, PBS, PRX, APM, and the local stations that carry them– return much more to our country than they consume (or readers who would like better to understand why so many of us feel that way) should visit 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting.

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