Radio & Television News Association

Friday, January 19, 2007

Please Report Access Problems

RTNA has received serious complaints about law enforcement
and fire authorities unreasonably restricting reporters'
access at two recent stories: the
Malibu fire and Van Nuys
plane crash.

If you've had similar barriers thrown in your way,
Please help us strengthen the case. Please e-mail to share your experiences, and RTNA will
take it from there with the appropriate officials.
Thanks for your help.

Google Beta Tests Audio Ads

Radio Watchers Wonder if Google is Friend, Foe, or Business Partner
From Radio World Online.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. Internet giant Google Inc. is moving forward with its plans to sell advertising in traditional media, including radio. Some radio industry watchers worry the search company's involvement could drive down ad rates and stunt revenue growth.

Google's Audio Ads is an auction-based advertising buying model in limited testing. The company is giving approximately 20 of its online advertisers the opportunity to bid on ad space from more than 720 terrestrial radio stations and XM Satellite Radio, according to Google. The company expects that number to grow into the thousands following a full rollout of Audio Ads this year.

While Google's initial plans call for it to focus on existing online advertisers, the company eventually will seek a wider base of radio advertisers, it said, further expanding its AdWords platform, which also includes print ad placement in newspapers and magazines.

Read the entire article here.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

LAPD Press Passes: Update

As you may know by now, the police department has agreed to wait another year before taking on a revamp of its credentialing process for press passes. This is in large part due to pressure from the Radio-TV News Association. As President ,I have worked with our legal counsel Royal Oakes to let the department know that the media insists on being part of this vetting process.We began contacting Media Relations when examples emerged of arbitrary and capricious decisions to deny renewals for some members of LA's working press.

Now, the time has come for you to step up to the plate. As leaders of the Press Club, SPJ, and the Press Photographers, we need you to come up with your own statement of what defines a working journalist requiring and LAPD Press Pass.

In its renewal process,the department has been saying it will adhere closely to an L-A ordinance drafted in the 1970's which strictly limits credentials to those who "regularly" cross police lines. How many of the four thousand news media now credentialed would be able to renew based on this standard? As you know, the LAPD Press Pass has cache that goes way beyond who should have access to a crime scene or traffic accident.
It's important for the entire journalist community to come together on this, in order that we have any chance of inputting the process for next year, whether it means an ad hoc committee working with the police commission, or with the city council to change the ordinance. Please contact me ASAP on this. Happy New Year!
Steve Kindred
KFWB Radio
RTNA President

News media seek audio of Libby trial

WASHINGTON - Fifteen news organizations and five other groups are asking a federal judge to release audio recordings each day in the upcoming criminal trial of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff.

The Supreme Court releases audio recordings of arguments in major cases, and lower federal courts have "started to follow the Supreme Court's lead," lawyers for the news organizations said in filings this week in U.S. District Court.

Read the rest of the story here.

Broadcast news goes human-free

Broadcast news goes human-free
Wall Street Journal Online
January 6, 2007; Page P2

As network news programs continue to struggle, the creators of one news show are trying a new strategy -- replacing the producer, the editor and even the news anchor with a computer.

The online show, called "News at Seven," uses an automated computer program to comb online news outlets for major stories of the day and to pair them with video and still photos culled from sites like Google Images and YouTube. The newscast is delivered by an avatar -- a digital representation of a person.

Read the rest of the article here.