WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Struggles for the "PBS NewsHour"

Jun 18, 2013

The Shop Talk panelists discuss the challenges facing the PBS NewsHour, which has seen its funding support drop and last week made numerous staff cuts.

In the New York Times, Elizabeth Jensen wrote that a report commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation called for a major reorganization that includes development of new digital platforms for the program. Jensen also wrote that the report “…concluded bluntly that the program needed to aggressively ‘modernize news gathering production.’”

The Shop Talk panelists have mixed feelings about changes to the program. While it doesn’t hurt to freshen up a program – particularly one that’s been around for 38 years – PBS NewsHour remains a breath of fresh air compared to most of television's talk programs, which come with a biased point of view and emphasize conflict over conversation.

The panelists also wonder if it would help to settle on one, maybe two, anchors instead of rotating them. This might provide the program with a stronger sense of direction.