2010 NPR by Doby Photography

Neal Conan has been hosting National Public Radio's weekday afternoon call-in show "Talk of the Nation" since 2001. The 63-year-old journalist has been with NPR for over 30 years. He said one of the reasons he took the hosting job was because he figured after all those years, nothing could happen in a radio studio that would surprise him.

He was wrong.

NPR announced Friday morning that it will no longer produce the Monday-to-Thursday call-in show Talk of the Nation.

It will be replaced by Here and Now, a show produced in partnership with member station WBUR in Boston. Reported stories will be part of the show's format.

KUT News

The Daily Texan is staying daily, at least for now.

The Texas Student Media board voted today to keep the print edition of the publication operating five-days-a-week, with a 50 percent pay cut to student media employees. The proposed budget also included tuition reimbursement cuts for student managers and the hiring of an additional ad salesman.

From: Christopher Jordan Dorner

To: America

That's the header on a 14-page letter attributed to Christopher Dorner. The former Los Angeles police officer is the focus of a massive manhunt spanning California, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico after he allegedly shot and killed three people — including a police officer — and wounded several others during a shooting spree.


The reviews are in regarding Alex Jones’ appearance with CNN’s Piers Morgan last night:

“An uncontrolled explosion,” per the Washington Post.  “An intense pro-gun rant,” says the Huffington Post. And … “Armed Mafia Stalk Alex Jones Post Piers Morgan Debate,” via Jones’ own Infowars.

The Austin-based conspiracy theorist, radio host and public access superstar appeared on Morgan’s show for what was billed as a discussion on “Guns in America.” Unsurprisingly, the discussion soon went south – not that surprising a move, when your guest has co-authored a White House petition to deport your host.

Tayyeb Afridi for KUT News

Tayyeb Afridi is a journalist from the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan, a region that borders Afghanistan. He visited KUT in May 2011 on a US Pakistan Journalism Exchange through the International Center for Journalists. You can read his blog at

A local radio station in Pakistan’s unsettled tribal area shows how important media can be in spreading awareness of the importance of education. About 180 new students turned up at one government school in the town of Razmak in North Waziristan after the local radio station broadcast announcements telling parents that education in government schools was free. Most local parents thought they would have to pay for schooling.   

Razmak Radio was established in 2006 to bridge the gap between people and their government. It has started a public service announcement (PSA) campaign to educate people on development issues. It designed PSAs in March and broadcast them throughout the month to motivate local people to enroll their children in school.

Saying that "we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format," editor Tina Brown announced this morning that Newsweek's Dec. 31 issue will be its last print edition.

Going forward, she said:

"Newsweek will expand its rapidly growing tablet and online presence, as well as its successful global partnerships and events business.

Texas Association of Broadcasters

Texas Association of Broadcasters President Ann Arnold passed away over the weekend following a fight with leukemia. Colleagues refer to Arnold as a groundbreaking journalist and tenacious leader.

The 67-year-old journalist served as TAB president for 25 years. Arnold also served as the first female press secretary to a Texas Governor – Gov. Mark White in the 1980s. And that’s in addition to stints  heading the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's capitol bureau, and serving as a capitol correspondent for United Press International.

"She was an extraordinary woman brimming with passion for the broadcast industry and American democracy. Her advocacy in Austin and Washington made a profound difference for broadcasters and we are all better for it," TAB Vice President Oscar Rodriguez says in a statement about Arnold’s death.

MarketWatch calls this CNN and Fox's 'Dewey Defeats Truman' moment. For several surprising minutes this morning, both media companies wrongly announced that the Affordable Care Act had been overturned by the Supreme Court.

Protesters were arrested for occupying UT President Bill Powers' office yesterday.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

UT Students Protest for Workers Rights

The Daily Texan reports a total of 19 protesters, not all of them students, were arrested yesterday for occupying UT President Bill Powers’ office. They were there in protest against alleged sweatshop-like conditions where UT apparel is produced.

The protesters are members of the Make UT Sweatshop-Free Coalition and included 17 students and two members who are not students.

According to the Texan, the demands of the protestors was a request for the University to switch to the Workers Rights Consortium, an independent monitoring organization that conducts investigations of working conditions in factories. A statement on the WRC homepage specifically mentions their goal to protect the rights of workers who make clothes.

Video still by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Most times candidates take to the airwaves, they have to pay for the privilege. Not so today, as broadcaster KXAN is televising a forum this afternoon with Austin's mayoral candidates. 

KXAN shares the details

Incumbent Lee Leffingwell will be up against challengers Brigid Shea and Clay Dafoe at the event in the Bass Lecture Hall of the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Photo by Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The fallout from The Daily Texan’s publication of a controversial editorial cartoon is carrying on, this time in a different direction.

A UT student has launched an online petition to reinstate Stephanie Eisner, the Texan editorial cartoonist whose cartoon, she said, attacked what she saw as biased coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting.

A 17-year old African-American, Martin was shot by George Zimmerman in a gated Florida community last month. Zimmerman claimed the shooting was in self-defense; Martin was unarmed. A wave of demonstrations, with protesters clad in hooded sweatshirts like Martin wore, have occurred across the county, including Austin.

Image courtesy

Texan Issues Formal Apology for Trayvon Martin Cartoon

The editors from The Daily Texan issued an apology regarding the controversial Trayvon Martin cartoon the paper published on Tuesday.

The cartoonist, Stephanie Eisner, no longer works for the paper.

In their apology, the student editors admit to showing “a failure in judgment.” Yesterday the editors of the Texan met with angry students and protestors to discuss the paper’s decision to publish the cartoon and the editorial team’s oversight in recognizing the sensitive nature of the cartoon.

Photo courtesy of Raymond Thomas

Students and activists assembled outside the offices of The Daily Texan this afternoon, demanding answers about the controversial Trayvon Martin editorial cartoon the student newspaper ran Tuesday. What editorial process vetted the cartoon? Will the firestorm result in any changes at the Texan? And is the cartoon’s publication symptomatic of a broader problem on campus?

About 40 people engaged in a tense discussion with members of the Texan’s editorial staff. Staff members apologized for running the cartoon, promising a formal apology to supplement a terse statement the paper released yesterday and another the cartoonist sent today.

Discussion dwelt on the editorial process that oversaw the comic’s publication. Viviana Aldous, Texan Editor in Chief, said at least five editors at the paper vetted the cartoon before publication – the five members of the editorial team, plus copy editors.

Image courtesy

As we reported earlier, a student political cartoonist at The Daily Texan has received national attention for a cartoon on the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida. The cartoon by Stephanie Eisner has received criticism from across the country as an offensive depiction of national media coverage.

Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

Weigh In on Downtown Wayfinding

The City of Austin is hosting a community forum tonight on the Downtown Austin Wayfinding Program, asking residents to sound off on the “draft philosophy” of the plan.

What is wayfinding? It’s an effort to better direct commuters and visitors through downtown, pointing pedestrians and cyclists to the best travel paths, and drivers to parking spots. The city states:

Over the past few months, the Downtown Wayfinding Project team has analyzed existing conditions in and around Downtown Austin and interviewed stakeholders in the community to gain an understanding of how commuters, residents, visitors, and tourists move through downtown. From that, the team has drafted a philosophy for navigating Downtown Austin that will serve as a foundation for developing acomprehensivewayfinding system.