Tuesday, December 20, 2011

North Carolina Public Radio WUNC — North Carolina Public Radio WUNC

I heard a story this morning about a new dye that NC State has developed to make capturing solar energy more efficient, or something along those lines. So I came here to the WUNC website in pursuit of learning more. There is zero on the home page and a search of "solar" reveals nothing. Either WUNC "news" people are asleep at the switch or WUNC listeners are just profoundly not curious for more.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thousands Sterilized, North Carolina Weighs Restitution - NYTimes.com

I searched on the WUNC site for the word "eugenics". Here is what I got. How about linking them together with the NYT story - and perhaps others - as I have done in this post?

5 items matching your criteria.
Eugenics in America [100%]
by Author,
Modification Date

A look at new information about the state-sponsored sterilization program that operated in North Carolina through the 1970s.
Task Force: Eugenics Victims Should Get Paid [99%]
by Author,
Modification Date

A preliminary state report recommends financial compensation for victims of North Carolina's eugenics program.
Task Force Discusses Eugenics Compensation [99%]
by Author,
Modification Date

A state task force is considering compensation for survivors of North Carolina's eugenics program, which ended in 1977.
Labeled [90%]
by Author,
Modification Date

A short film by photographer Dan Currier, “Labeled” examines the legacy of North Carolina’s Eugenics program and the story of Elaine Riddick.
Eugenics Victims Speak [70%]
by Author,
Modification Date

Victims of the state's eugenics program testified at a hearing in Raleigh yesterday. Rose Hoban reports.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Lowe's announces new Albuquerque support center - Yahoo! News

I wonder if WUNC realized, in reporting this yesterday, that it is in New Mexico? It seemed odd, other than the NC base of Lowes, to be repeating it so often. Lots of NC-based businesses do things in other states and that seldome gets mentioned.

Monday, December 05, 2011

"At Radio and TV Outlets, a Little-Known Trove of Kudos and Complaints" - NYTimes.com

What a great opportunity for WUNC - to post online the contents of the station's public files!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reboot | Rose Hoban – Health Journalist

I wondered what happened to her and then heard her mentioned as a guest on the State of Things today.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Friday, October 07, 2011

"Art Pope: The Multimillionaire Helping Republicans Win NC" - NPR

What WUNC-created programming is planned to follow-up on this NPR story?

Saturday, October 01, 2011

"Samir Khan, Killed by Drone, Spun Out of the American Middle Class" - NYTimes.com

One might think that "North Carolina Public Radio" would be focusing now on the NC component of this person's story, but I think their NC map is different than mine.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Food North Carolina: NC wine study

As best I can tell, it took WUNC at least three days to discover this. They presented it today as though it had just been released, but it actually was released on Tuesday, as best I can tell. Does this merit "news" coverage?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The NCAA And The So-Called Student-Athlete : NPR

I would think this should have gotten a lot more attention on WUNC than just with programming from NPR, including this and another Morning Edition piece. According to this, he is a UNC graduate.

"Rebuilding Haiti" -The Diane Rehm Show

It was nice to see this show back-to-back with this one on the State of Things but too bad no one noted it either in advance or following with these links for anyone interested in seeing a somewhat local and more global look at Haiti.

North Carolina Public Radio Association

This looks a tad inactive.

Friday, September 16, 2011

License renewal

Just heard thte on-air announcement again about WUNC's license renewal applicaiton. The applicaiton contains, I imagine, all sorts of interesting stuff about the station's performance over the past 8 years. Is any of that posted online? No, it seems. Do they offer to mail a copy of what might be a big document? No. Instead, anyone who wishes is welcome to come to the station's offices and review it there. For a lot of people, that's a huge investment of time, and I bet they get very few takers. Perhaps it is time for at least one person to go to the station, take a bunch a notes and do what the station ought to have done, and share that with a larger community.
In the end, WUNC must show that it has operated in the "public interest".
Deadline for comments to the FCC is 1 Nov, so says the announcement on-air.
I wonder if any competing applications are being filed? WUNC is just a licensee and if someone puts together a better station proposal, the FCC can award the license to a different entity, as most people don't realize, I am pretty sure.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"At Colleges, the Marketers Are Everywhere" - NYTimes.com

Let's see - any chance that WUNC will mention this story?

Civil War

With all the hoopla about creating stories of the Civil War from WUNC listeners, is this all they could do? I found 3 interesting ones here and no others.

Perhaps that is why the link to these appears not to be postable directly? You'll need to copy all in quotes to have a chance of accessing it....

"http://wunc.org/programs/voices/civil-war/your-civil-war-stories/?searchterm=civil war"

"Special 9/11 Coverage" — North Carolina Public Radio WUNC

One might think, as I do, that some of the "special" programming for today might include North Carolina? Two people, plus others I imagine, are mentioned today in local papers - David SCHANZER and Samia SERAGDELIN - with personal accounts related to 10 years ago. Is there none of this in the WUNC "archive" so often mentioned on air? And tonight, the NC Symphony is doing a concert that will be televised. Is that not worth WUNC broadcast as well?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

BBC News - Economic hard times in small town America

It is not even worth a few seconds to check the WUNC website to find a link to a story they are rebroadcasing from the BBC as I type this. Why the station would not want to bring this story to more customers remains a great mystery to me. Not everyone is able - or chooses to be able - to listen the BBC Newshour broadcast at this time, or via the BBC website or podcast. Whatever the reason, a story on NC dealing with today's critical issue of employment deserves more from WUNC.

PRI| Public Radio International | Find Programs In Your Area

How interesting. This allows you to search - as I did in this case for Bob Edwards Weekend program from PRI - to see which PRI programs are broadcast in NC by whom. With WUNC nauseatingly repeated "North Carolina Public Radio" all the time, it's easy to forget that it is only applicable to a portion of the state. And, most important, it has a lot of programming from which to choose, and WUNC never presents any of these choices to their listeners for comment and suggestions.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

NCDOT: N.C. 12 Recovery Efforts

Is this linked from the WUNC home page? It does not seem to be here where one might expect to find it, no?

Friday, September 02, 2011

North Carolina Public Radio WUNC — North Carolina Public Radio WUNC

Heard a story, I think, this morning that came from another public radio station in NC, this time in Wilmington. No trace of it here.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

North Carolina Picks Up After Hurricane Irene : NPR

At least this story is linked on the WUNC website this evening; I wonder if it will be there tomorrow? We sure here Manteo mentioned often as a place where WUNC has a transmitter, if I recall correctly. Hmmmm.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Make a Difference — North Carolina Public Radio WUNC

I wonder where WUNC lists all of the winners of their contests?

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Weekend Edition Saturday : NPR

I'd never focused precisely on how long the Weekend Editiion Saturday program runs, but I was aware that it did seem to repeat itself at some point.

It looks like WUNC runs the program from 8-10, and then repeats the first hour from 10-11.

How hard would it be to note this here?

Friday, May 27, 2011

All Things Considered : NPR

It says here that the program is 2 hours and that sounds about right. Does that mean that WUNC repeats the first half hour then from 6 to 6:30? Why?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

All Radio, All the Time, and Free (for Now) - State of the Art - NYTimes.com

Hmm, does this mean Back Porch Music at a time other than when broadcast?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Farm labor: Children in the fields - CBS News

Note the part of this story that includes a tomato farmer in NC who says that he employs a lot of young teenagers to pick his crop.

I would thinkt that a station that calls itself "North Carolina Public Radio" would be doing several things.

One, reporting more about this practice so we can all understand it better.

Perhaps diverting resources to do this instead of asking listeners to tell the station what they think the Civil War legacy in NC is.

At the VERY least, I'd put a link to this story on the WUNC site and ask for comment about the story and about what WUNC might do to add to the coverage of the issue, again, so we all understand better.

Radio Station That Turned Hero Faces an Uncertain Future - NYTimes.com

Stations Consider Ending Contracts With PBS - NYTimes.com

I wonder how this is working out at NPR?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

From WUNC & NPR — North Carolina Public Radio WUNC

The WUNC announcers have been talking about a Civil War project. I just came to the website and there is no mention of Civil War! Amazing, but not surprising. Using the search function on the page, I also come up with zero.
I heard them announce it again this morning (Monday) and so looked again. If you are into reading advertising banners, perhaps you would have caught it. I did not. Here it is.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tanger Outlets Turns 30 — North Carolina Public Radio WUNC

There sure is another side of this that WUNC seems to omit in promoting Tanger. I wonder if they give any money to the station? And why is it, exactly, the WUNC allows no comments on its own stories?

North Carolina Public Radio WUNC — North Carolina Public Radio WUNC

The station said something about a site at NC State dealing with recipes and health. I did not catch the URL. They provide no apparent means to find it here.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

189,000 to go

Heard this at some point mid-afternoon.

Why, exactly, does WUNC fail to say anything about amount raised til late in each fund drive?


It's fascinating to see that number go down to about 150,000 overnight, with 3,800 people contributing, and then a little later today, up to 4,100.

At one point, they said the drive would end tomorrow - they wait til near the end to say when it will end - and at another point they said it is "anitcipated" to end.



And now this morning 6 May, at 9 AM, they report that they have hit their target of 750,000.

Monday, May 02, 2011

2,300+ contributors

Did I hear that correctly?

Which programs interrupted?

It's curious to see that WUNC interrupts some programs during the fund drive and not others. I wonder if it is a function of the program supplier? It sure would be nice for WUNC to explain more, and more often, how they go about picking the programming they obtain and choose to carry on their frequencies. That represents about 90% of each 24 hour period, no? It probably even includes the news promos read by local announcers, at least the words, but I am only guessing at that.

From WUNC & NPR — North Carolina Public Radio WUNC

Compare the home page of WUNC right now with that of The New York Times. One might ask a bunch of questions about judgments on this morning of Bin Laden's death news, no?


One could argue, and I certainly would, that this is a day when WUNC should suspend its fund-raising and contest-sponsoring announcements so that we can listen to NPR and BBC coverage of the aftermath of Bin Laden's death. Their failure to do so in any meaningful way (ok, they may have done a little less this morning for a while) raises huge questions in my mind about what WUNC thinks its mission may be.

For those who want to listen to the full BBC Newshour, you can do so here.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


There are a lot of people with Irish knowledge and connections in the WUNC market and you'd think they would tap some of that in connection with their raffling off the trip to Ireland.


I looked everywhere I could think on the WUNC wesbite and could find no explanation about the pledge drive, any of the offers or premiums, etc. You'd think WUNC would want to explain more about this, but maybe they don't.

The State of Things — North Carolina Public Radio WUNC

Is the State of Things broadcast on any other NC public radio stations?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fund-raising expenses

David BROWER of WUNC just told me that 23% of the WUNC budget goes to fund-raising. That's the cost, I am assuming, of employing and retaining people and the costs of the various "premiums" that they give away, including travel.

That means 25 cents of every contributed dollar goes to pay for something other than programming.

To put that in context, this is from here on the Charity Navigator site:

"Fundraising Expenses
Percent of total functional expenses spent on fundraising (lower is better)
Public Broadcasting and Media:

These charities use expensive air time to raise money, requiring a higher investment in their fundraising efforts and thus raising fundraising costs. Among these charities, the median fundraising expenses percentage is 15.3%, as compared to a median of 7.3% among all charities."

BROWER contends, by the way, that saying on air that "all" contributions go "right back into programming" is only misleading and not false.

For the 2009-10 fiscal year, this document (which is on the WUNC site after you click through a half dozen pages or so starting with "About") says that fund-raising expenses amounted to over $1,700,000. (That, interestingly, is more than 3 times the amount of money the station says it would lose if the station received no federal funds.)

The way this works - 25 cents of every dollar contributed goes into a kind of office pool for the trips and and the rest pays for the "gifts" that contributors receive.

When WUNC says that the trip to Italy is "made possible" by Panera Bread, I wonder what that means exactly and how it is counted if it is a contribution.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Not enough people dive into high-risk pools | Marketplace From American Public Media

Given the North Carolina part of this story, you'd think someone at WUNC would have the 30 seconds required to link it from the WUNC home page? Or the few minutes needed to decide which of these search results would help explain more of the story? http://www.bing.com/search?q=high+risk+pool+insurance+north+carolina&FORM=Z7FD

Sunday, April 03, 2011

WHDD Radio in Sharon, Conn., Is an NPR Minnow - NYTimes.com

What a thought-provoking contrast with WUNC. What do you imagine....is their budget a bit smaller than WUNC's? With the exception of the State of Things, and maybe Back Porch Music, does this one sound like any other public radio station? In other words, what's North Carolina or more local about WUNC other than those two programs? Agricultural extension agents? Don't think so.

Friday, February 11, 2011

6,000 - 800,000

On one level, it's impressive that they miraculously claim to have gotten about 6,000 people to pay or pledge about 800,000 or about 125-150 each. Think about how many people subscribe to the News & Observer - that's about 175,000 paying about 200/year.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

More from WUNC & NPR — North Carolina Public Radio WUNC

With cable television networks focusing attention on events today in Egypt, a quick look at the WUNC website would make wonder if there was anything going in the world other than a "Deadly Bat Fungus Found in NC", however important to the bats that may be.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Not sure if this appears as the goal of their current travel and event auction on the wunc website. They claim they have under 300,000 to raise by Friday, and it always quite amazing that they seem to reach their number, or exceed it. 3,500 pledges so far? Again, another figure that I don't recall seeing on the WUNC website.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Where are the stories on the WUNC website about the people who have won trips and rewards, and about the events to which people have purchased expensive access? Did I miss them? Is that all make believe?

Montreux pronunciation: How to pronounce Montreux in French, English

You would think that WUNC would learn how to pronounce Montreux. It's embarrassing.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Charity Navigator - Your Search Results

I wonder why WUNC is not here (list goes two pages), and yet WFAE in Charlotte is?


I think they said that 7% of the budget comes from the federal government. How much is that in dollars?

Sustainer for free?

This suggests that you must give $5/mo to be a sustainer. I wonder how the station gets around federal law on lotteries? It strikes me that there may need to be an offer of being a sustainer with no money contributed in order not to be seen as requiring payment in order to "play" in their "lotteries".

Friday, February 04, 2011


By its nature, a lot of radio reporting is prerry superficial. It simply takes a lot of time to speak a few words and depth usually requires more.

The same goes for the fund drive.

We get really no in-depth understanding in what WUNC says, incessantly, on the air. There is no context for the assertion that they spend over 900,000 on programming that they rebroadcast. What percentage of the overall budget is that? How much does it cost to produce The Story? What percentage of the each dollar contributed goes to fund-raising expense?

There is an answer to not doing this over the air and something less than burying some of this somewhere on website.

Send out a rich e-mail regularly with links to answers to all of these questions so that anyone wanting to see the details can.

Why does WUNC not do this? Why do they not have an FAQ page on their website with these questions fully answered?

BBC World Service - News - Newshour

If you want to listen to the full Newshour without the travel lottery interruptions......

Thursday, February 03, 2011

WUNC's February Travel Bingo

It is important for WUNC to raise money to continue its operation, of course.

But, I wonder if I am alone in simply turning off the radio for the most part while they try to get listeners to take a chacne on winning a trip somewhere. Instead, I find myself relying much more on varied internet sources, including many programs otherwise retransmitted by WUNC from NPR, PRI and the BBC, and suing podcasts more often plus an occasional check on news covered on various cable television channels.

It's good to be reminded how many alternative sources of quality information and insight there are.

It's too bad that WUNC's fundraising strategy is what leads me to do so.