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Firehouse News, Vol. 1, No. 2: WFHB News Department Summit to be Held in July

Firehouse News, Vol. 1, No. 2: WFHB News Department Summit to be Held in July

By Helen Harrell

The news department at WFHB is ever growing and evolving under the tutelage of WFHB Director Alycin Bektesh, and the upcoming News Summit to be held in July is no exception to her creative planning.  What’s a news summit you wonder?  While summits can of course vary in intent and purpose this one is intended to improve and enhance the WFHB News department.  Many folks including Bektesh and Assistant News Director Joe Crawford have expressed concerns that the news department operates beyond capacity to produce its 20 in-house programs along with managing the traffic for an additional 13 syndicated programs, recruiting and training new volunteers, participating in community outreach, fundraising and keeping updated content on the website and social media.   Bektesh feels that “because we don’t have time enough to allow us to focus on a departmental strategy, any discussion of changes and improvements ends up being superficial.”

In a desire to seriously address the various aspects for needed change, Bektesh has received both WFHB Board of Directors and News and Public Affairs Committee (NPAC) approval to suspend news programming throughout the month of July for a News Summit, allowing four weeks for daily meetings to narrow focus in brainstorming to action plans.  This effort is also seen as significant by other WFHB staff and long time show producers all of whom will be involved with various workshops throughout the month. A combination of re-runs and short seasonal programs will be used to fill programming time while the Summit is underway.

All WFHB listeners, supporters and volunteers are invited and encouraged to become involved and provide suggestions, new ideas and energy directed toward issues that affect everyone.  Bektesh hopes the result of this major summit will lead to a better trained, more collaborative News Department, a standard system of recruitment and training for incoming volunteers, job descriptions for news staff and producers that accurately match needs and expectations and a clear line of action to increase overall quality.

So folks, this is the time to step up and become involved.  Any and all suggestions will be considered and your participation will be greatly appreciated (and needed). The time commitment expectation is similar to that of any given volunteer’s current responsibilities and duties.   Bektesh said, “I want our declaration of being a community newsroom to be absolutely genuine and this is the opportunity to make it so!”  Hope to hear from all of you and see you in July!!

Here is the link to submit a workshop idea:

https://docs.google.com/a/wfhb.org/forms/d/11po1JniAz3RTB_dMNUi1ycKHwp0HlHl5P2y1GfkN1Gw/viewform

For questions and/or further information email:  news@wfhb.org

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