of NPR stresses importance of international news
Stephanie Orr - Assistant Editor
States needs to pay attention to foreign news because it is “a glorious
nation of immigrants,” said Kevin Klose, president of National Public
Radio, as he addressed the World Affairs Council on Friday, Feb. 25.
People should spend just as much time learning about international events
as they do their local school board elections because most citizens of
the United States are able to trace their heritage to another nation,
according to Klose.
“We’re blessed with a kind of tranquility,” Klose said,
citing that the United States is protected by two oceans and enjoys peaceful
border situations. But that is no reason to ignore international events.
Kevin Klose, president of NPR, acknowledges the applause of the
World Affairs Council after his speech
the crowd that international news reporting has been changing, but not
necessarily for the best.
He said there was a time when all of the major news networks had correspondents
living overseas. Citing Russia as an example, Klose described how these
correspondents were Americans who had studied the country they were covering
in depth. The reports they gave were comprehensive but simple.
However, with televised news becoming more visual, these kinds of reports
no longer exist. Klose said that the programs of the past that delivered
in-depth international news are slowly dying because they are not as profitable
as other programs.
But Klose said that polls of the 23 million people who listen to NPR show
that Americans want quality, in-depth reports on foreign affairs, a fact
that he said most newspaper editors disagree with.
With sources of international news disappearing from the public, Klose
questioned how Americans could get access to what is going on outside
of the United States.
One way people are getting international news is through the Internet,
Klose said. Technology allows people to quickly access the headlines from
around the world, but doesn’t always present the news as completely
as it could.
Public radio is another outlet for international news. Klose said public
radio “brings us home and also takes us far away.”
NPR has offices all over the world and is dedicated to bringing comprehensive
international news to the United States. “Our goal is to serve the
civil democracy with information,” Klose said.
“We need to tell the story of millions of people caught in conflict
not of their own devising.”
Klose continued, saying that the purpose of public broadcasting was to
respond to the pre-Declaration of Independence writings of Thomas Jefferson,
which he paraphrased as “people cannot be ignorant and free.”
Using Russia as an example again, Klose said that their government denied
them information which in turn denied them freedom and made them retreat
from their reality.
He said citizens have the right to demand information from newspapers,
television stations and public radio stations and that understanding what
is going on around the globe is vitally important.
According to Klose, being aware of and understanding what is going on
in other nations can help the United States in many ways. By tracking
international events and trends, the United States can better understand
the world in which it exists.
The public’s desire for international news has benefited NPR in
several ways, not just by increasing listenership.
“One of the great realities of knowing our listeners want high quality
foreign reporting is we can recruit some of the best journalists in the
country,” Klose said.
salaries among poorly rated items in faculty survey
Full report to be released after committee review
Tom Cronin - Public Affairs Reporter
UIS faculty members reported
feeling valued for their work and gave high ratings to the campus’
reputation and teaching quality when surveyed last spring, but they were
less generous in their ratings for university and campus administration,
salary levels and funding for scholarly activities.
To assess the “quality of life” among faculty, the Campus
Planning and Budget Committee sent surveys to all full-time tenure-track
faculty members last fall, said Patricia Byrnes, associate professor of
public administration and the committee’s chairwoman. Sixty-eight
surveys with “usable answers” were returned, she said, which
amounted to a response rate of about 46 percent.
Byrnes disclosed some of the survey’s findings with The Journal
on Friday, but said that she would need to finish her report on the survey
and share it with committee members before disclosing the findings in
full to Campus Senate and the campus as a whole. The report could be released
as early as this week, she said, but the likelihood of it being released
by today was small.
According to Byrnes, the survey focused on five “quality of life”
areas: the quality of UIS, work environment, faculty voice, campus climate
and resource allocation. Most of the survey’s items asked respondents
to rate statements on a scale of one to five, in which one represented
very poor and five represented very good. Byrnes said that the survey
also gave faculty the option to submit open-ended responses.
Among the highest-rated items in the quality of UIS section were those
dealing with quality of teaching and the local and regional reputation
of the campus, Byrnes said. Among the items that were poorly rated were
those about central administration and campus administration, she said.
Responses to the work environment section of the survey indicated that
faculty members were dissatisfied with salary levels and funding for scholarly
activities. When it comes to salaries, it is important to consider that
the survey was conducted before Chancellor Richard Ringeisen announced
that faculty would receive raises for this academic year, Byrnes said.
Other findings related to work environment suggested that over 60 percent
of faculty were working more than 50 hours a week and that faculty would
have generally preferred to devote more time to scholarship and less to
service, Byrnes said.
In response to questions about campus climate, faculty reported that they
felt valued for their teaching, service and research, Byrnes said. At
the same time, they also reported feeling burned out from doing too much
Survey responses also indicated that faculty felt they had a strong voice
in choosing which courses to teach and in making other departmental decisions,
but a weaker voice in decisions about planning and the budget, Byrnes
“I do think you have to look at when the survey was done, the climate
and certainly the budget uncertainties and problems that we’d faced
for the year before and last year when this was done,” Byrnes said.
“And I don’t think those have gotten better this year. Things
were a little better in terms of getting raises and that, but …
I think you would find that faculty feel some of the same things as far
as having a voice about what goes on on campus at the campus level, and
also about certain resource issues.”
One quality-of-life issue that the survey did not address was Banner,
the software for the university’s $186 million integrated technology
system. Some offices and departments were using Banner for payroll when
the survey was conducted last spring, but the system had not been fully
implemented by that point. According to Byrnes, Banner was mentioned “maybe
once or twice” in the survey’s open-ended statements.
Even though Banner has affected faculty, it has been a much larger issue
for staff, Byrnes said. The Campus Planning and Budget Committee has drafted
a staff quality of life survey that includes questions about Banner, and
committee members plan to distribute it next fall.