After spending eight years on the Public Radio News Directors Inc. board, including two terms as president of PRNDI, George Bodarky accepted an invitation from current President Terry Gildea to return to the board. He will serve out the remaining year of Deanna Garcia’s term as an at-large representative. Garcia resigned her post in September. Bodarky says he is excited to be back on the board of directors.
“PRNDI really holds a special place in my heart,” says Bodarky. “It has been a big part of my life, including when I was president for the past several years. It is great to be contributing to the organization year-round, contributing to the conference, establishing relationships with public radio colleagues from across the nation, and pushing to make sure the organization is out there making a difference.”
Garcia left public radio to work as a communications officer for The Pittsburgh Foundation, a philanthropic organization that works to address various social justice issues. Bodarky will fill the remainder of Garcia’s term, which expires at the 2018 conference. He praised Garcia for her many contributions to public radio.
“I was really excited when she was elected to the Board of Directors,” says Bodarky. “She did a lot of great things with PRNDI and in public radio. It is a loss for public radio that she is gone, but I know she will continue to do great things out there in the world at large.”
The PRNDI board will meet in Philadelphia in early November to begin planning next summer’s conference. PRNDI will partner with member station WHYY and the conference will take place at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Philadelphia. Bodarky says planning the conference is critical, as the organization seeks to provide support to public radio newsrooms in a challenging time for journalists.
“This is a critical time for public radio and it is a tough time to be a journalist,” says Bodarky. “We are doing journalism in the era of ‘fake news’. I think there is so much misinformation that is spread around that audiences don’t really know what to believe anymore. Now, more than ever, we have a very critical role—this in a time when journalists find themselves facing a myriad of obstacles that makes it very hard to do their job. I think that First Amendment rights and doing what we need to do to do fact-based journalism is enormously important and I think our conference this coming year will be that much more critical.”
Bodarky’s at-large position will be open during elections at the 2018 conference.