New Friends and SDPB Staff

Posted by Heather Benson on

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Jonathan “JR” Rouse has joined SDPB as a Videographer/Editor. He’ll assist producing with filming and editing footage for broadcast and social media, as well as assist with live productions like South Dakota Focus, high school sports, and state legislative coverage. Originally from Sioux City, JR attended the Video & Production program at Western Iowa Tech and worked as an engineer/director at KTIV-Sioux City. 

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Wendy Bergan joins the Friends of SDPB staff in the new position of On-Air & New Member Fundraising Manager, in which she’ll manage SDPB’s on-air member drives. Born and raised in Redfield, Bergan has been in fundraising for over 15 years, most recently as Marketing Manager at JDS Industries in Sioux Falls. “I feel so blessed to be part of the SDPB family,” says Wendy. “My children loved watching the children’s programming on PBS when they were little. It gave me a warm feeling that they were enjoying good, quality, educational show. And my favorite program is Morning Edition because it gives me the news I need to get my day started.” 

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Joshua Haiar has been hired as Digital Content Producer for In the Moment with Lori Walsh, where he assists in the production of program segments, podcasts, and animated videos. Originally from Mitchell, Josh interned with SDPB’s Digital Department as a Strategic Communications student at the University of South Dakota. He also served as a Navy Ceremonial Guard for two years at Arlington Cemetery (he had the honor of attending Neil Armstrong’s funeral) and interned at the Pentagon to become Navy Mass Communications Specialist. 

As for favorite public media programs, Josh says he enjoys PBS NewsHour because “people are not yelling at me and telling me what to think”; Ask This Old House, because “contractors are expensive,” and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – “the kids who watch it appear to have more emotional intelligence than adults.” He feels strongly about the mission of public media. “Local journalism matters,” says Josh, “and in a democracy, the primary goal should be to help the public make better decisions and become well-informed voters – not to please the public or advertisers. So-called good journalism is not that which gets clicks and shares – it informs and educates. I fear people today are getting far too caught up in national news, where their vote matters far less. My goal at SDPB is to make quality journalism more accessible and aesthetically considerate. I want people to enjoy learning about ballot measures!” 

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