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Future of Public Media

Pubcasters and Social Networking

Last September, mega-station WGBH in Boston held a conference for public broadcasters about how to cope with the astonishing new world opening up in the land of Web 2.0. Now, reports and podcasts from that conference are available at http://opencontent.wgbh.org/index.html. Conferees listened to network pioneer Mitch Kapor talk about the peril of being an "incumbent" as a new media model arises--"you need to be 'fast followers,;" he advised. Read more...

Making Public Media, as Digital Destiny

Do experiments in new kinds of public media matter? Yes, according to Jeff Chester, the indefatigable dynamo who heads the Center for Digital Democracy (http://www.democraticmedia.org/). He has just issued a book-length manifesto for media reform, Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy (The New Press). Read more...

Kat's blog--participatory media in action

Those of us who got to go to the Center's Making Your Documentary Matter conference met Katerina Cizek, the National Film Board of Canada filmmaker who's creating videos in collaboration with the staff of a major public hospital in Toronto. Now her website has launched, at www.nfb.ca/filmmakerinresidence, so we can track the evolution of the NFB's latest experiment in participatory media. Read more...

Iraq Memorial

The latest wrinkle in public media using social networking comes from Brave New Films, which--borrowing from the idea of the AIDS quilt--is hosting an electronic "quilt" of memories about U.S. soldiers fallen in the Iraq war. This is a non-partisan site dedicated to the memory of the lives of these soldiers, composed of videos made by their friends and families. How it evolves will be one piece of evidence about how social networking can create public media sites from the grassroots. Read more...

Want to find out what's happening in your town? Turn to public TV!

by Pat Aufderheide

Want to find out what’s happening in your town? Don’t wait for the news on your local network TV station. Public TV is still covering the beat, though. That’s the news from Professors Michael Yan and Philip Napoli at Fordham University, who reported the results of a study of local public affairs coverage in the latest issue of Journal of Communication. Researchers looked at 285 TV stations, and found that public TV aired several hours of local public affairs within a two-week period, compared with commercial TV’s 45 minutes.