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Aug 2, 2011

For independent news entities, community engagement is vital, Knight adviser says

In an interview for an upcoming "Empowering Independent Media" report update, Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president of the Knight Foundation, said community engagement "is a key" to the success of independent news efforts. "The content must engage people, the connectivity must engage them and when appropriate they need to be asked directly for money to help," he said. "News proprietors need to be able to clearly show the impact of the work. If people do not believe news and information matters, if they do not see the impact of journalism, it is difficult to establish and maintain professional media organizations."

Nearly 60-year-old Backyard Farmer show grows fans online

At 58 years and counting, the Backyard Farmer gardening show from Nebraska's NET may be the longest-running locally produced show on television. And now it's becoming a hit online, too. Producer Brad Mills tells the Associated Press that the show is often in the top 10 of YouTube's science category; one show on container gardening has raked in nearly 66,400 views. The program also hit No. 17 overall at iTunes U, the educational arm of Apple's iTunes Store. Mills says people who move away from Nebraska and miss the show often go online to see it.

Public radio experiments with visuals

Visual storytelling "may seem anathema to the magic of radio," writes Amanda Hirsch for the iMA Innovators Blog, but some public radio stations and producers have found ways to populate their websites and social networks with photos and videos. Hirsch points to efforts at KUT in Austin, Minnesota Public Radio, and among producers of State of the Re:Union as the best examples of visual storytelling in public radio.

FOCAS gathering at Aspen Institute examining impact of tech on citizenship

PBS President Paula Kerger, American Public Media's digital innovation s.v.p. Joaquin Alvarado and WNET President Neal Shapiro are among media leaders participating in the Aspen Institute's FOCAS (Forum on Communications and Society) meeting today through Thursday (Aug. 2-4) in Colorado. This year's gathering will explore the growing impact of network technologies on communities and citizenship. Others attending include Alberto Ibarg├╝en, Knight Foundation president; former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; Craig Newmark of craigslist; and Daniel Weitzner, the White House deputy chief technology officer for Internet policy.  Live streaming video is here, Twitter hashtag is #FOCAS11.

Attention RSSers

Don't miss Current's interview with W. David Lyons, raised-in-Calgary oilman bankrolling PBS's first international channel, PBS UK.