May 13, 2008

PBS picks thePlatform for online video

PBS has chosen thePlatform, an online video publishing and management company, to provide the backend of a pubTV online video distribution system, Jason Seiken, senior v.p. for interactive announced today at PBS's Showcase conference in Palm Desert, Calif. Local stations will also be able to use thePlatform's publishing system to post locally-produced video on their own websites and make it available to other stations' sites. ThePlatform provides online video services for BBC, Gannett/USA Today and PBS KIDS Sprout, among other media companies.

It seems a long time since Alistair Cooke

Scottish actor Alan Cumming will host Masterpiece Mystery!, the summer season of WGBH's imported drama series, PBS announced today. (In January, Gillian Anderson started hosting the winter season, Masterpiece Classic.) Cumming has played roles from Chekhov and Euripides, as well as in X-Men and a James Bond flick, and won a Tony as the emcee in Cabaret. Cumming's website. He'll introduce a season that includes the conclusions of Foyle's War and the Inspector Lynley series and a spinoff of Inspector Morse.

Google announces copy/paste social networking app

Not specifically pubcasting-related but perhaps of interest to station webmasters: Google's new Friend Connect aims to enable even small websites to incorporate social networking aspects by pasting some code into their pages. The tool offers free access to social apps. It also makes it possible for site users to import profile and friend information from established social networks such as Facebook.

NPR advance team in China reports on earthquake's aftermath

NPR's Melissa Block recorded a live account of yesterday's earthquake in central China and later reported from the scene of a collapsed middle school where parents grieved over the bodies of their dead children. Raw audio of both scenes, as well as coverage from yesterday's edition of All Things Considered in which Block describes being surrounded by an angry mob and forced to leave the middle school, are posted here. The ATC reporting team, including co-host Robert Siegel, were on assignment in a city near the quake's epicenter, gathering material for a series of special broadcasts planned for next week. Their web diary of the trip, Chengu Diary, is providing updates on the quake's aftermath. Associated Press reports on how Block's interview with a religious leader unexpectedly became live reporting from a disaster scene.