Jun 26, 2009

American Archives Pilot stations chosen

Phase I of the American Archives Pilot Program is about to begin. Oregon Public Broadcasting, overseeing the Archive project (Current, April 13) , has selected 25 pubcasting stations. Each will receive up to $10,000 to "locate and inventory video and audio content for the archive prototype," according to a statement from OPB. The massive effort hopes to preserve aging historical television and radio content. The stations chosen are "a relevant representation of both radio and TV stations both geographically and in terms of the type of content they bring to the pilot project,” said Patricia Lanas-Espinosa, CPB's project manager for digital media strategy, in the statement. TV stations: WTVS, Detroit; WNET, New York; WHUT, Howard University in Washington, DC; VPT, Colchester, VT; LETA, Baton Rouge, LA; KCPT, Kansas City, MO; IPTV, Johnston, IA; and AETN, Conway, AR. Radio: WYSO, Antioch University, Yellow Springs, OH; MPR, St. Paul, MN; and KFPA, Berkeley, CA. Joint licensees: WTTW, Chicago; WSIU, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL; WPT/WPR, Madison, WI; WGBH, Boston; WVIZ/WCPN, Cleveland; WQED, Pittsburgh; WOUB, Ohio University, Athens, OH; WKNO, Memphis; WILL, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL; WCNY, Liverpool, NY; WMPN, Oxford, MS; KUON-DT, Lincoln, NE; KQED, San Francisco, CA; and TPBA, Texas. Once stations have identified content, OPB will review it and choose which stations will continue into phase two, restoring and digitizing materials, and also compile a database. Here's more background on the Archive from Current.

Think of all the stories we could share

Mediavore, the blog launched seven months ago by Todd Mundt and Graham Griffith, posted its 1001th entry today and marked the occasion with a special post challenging public broadcasters to think more broadly about their roles as curators of online content. Mediavore's singular purpose is to point readers to the best public media content on news and cultural topics of the day but, as Mundt notes, there is plenty of room for other pubcasting outlets to take up this work. "The technology we have today puts nearly everything that every radio and TV station produces in the hands of anyone who wants it," he writes. But, oddly, few pubradio websites make the effort to point their online audiences to stand-out coverage of their colleagues at PBS or stations. "consistently, perhaps unintentionally, sends the message that there’s no value in offering a video discussion from The Newshour next to a related report it’s produced," Mundt writes. Websites produced by PRI and MPR fall short in this regard as well. "This isn’t criminal behavior; it’s simply a failure to recognize that putting some of the pieces together makes all of it more valuable to our audience." He concludes: "We say all this not to complain, but to point out an opportunity."

"NOW" shows spark viewer reaction, ombudsman column

Two NOW episodes on controversial issues drew the attention of PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler as well as many viewers. One show, in the wake of the murder of Kansas abortion provider George Tiller, examined whether such attacks could be considered domestic terrorism. Another dealt with mounting debts taken on my millions of college students.

NPR, WNET to participate in investigative conference

Reps from nearly 30 media outlets including NPR and PBS member station WNET are attending next week's Watchdogs at Pocantico confab, "Building an Investigative News Network." The "conference on new models for watchdog journalism" is co-sponsored by the Center for Investigative Reporting and Center for Public Integrity--its director, Bill Buzenberg, is a veteran of NPR and American Public Media. "The conclave is unprecedented, and its goals ambitious," writes blogger Ken Doctor, a media analyst and 21-year veteran of Knight Ridder. Investigative journalism is a hot topic among pubcasters, who been discussing taking on more of a watchdog reporting role as newspapers die off (Current, March 2).

Senate okays FCC, NTIA heads

The Senate on Thursday approved the chair of the FCC and head of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration. Julius Genachowski replaces acting FCC head Michael Copps, who will return to his commissioner spot. Genachowski may be sworn in soon enough to preside over the FCC's next public meeting on July 2. His background includes work as a telecom and technology adviser to then-Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign as well as experience in law, business, politics, communications and new media. Larry Strickling will now oversee the NTIA with the title of assistant secretary of Commerce for communications and information. NTIA advises the White House on communications policy; a current focus is developing guidelines for distributing the $4.5 billion in broadband stimulus money. He also worked on technology for Obama's campaign.

Radio Bilingue, WPFW covering Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Radio Bilingue is producing special coverage of Las Americas, the Latino musical component of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival that began this week on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Today's webcast, streaming here, features Maestros del Joropo Oriental, masters of a distinct musical tradition from Venezuela's Caribbean coast, and Arpex, whose "big harp" music is an influential predecessor of the Mexican mariachi tradition. Linea Abierta, Radio Bilingue's Spanish-language call-in show, is also producing daily coverage of the festival. Radio Bilingue's coverage continues through June 29; podcasts of performances and talk programs from earlier this week are here. This year's festival also explores the African American oral tradition and features daily events examining the role that black radio has played in reinforcing and promoting black culture. WPFW, D.C.'s Pacifica station, is producing and broadcasting several of these events. For a schedule, click here.