I’m Blogging for Public Media

Hey party people,

I wanted to let you know that I just started a writing a “Public Media Innovators” blog series for the Integrated Media Association (iMA) — a professional development org in the public media community (“public media” = PBS, NPR, local stations, indie producers, various distributors like American Public Media…the whole shebangalang). My first post is a round-up of cool mapping projects in public media – I think you’ll especially find this interesting if you work in journalism or indie media-making, or are just interested in what cool stuff public media producers are cooking up. (If you want to stay on top of all my writing for this project, you can subscribe to the iMA RSS feed or “like” iMA on Facebook.)

Entry in public media station KCET’s “Map LA” contest

So why am I blogging about public media? As you may or may not know, I’m the former editorial director of PBS.org, and a lot of my consulting and professional writing work is for public media orgs. I heart public media. It’s a tremendously important, tremendously dysfunctional community, and I found it far too political and depressing to work for on the inside; but I believe passionately in the importance of non-commercial media that showcases diverse perspectives, and it brings me deep satisfaction to support the efforts of public media, from the outside.

I’m especially excited about this blogging project because there are so many killer smart, creative people working in public media whose work doesn’t get the attention it deserves. If I can be part of shining that spotlight, that makes me happy. Also, I hope that by writing about innovative work, I can be part of facilitating a conversation about what public media needs to do more of in order to be a relevant, viable media enterprise for the 21st century. Reports like this one do not buoy my spirits.:(

So, there you have it – another slice of Amanda. Comedy, yoga, creativity, culture… and public media. (This is why I wanted to design my own major in college…)

10 thoughts on “I’m Blogging for Public Media

  1. Good post! I definitely will be reading. As the new social media editor at PBS/NPR member station WLRN in Miami I am rather appalled at the skepticism shown towards new media from the higher ups. I agree that public media is one of the most important, and (now that I'm on the inside) dysfunctional institutions around. The thing is there is so much potential for community outreach and engagement that there is no reason why it shouldn't be embraced. A big issue is chain of command. If I could be let loose to do some work without checking in every step of the way and having projects halted for months at a time I could do a hell of a job. But that is just a 'what-if' scenario. Looking forward to more.

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  2. Glad you are working toward these ends, Amanda! I'm also more outside than inside pub media these days… and that can be a liberating thing. I'm pressing (IMA and whoever else might listen) to get stations on board with my "innovation labs" idea. It's meant to push new media forward… by installing local labs and hiring "convergence editors…" I want it driven by news but it doesn't have to be. See more at my website. I'll be subscribing to your work… and passing along what I can.P.S. I have data that is a bit more encouraging about local Pub TV efforts than what is cited in the CJR piece. Almost 90 percent in my survey have some kind of local news commitment.

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  3. Daniel – "If I could be let loose to do some work without checking in every step of the way and having projects halted for months at a time I could do a hell of a job."… I can hear pub media workers around the country preaching a silent "amen" to this. Are you a member of the pub media group on FB? If not – you should be… I think you'd find it very encouraging and a place to connect with others who "get it" and are just getting (good) stuff done.Mike – I have your innovation labs on my list of things to look at – will move them up the list! And the discrepancy in your data vs/ CJR is rather striking… what gives? Very different methodology/sample size??

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  4. Amanda- Yes I can tell that is the silent mantra of most of my coworkers. I would love to be part of that group, but I just searched for it without any luck. Could you send a link? Thanks.

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