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NPR, Other Pubcasters Team On Digital Content Platform

June 14, 2010: Public radio and TV producers NPR, PBS, Public Radio International, the Public Radio Exchange, and American Public Media are teaming to develop a digital distribution network that will, the pubcasters say, "allow public broadcasters and web producers to combine, create, share and distribute their news and cultural content."

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is providing nearly $1 million over the next six months for development plans and a working prototype for what the partner groups call the Public Media Platform, with NPR administering the grant that will fund the planning phase. The fully developed PMP is expected to enable non-compatible systems to connect and allow for free flow of content.

The goal is "to develop a broad digital network that will invite and support innovative uses of public media content, and match -- or exceed -- the impact of public radio and television today."

The PMP will be based on an application programming interface designed to simplify sharing, combining, and distributing content to both member organizations and to the public. It will be available to the original partners, public radio and TV stations, independent producers and "nontraditional, mission-focused content creators and developers who see value in aligning their efforts with public broadcasting." Potential uses of the PMP include mobile apps, third-party websites, blogs, mashups, and widgets.

The advisory council for the project includes representatives of Document Cloud, ITVs, KPBS, KQED, Louisville Public Media, the National Black Programming Consortium, WGBH, and others.

(6/16/2010 2:14:54 AM)
Way cool! A kaleidoscopic, magic public media software spectacle!

The overpaid elites who call themselves professionals at NPR and PBS now have one more tool with which to try to maintain their power to shape the limits of "acceptable" debate.

Jump for joy!

No, what they offer is not a partnership. It is rather an extension of a very unequal relationship in which they are the parent and we are the child, waiting with our bibs on for our information and culture to be spoon fed to us.

Unless this power relationship between "professional" and "public" is reversed - stood upon its head - we are doomed to repeat all of the failures of the past only this time with better technology and on a grander scale.

The real issue has nothing to do with software or money.

It is instead whether those with marginalized perspectives will not only create stories to tell but also grasp the present rare juncture via whatever methods are needed and wholly re-envision our public media system as a public school district for all.

About 94% of Americans living in school districts here in the U.S. elect their public school board trustees.

But 0% of Americans receiving the signal of an NPR or PBS station have any direct say whatsoever in who is chosen to sit on their public broadcasters' board of trustees.

- Scott Sanders

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