Public Radio And TV Orgs Enter Into Partnership To Create Digital Public Media Platform
Responding to the increasingly cross-channel nature of media, the nation's top public radio and television networks have entered into a joint partnership to create apps, Web sites, and other media platforms and services. The partnership -- which plans to increasingly involve the public as well -- combines audio, text and video content from every public radio and television outlet in the country.
For the initiative, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting will provide nearly $1 million over the next six months to create development plans and a working prototype of what the partners are calling the Public Media Platform.
NPR is administering the grant that will fund the planning phase. Fully developed, the PMP should ideally serve as a technology backbone bringing together disparate -- and often incompatible -- systems, platforms, and content channels.
With the platform, "journalists and producers will be able to more easily create and publish in real time, [while] content presenters of all kinds will be able to draw on a vast body of high-quality text, audio, video and data," said NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller. "Most important, the public will be better served."
The effort is being spearheaded by five national producers: American Public Media, NPR, PBS, Public Radio International and the Public Radio Exchange. The goal is to develop a broad digital network that will invite and support various uses of public media content, and match the impact of public radio and television, today.
On a weekly basis, 37 million people presently listen to public radio stations -- which feature a mix of local, national and international news, not to mention music. Public TV, meanwhile, now reaches over 118 million viewers every month. The PMP will allow public media producers -- and potentially others outside public media -- to combine their content in a shared platform, and make it available for a variety of public uses, from news sites to educational curricula.
At the core of the PMP is an open Application Programming Interface that the partners are hoping will simplify the task of sharing, combining and distributing news and educational content to member organizations and the general public. It will be available to established organizations such as the five public media partners, as well as public radio and TV stations, independent producers, and non-traditional, mission-focused content creators and developers who see value in aligning their efforts with public broadcasting.
Some of the uses of the PMP include mobile apps, third-party sites -- from major news aggregators to niche Web sites -- blogs, mash-ups, and widgets.