Lecture Notes for Monday, 10/30

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10/30/06 – “Radio, Podcast, PRX: Taking the ‘Net Ethos Off the Screen” (Guest: Jake Shapiro, from PRX; Steve Schultz)

I. Discussion of Projects (Nesson) a. Don’t become your enemy, but state argument so empathically that the other side must accede to the fairness of the argument b. Statement of the problem = key point of departure c. Examples of empathic argument: i. Video clip from 8 Mile (1:22pm) ii. C. Nesson’s “Jon Stewart” empathic argument for open access (1:30pm) iii. Nesson on Confrontation Clause d. Assignment: i. Make an argument – your argument – in an empathic form and record it (2.5 minutes) ii. No due date set—after Tuesday’s tutorial? iii. Some will be asked to present them in class for workshopping, both ideas of empathic argument and methodology of recording them

II. Jake Shapiro’s Guest Lecture (1:45pm) a. Bio: i. Former Berkman Center Director, now Fellow ii. Combined background in radio w/ vision coming out of Berkman Center to put together PRX b. PRX = Public Radio Exchange i. Nonprofit web service for distribution, review and licensing 1. Allows anyone to upload audio and then makes that audio available to stations across the country 2. Aggregates audio digitally, creates catalog of what’s available, allows anyone to review and rate the audio ii. Online community of stations, producers and listeners collaborating to reshape public radio iii. Everything on the site is user created; PRX merely formats and categorizes content (www.prx.org) c. Why PRX? (1:50pm) i. Missing layer of access and distribution: independent producers of content have found it increasingly harder to get their material distributed; NPR has become narrower and its content more calcified ii. “Long tail” opportunity to realize long-term value out of niche content which can be distributed efficiently (archiving allows the value of a work to emerge over time) iii. Diversify participation in public radio iv. Opportunity for new networks d. Defining a new space i. PRX hovers in the middle between: 1. National, Producers, Local, Stations 2. Various Stations e. In a nutshell: i. Members: producers, stations, listeners ii. Anyone can create an account and upload audio iii. “Post-filter” review: editorial board; community 1. Helps content to “bubble up” so that communities can find things of interest to them iv. Stations search, audition, license and download for broadcast and/or online use v. Stations pay an annual fee, based on size of the station and PRX pays royalties to producers f. Rights: i. Producer chooses license terms, opt-ins, price within bounds ii. Buyer agrees to terms and clicks ‘license’ iii. Sales notifications and account transactions are automated iv. PRX: user agreements, DMCA safe harbor, cyber-liability insurance g. Distribution paths: i. Commercial 3rd party (Audible, iTunes) ii. Open syndication (podcasting): 1. The Nature Stories podcast 2. YouthCast from PRX (alt.npr) 3. PRX podcast 4. Station Showcase (from NPR) iii. Other license opportunities iv. Public radio stations h. Network Implications: over 20,000 members, who are starting to communicate directly with one another to collaborate to create content i. Some numbers: i. 400 stations ii. 1500 producers iii. 17,000 listeners iv. > 10,000 pieces licensed v. > $250,000 in royalties paid vi. > 650 producers and stations sold work j. 3 important features for PRX piece i. Time: fit into the 2.5 minute standard cutaway time ii. High audio quality iii. Must tell a compelling story and have a point k. Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD) core values (2:10pm) i. “Qualities of the mind”: 1. Love of lifelong learning 2. Substance 3. Curiosity 4. Credibility, accuracy, honesty 5. Respect for listener 6. Purpose ii. “Qualities of the heart and spirit” 1. Idealism (we believe in our power to find solutions) 2. Humor 3. Inspired about public life and culture 4. Civility (belief in civil discourse) 5. Generosity iii. “Qualities of craft” 1. Uniquely human voice (conversational, authentic, intimate) 2. Attention to detail (music, sound elements, language) 3. Pacing l. Themes: i. Social media (a third zone) ii. Relevance iii. Authenticity iv. Authority v. Trust m. Q&A (2:18pm)

III. Steve Schultz (2:23pm) a. “Beyond Broadcast” conference co-organized by Berkman Center to discuss issues around changes in broadcast media b. Unique sensibilities and values of public broadcasters – what does it mean to have media that serves the public good, whether commercial or not? How do we understand the public interest? c. History (and current context) of media regulation helps distill some of the values behind these ideas i. Current Context: 1. Telecom Bill rewrite – has passed the House, is in Senate now 2. Raging network neutrality debate (common carrier debate of the network sphere) 3. Antitrust and merger issues (FCC’s current consideration of AT&T’s repurchase of BellSouth) ii. History: 1. Radio – big issue was how to minimize interference; scarcity 2. Public broadcasting iii. Bottom Line: We’re at a critical moment that gives us the opportunity to reevaluate our core values d. Nesson’s Interjection: The point of CyberOne is to learn to make an argument and distribute it in a cyber media: how do we do that? e. Reply: We are at a critical moment where we’re going from “one-to-many” to “many-to-many” form of communication, causing us to reexamine core values. Was this responsive to the question? f. Rebecca’s Question: why has digital distribution of public radio content been so much more successful than digital distribution of public television content? g. Reply: (a) Radio is less hit-driven, lower investment required means more diverse offerings; (b) Public television is first-come-first-serve, more focused on enabling creators, whereas radio is more focused on serving an audience; (c) Public radio has embraced more voices and can use the internet to harness its success; (d) But the tradeoff: to create a more diverse space, you’re sacrificing the consistency and standards that made public radio a hit in the first place. h. Demo of audio recording (2:35pm) i. C. Nesson says that audio counts the most (2:40pm)