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WhitePaper NOTES

Review these notes, incorporate into text where needed.


Possible Themes and Activities for the ‘White Paper’ and the Digital Media Committee of the CPB

  • Should public broadcasting make the transition to ‘public service media”?
  • What is “PSM”?
  • What is the difference between public broadcasting and PSM?
  • What contribution can PSM make to contemporary American democracy? In a Digital Environment?
  • What would a transition from PB to PSM look like?
  • If a transition is desirable, what would the end-state look like?
  • If a transition is desirable, what examples do we have of public stations that are already making the transition successfully? What examples of attempts but failures? What are the three reasons for success? Failure??


  • cd meet more effectively the traditional goals of public broadcasting and become be a main portal thru which American citizens learn how to be ‘digital citizens.'
  • To learn the meaning of digital literacy; to learn new capabilities.
  • To help redefine the meaning of citizenship in this age…


  • A PSM station shd operate across multiple platforms.
  • A PSM should be different from a non-PSM in the way it uses the platform and esp in its relations to its communities.
  • It means redefining how reporters report, editors edit; it changes the role of editors, the role of commentators; and even the role of the audience.

Here’s the great irony: the power and leverage of the new Digital Media are tailor-made to meet the historical purposes and needs of PB even more than it meets the needs of commercial enterprises and commercial audiences. Yet PB’ers are adopting these new capabilities more slowly than commercial broadcasting

Here are the main features of the Digital Media,

  • Interactive
  • User Generated Content
  • Creates new on-line communities
  • Convergence (&concentration)
  • Continual technological change.
  • Openess

Here are the traditional legislative goals of public broadcasting

  • Serving the underserved
  • Advancing education
  • Public service
  • Creating non-commercial public ‘space’.
  • Culture
  • Balance and objectivity

By Democracy we mean:

  • Competition
  • Participation
  • Rights & Responsibilities
  • Rule of Law

How to Get There:


  • Invite some group to create a ‘skunkworks’ to design a new PSM
  • Convene a mixed team of NPR, PBS, local stations to discuss these issues
  • Seek to rewrite the legislature
  • Discuss with regulators, Capitol Hill

These could potentially be activities supported by the Digital Media Committee of the CPB


Center for Social Media is working on a similar/parallel whitepaper with the following elements:

  • Imagining a truly public media (growing out of our attached FAQ, also Jessica’s panel at ICA on mapping public media.)
  • Emerging media practices for public knowledge and action (drawing on some of our case studies—national and international, user-generated and legacy public media, cross-platform, ethical concerns, etc. The evolution of documentary film as a tool for storytelling and freedom of expression will be a strong thread here.)
  • Changing maps of public media (building on some of our mapping exercises)
  • Cross-cultural/diversity and international challenges (drawing on some of our commissioned research, including an assessment of the UK’s PSP proposal by Des Freedman, lessons from Ford international offices)
  • Cultural/media policies to sustain a truly public U.S. media (Highlight fair use work, federal/state funding for arts & media, funding for next-generation internet, “stamps” for qualifying media projects, etc.)
  • Infrastructure policies to sustain a truly public U.S. media (net neutrality, media ownership, spectrum rulings, transition to digital TV, universal service provisions for new pipelines, postal rate debate, etc.)
  • International policies to sustain a truly public media (with Ford international?)
  • Proposals for next steps—we should decide if this is one big idea to organize around, a set of proposals for funders, or something more interactive and open- ended.


Decentralized distributed process of discussion on the future of public broadcasting. House Party model pioneered by MoveOn? A network of public hearings with 4 bigger ones as anchors? A series of whitepapers: one by existing CPB people, one by outside 'experts', another by the Public, and then draw from all of them? etc.

NOTE: "Public Media should be Open Media" CMS, Codecs, standards, players, and other tools should as far as possible be FOSS. Licensing should as far as possible be Public Domain and/or Creative Commons [Attribution-(non?)Commercial-(Sharealike?)]


Station Resource Group NPR PBS APM - American Public Media PRI (cable access stations?) (LPFM stations?)

A-REPS (The NPR Authorized Representatives) IMA SRG (Station Resource Group)

Digital Distribution Task Force (?)


Digital Distribution Consortium Public Radio Exchange Public Service Publisher NPR-station podcasting partnership NBBC (video aggregation) Public Interactive ContentDepot

  • vendors and service providers:

The Platform BrightCove Internet Online Distribution Alliance



CPB, PBS, Blinkx.com (?), NPR, PRI, APM (American Public Media), SRG (Station Resources Group), DDC (Digital Distribution Consortium), PRX (Public Radio Exchange), and PI (Public Interactive).

Ford Foundation Future of Public Media initiative. See grantees list: http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/blogs/future_of_public_media/dec07fordupdates/

Integrated Media Association: http://integratedmedia.org

Center for Social Media at American University

Berkman Center

Minnesota Public Radio

Denver Open Media

NPR retraining journalists

Jake Shapiro (PRX)

Michael Kleeman (Digital Futures Initiative)

Archive.org: http://archive.org

Beyond Broadcast: http://www.beyondbroadcast.net

Buzz Machine post on 'exploding public media:' http://www.buzzmachine.com/2006/07/24/exploding-public-media/

Center for Social Media Future of Public Media blog: http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/blogs/future_of_public_media/

and wiki: http://futureofpublicmedia.wikispaces.com/

Creative Commons: http://creativecommons.org

Denver Open Media: http://www.denveropenmedia.org

Manhattan Neighborhood Network: http://mnn.org


Ofcom's 'public service publisher' program (http://www.ofcom.org.uk/media/news/2005/02/nr_20050208)

Wikinews: http://wikinews.org

steve monteel: center for justice and journalism

Need to talk to Michael Parks, just came back from BBC meeting and European pubcasting

Ford Foundation has been holding meetings on 'democratic voices in global online communities'

Orland Bagwell: Ford program officer who is doing this stuff.

Peter Schwartz

Renew Media/Reframe: http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/08/reframe_moving.html

OMN, but Whither OMN now that founder/funder Mike Homer is, sadly, passing away: http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/08/27/story1.html

Miro: (formerly Democracy Player, recently got $ from Surnda Foundation as well as Mozilla): http://www.getmiro.com

Conversations Network. Jake Shapiro is on the board of this nonprofit, could play a role in a new architecture for public radio:http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/08/reframe_moving.html

Public Interactive. Sits in a key spot in the emerging digital public media space but needs reinvigorating/focus: http://www.publicinteractive.com/

NPR and WGBH combine to create new advertising/underwriting sales company: Official news: http://www.npr.org/about/press/2007/091107.npb.html

Staci has a good line on it at the end of her blurb: http://www.paidcontent.org/entry/419-npr-wgbh-to-acquire-sponsorship-rep-national-public-broadcasting/

American Archive project I was telling you about, here are some background links: http://www.current.org/dtv/dtv0708preservation.shtml http://www.cpb.org/grants/grant.php?id=104 http://www.current.org/federal/fed0702apts.shtml

More about 'My Source.'

Need to research One Economy: one-economy.com. nonprofit that does technology and poverty work. support from McCain and Obama. 'Public Internet Channel.'


Wally: I also like your idea in 5. of a four quadrant mapping -- public/private, vertical/horizontal -- but it seems to me this should start in 3., or maybe earlier, with a mapping of existing stakeholders. Presumably this will show that 1) economic and political power still resides largely in the vertical sector, both public and private; 2) there's lots going on in the horizontal/private sector; and 3) the horizontal/public sector is still relatively underdeveloped.

I assume that you intend "public" to include both government and nonprofit organizations.

The next section (your 4.) then focuses on what's happening in the horizontal/public sector, leading to a discussion (your 5.) of how media in general, and public media in particular, may evolve within and between the four quadrants. I'd expect to see substantial movement from vertical to horizontal, and less of a bright line between horizontal public and private as more hybrids and partnerships form. But you may have different scenarios, and I look forward to discussing all this with you.

I agree that the conclusions/next steps (6.) should focus on building a participatory dialog process which would complement Ernie's proposal to Carnegie, but would be worth doing in any event.

One dimension not covered in the four quadrants is content/conduit, which is now largely but not entirely bundled in the vertical sectors, and unbundled in the horizontal sectors. That may imply that distribution in a p2p world becomes less critical for the future of public media, but somebody -- public or private -- has to build and operate the underlying distribution networks.

We should include international examples that serve as models or provide lessons learned for public media evolution toward the horizontal sector. Certainly the BBC's initiatives and Ofcom's PSP, but also the examples from Korea that you've spoken of, and others that you think are relevant.

For section 2, I'll include CPB, PBS, Blinkx.com (?), NPR, PRI, APM (American Public Media), SRG (Station Resources Group), DDC (Digital Distribution Consortium), PRX (Public Radio Exchange), and PI (Public Interactive). These are primarily vertical entities. Are there others, particularly public horizontal entities, that exist now and should be included?

KCRW as a case study

Worry about the 'death' public broadcasting

'Connect the best of the bubbling stew of new media to the institutions of public media'

best practices in public media

Propose the participatory 'new carnegie commission' - who would manage it?

- internationalize the conversation

- do a korea case study


Notes from Online News Managers talk Oct 3 2007

'It's a conversation, stupid' wikis, blogs, social networking and mainstream journalism

- The LA Times wikitorial debacle (but they didn't talk to anyone about how to actually do a wiki). - Seattle Post Intelligencer talk. UGC is now fully integrated into what they do.

-CNN (basically saying that they need to embrace participatory journalism. "I reporter" project. Showed clips from CNN i report (their logo even looks like an indymedia logo) from Burma.

- Yahoo news. They recently took down most of their message boards. They are focusing on the 2008 elections. Pulling in Flickr, using Yahoo Answers, Groups, MyBlogLog.

- Kinsey Wilson took down message boards in 2003-4 because people were making threats against th president.

- Newsvine.com.

Question: re: collective licensing. revenue sharing.

Public Media question

- Minessota public media isn't really engaging the community. They are sending out surveys. Some other stations might be doing better stuff.

- One problem of public radio is that the reason for the existence of the public media is in question. Perhaps social media replaces public media.

- NPR: developing a new mobile service. Local numbers that people can call to hear local stories. Trying lots of different avenues. Some of NPR online has been held back by the desires of local NPR stations.

- Supports NPR podcasts. Would like to donate to the local producers.


- Shouldn't have to go to the site to get the content you want to get. People are consuming content via RSS. But how do you monetize content? It's easy to monetize content on sites. There are CPMs. But what about viewing content on someone else's site? In an email? In an RSS reader?

2/3 of viewers aren't coming through their sites.


- panel is 4 white men and 2 white women. - online news doesn't reflect diverse communities any more than traditional media does. - language diversity - be sure that you take content via cell phones


- Consider various scenarios of what the communication ecology might look like. For example: 2 axes: public <----> private / horizontal <---> vertical (consider alternative axes to map things on)

Include the various actors and relationship to public media: Mass Media (PSAs and fairness doctrine) Web 2.0 (net neutrality, access, required or suggested 'feature' PSAs?) 'Public Minded' Entrepreneurs (Current.tv, IWTV) Big Pubcasters (PBS, NPR) Little Public Media (LPFM, Cable Access) Public institutions (Schools, Libraries, Museums, Archives) Youth Media Indymedia Spanish language press / public spanish language media? etc. Map all these, relationships


The Digital Distribution Consortium (DDC) Overview

DDC overview notes

A working group to discuss the future of NPR. Created a business plan. Bracketed issues of "governance, ownership, and the role of existing investments and infrastructure" in order to arrive at common ground.

p. 6: “create once, publish everywhere” (COPE)

- revenue sharing (good! keep this).

- creative commons? - User generated content role? Motions towards bringing in new producers but not spelled out much. But also, they are doing 'b2b' backend. hmmm.

p. 7 Sales and Business Development - they are thinking primarily of major national sponsors. Do they consider possibilities for localizing sponsorship and sales? geolocative sponsorship. 'dynamic' sponsorship inserts based on user location? etc.

NOTE: "Geolocal sponsorship"

p 8: how about deals with as many mobile providers as possible to get free DDC content via mobile (where users currently have to pay for most commercial content).

[NOTE: they do mention "There is also the potential for presenters to insert local underwriting and/or station branding into the content itself – a system that poses technical and business challenges but provides an opportunity for stations to leverage local underwriting relationships across the content, more directly support station memberships and audience loyalty, and create new revenue." Take the local underwriting idea further.]

NOTE: "Mobile Must Carry" [? Perhaps not necessary if open mobile / neutral platform. And Simon says Dead on Arrival. But still useful to think about this question: how to get commercial mobile carriers to provide featured spots in menus, etc. to public interest media.] At a minimum this means content menu listing spot. Ideally also means actually carry/serve the content to mobile users for free.

-emphasis on free and open access to content is good

- FOSS platform? - open codecs?

NOTE: "Public Media should be Open Media" CMS, Codecs, standards, players, and other tools should as far as possible be FOSS. Licensing should as far as possible be Public Domain and/or Creative Commons [Attribution-(non?)Commercial-(Sharealike?)]

- does it make sense to build the thing tailored to audio content, or make it video as well from the start? how about photos?

- what is the relationship to the National Archive? To Archive.org?

- shouldn't platform and codecs sync across as many government media archives as possible? (NPR, PBS, National Archives, Museums, Libraries, Schools, etc?)

- Doesn't have to be (or make sense to be) the SAME archive. But should coordinate on standards & metadata. And standards should be free and open.

Governance? (board(s), hierarchy, who reports to who) Accountability? (community board(s)?) Ownership? (public, private, mixed, etc)

Random ideas

  • can we get net neutrality into WTO/GATS telecom chapter?

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