• Reading List: Can Audio Go Viral?

    This week, Eric Athas wrote about NPR's experiments with creating shareable audio (which this blog has mentioned in the past, not that we're obsessed). Stan Alcorn also had a few things to say. And that's what we've been reading at AIRster HQ:

    • "4 types of audio that people share" | Eric Athas for NPR 

    The sounds that light up social media, from storytellers to explainers.

    • "Is This Thing On?" | Stan Alcorn for Digg

  • Public Media Scan: Secret Messages

    Image of a music box playing a melody based on cross-stitch patterns

    Confession: This week's Scan was entirely about things that charmed me. It felt like I was getting away with something.

    Most weeks, the list is a mix of charming projects, very smart ideas (sometimes charming, sometimes not), and cool tech that might lead journalism somewhere.

    But this week?

    I was caught by the image of journalists diving into Ukrainian lake water to haul out government secrets, and the idea of listening to cross-stich patterns. Music is math, cross-stitch is math -- and now my imagination is off and running, wondering what the prelude to Bach's "Cello Suite No. 1" would look like on a sampler.

  • From the Archive: Brace for Impact

    By Erin Polgreen

    From AIR's Archive logoErin Polgreen is a self-described 24/7 Ladyjournopreneur who works at the intersection of audience engagement, news innovation, and entrepreneurship. She is the founder of Symbolia: The Tablet Magazine of Illustrated Journalism, is building the Media Ideation Fellowships, and regularly consults for a variety of foundations and media organizations, including AIR. This explanation of the mysteries of "measuring impact" for independent producers first appeared in the September 2012 AIRblast.

  • Public Media Scan: Dig deeper

    This week, I was interested in step two.

    Image of a dog in an airportYou know, there's the thing that an organization is designed to do -- study a specific kind of journalism, track viral rumors, collect and archive art. And then there's the next step after that, the one that takes the organization's area of expertise and makes something that's immediately, easily useful for anyone.

    Public media's mission is pretty clear -- "We rededicate a part of the airwaves--which belong to all the people -- and we dedicate them for the enlightenment of all the people," Lyndon Johnson said in 1967. "... [W]e must consider new ways to build a great network for knowledge -- not just a broadcast system, but one that employs every means of sending and storing information that the individual can use."

  • From the Archive: Let's Change Up PubMedia

    From the Archive logoBy Stephanie Foo

    Stephanie Foo, one of AIR's New Voices scholars, was asked by AIRblast to pose a question to some of her colleagues: "What do new pathways into public media look like?" This essay first ran in the April 2011 AIRblast.

    Most of my friends have no idea what I do.

    They know that I make radio, but they think that means I play Top 40 hits and say "Goooood morning!" live in a really deep voice. I put up a Facebook picture of Ira Glass and me chillin' together recently. One person commented, "Who's that, your new boyfriend? He's cute!"

    This should come as no surprise. Public radio has a reputation for being old, elitist, and whitewashed. Many of my friends are minorities or come from low-income backgrounds. They think that “Fresh Air” is a kind of Febreze.