NPR and PBS to Host PublicMediaCampin Connection with American University's Center for Social Media

Posted by PBS Publicity on

Collaborative Effort to Strengthen Public Media Will Use Unconference Format; Sold-Out
Event Will Convene More Than 300 Attendees from Across the Country

Washington, D.C.; Oct. 15, 2009 - This weekend PBS and NPR are hosting more than 300 community organizers, bloggers, technology developers and public media staffers at the first national PublicMediaCamp (PubCamp). PubCamp is an initiative to strengthen the relationship between public broadcasters and their communities through the development of collaborative projects, both online and offline. Beginning with a national kickoff event in Washington, D.C., scheduled on October 17th-18th, PubCamp will be followed by local events hosted by participating stations.

PubCamp intends to develop new models for local PBS and NPR stations to connect and collaborate with their communities. Using the "unconference" format, in which all the attendees organize the event activities themselves, participants will create their own sessions and work on projects organically without a previously set schedule. All attendees are encouraged to propose and lead their own sessions. More than two dozen have already been proposed on the PubCamp wiki(http://wiki.publicmediacamp.org/PubCampSession), and many more are expected to develop spontaneously over the course of the weekend.

In addition to the projects and sessions undertaken by public media staffers and enthusiasts, nearly 100 technology developers will be provided with rooms to work on creating mashups and applications to further the syndication of open content.

"The value of allowing skilled, motivated public media fans to not only join the conversation, but take an active part in creating our future is enormous," said Kinsey Wilson, NPR's Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Media. "We don't have all the answers, but we do have a nationwide network of NPR stations that are already connected to their communities. Like the Digital Think-In we hosted October 9, this is a natural step to adding a new dimension to local and national relevance."

"PBS is making provocative changes both in how we work and how we present content and apps online," said PBS Senior Vice President of Interactive Jason Seiken. "We're looking forward to the creative, smart and eclectic solutions that will come from PubCamp, as well as from local station implementation of this model."

A team of journalism students from American University will be armed with inexpensive digital video cameras and other devices to record and post as many sessions as possible. All attendees will be asked to contribute any presentation materials they produce to the PubCamp Web site (http://publicmediacamp.org). This content will be published using a Creative Commons license that will allow future attendees and the general public to mix and match and help to spread the knowledge generated at the unconference. In addition, attendees will be tweeting the event throughout the day using the hashtag #pubcamp. For public media stations who are unable to attend the kickoff event, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is funding a "toolkit" that includes a step-by-step guide on how to host your own PublicMediaCamp. This toolkit is being produced in conjunction with iStrategyLabs, a social media consultancy in Washington, D.C. CPB funding is also making it possible to fly in staff and community representatives from 10 stations around the country who plan to host their own PubCamps within the next year. The PublicMediaCamp.org Web site will be used for subsequent PubCamps, so participants can build upon each other's contributions over time.

PubCamp can be accessed in several ways outlined below:

The PubCamp site:

This site will feature regular updates throughout the event, and will also serve as home to the PublicMediaCamp toolkit when it is published.

On Twitter, people can follow the event using the hashtag #pubcamp:

About NPR
NPR - www.npr.org -- is an award-winning, multimedia news organization and an influential force in American life. In collaboration with more than 880 independent public radio stations nationwide, NPR strives to create a more informed public -- one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.

About PBS
PBS, with its 356 member stations, offers all Americans - from every walk of life - the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than 115 million people on-air and online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS' broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS' premier children's TV programming and Web site, pbskids.org, are parents' and teachers' most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.

Media Contacts:

PBS: Kevin Dando, 703-436-2607 (Google Voice #), kdando@pbs.org

NPR: Danielle Deabler, 202-513-2303,ddeabler@npr.org
or Emerson Brown, 202-513-2302,ebrown@npr.org