Nearly all in public TV and Radio know that we still have to do a lot more to find out what will be a more vital model. There are all sorts of experiments going on. Such as at KCET that is stepping aside from PBS - Here is a post by Doc Searls on this and a good series of comments that follow.
This promo is about what KETC in St Louis is trying.
But it is no flash in the pan but the result of 4 years of hard slogging by Jack Galmiche, his team and his trusty "get it done", Amy Shaw. They have crawled, tottered, and now are walking toward a model for public TV that has both the old - great content as TV and also the new - a trusted space where the community can work together to do important things.
Crawling - It all started in 2006 with a simple enough test - we used the showing of the then new series The War by Ken Burns - to see if we could use this show as a Social Object that would teach us how to attract people in the community to tell their stories. Here Bill Ives tells the story of this first chapter of our story.
Tottering - Our next project was to see if we could find a way to create a safe enough space for the community to get together to help each other get through the Mortgage Crisis. We first tried this at home in St Louis and then were given the chance by CPB to include 60 other stations across the nation. Here Bill tell the story.
Walking - We are now about half way through the next project on Immigration that the promo describes above. Here we have taken a topic that few can agree on and we are trying to find out if we can create a space where people can hear each other and so we hope find a way forward. This is not just about using new media - it is about using new media to have a better social outcome. Bill tells more about us here. He adds more about how I am using a novel search engine, Darwin Awareness, to find a way though the noise of the web and here about how I hope to use it to see what impact we finally make ourselves.
When we started we knew that while we had to master the new tools - this was not really about the tools - but about if we could shift our culture. This has been more challenging and painful than I ever imagined. Change is easy on paper and when it involves some one else. But I and the the folks at KETC have found that the work demands that we all have to give up a lot of whom we were and that hardly a day passes when we are not wracked by doubt.
We have a lot still to do. A metaphor that we use is Columbus. We know that land lies to the west. We know that it should be close. We have seen the odd gull and floating logs. But we have not seen land yet and have no idea what it will be like when we get there. Will it be the Indies? Will there be a pot of gold there? Meanwhile, we keep sailing on our course and have to put our hope in the big idea.
Of course when we get to land, that is only the beginning! Then we have to find out how to live there.
Like Columbus, even if we get there and it is fine, we can't stay there alone. We need people who are up for a New World to join us.
Do you want to find a better future of Public TV? If you do, you can help us by joining in and being part of this.