KALW steps up to transform public media

Jan 10, 2012

This past December, the Association of Independents in Radio, Inc. (AIR) selected KALW as a finalist in a new national competition to extend tap roots into the local community and broaden the station’s service to a wider public. Hundreds of producers and radio and television stations across the U.S. responded to the call for proposals. Winners will be announced on January 20, 2012.

Localore is a $2 million initiative produced by Boston-based AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio. More than $1 million in funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will support station-based innovation teams for up to one year.  The teams are tasked with bringing their ingenuity to blend digital and broadcast technology, and invent new forms of storytelling that will appeal beyond public broadcasting’s traditional core audience. KALW was one of 61 stations across the nation (see map) – from Native reservations to major market radio and television outlets – that threw their hats into the ring by posting a video profile to the unprecedented Localore Station Runway. The result is an extraordinary display of a diverse industry eager to experiment with new approaches to news and narrative.

KALW is encouraging local listeners and partners to help spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, and by embedding the Localore Runway on various website and blogs to send a strong message about about the Bay Area's excitement about the project and commitment to public media.

Localore has drawn keen interest from both inside and outside of public broadcasting, in part because the initiative resonates with efforts to revitalize local reporting across the nation. KALW's push to deepen local ties comes at a time when Clear Channel Communications, the largest commercial station holder in the U.S., continues to divest its investment in local talent and stations. Since Localore.net launched on September 15, the site has attracted more than 5,800 unique visitors, and spurred a rush of creative proposals from independent and station-based journalists, filmmakers, game designers, documentarians and multimedia producers.

“We're thrilled to join AIR in the effort to advance a new generation of public media service,” said KALW News Director Holly Kernan. 

AIR will announce the 10 winning producers and incubator stations early in 2012. If selected, KALW will not only have the chance to work collaboratively with an inventive production team, but will become an integral part of a “new network” of innovators seeking to reinvent public media for the 21st century. In March, AIR will invite finalist teams to Boston for a Public Media Lab, where they’ll have the chance to meet with pioneers in multiplatform news production and technology development.

“Our ambition with Localore is to work closely with our stations and producers to create a public media that serves all of America,” said Sue Schardt, AIR’s Executive Director. Over the past five years, AIR has emerged as a force for identifying, cultivating, and deploying talent to the benefit of the public media network.

AIR is a vibrant, tightly networked association of producers, journalists, hackers, technicians, media entrepreneurs, and sound artists. Founded in 1988, AIR’s membership now spans 46 states and 14 countries worldwide including leading stations, 501c3’s, and public media networks – APM, BBC, NPR, and PRI. In addition to CPB, financial support for Localore comes from the MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Embed the Station Runway on your site or blog: http://airmediaworks.org/share-love