Orgs band together on digital network

PBS, NPR, others team on Public Media Platform

PBS and NPR are joining together with other public media outlets to create a digital content database and distribution network for use by other news orgs.

Partners in the project, called the Public Media Platform, also include American Public Media, Public Radio International, and Public Radio Exchange.

Spearheading the effort is Kinsey Wilson, senior vp and g.m. of NPR Digital Media. Wilson said that the next six months of research (funded by a $1 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) will determine the business model for the venture and the rules for how it will provide content to other outlets. It is not designed to be used by the public, Wilson said.

“It’s important that people understand that we’re not proposing to build a big public-facing web portal,” Wilson said.

There’s no sked yet for the rollout of the software that will allow clients access to the database. It will likely be a piecemeal project with the first part targeted to be the news component. Wilson said the goal is to have it function like a wire service.

Wilson also said the new digital content will hopefully be provided to other orgs free of charge, but there may be provisions on how media outlets can use the material (similar to Creative Commons licenses).

Some programs or news streams may also be funded by corporate underwriting.

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