The Center for Social Media released a report that asks the important questions “What constitutes a ‘public’?” and “Are public media ‘interactive’ media, then?” The Center for Social Media has a great advantage in looking at public broadcasting from outside in, rather than from the inside [a view possibly tainted by idealistic thoughts of what should be, rather than what is.]
It all gives pause for thought — what are the old guard of public media [radio & TV] doing to make the experience richer for the consumer? Is it the call-in shows that are quickly evolving, like the BBC World Service’s “World Have Your Say”? Is it in the comments on station blogs like at Iowa Public Radio? Is it in social networking tools like Public Action on KPLU or Flickr on KQED? Yes, yes, and yes.
If that old guard is looking to appeal to a public that is more media-savvy than ever before, then that appeal will have to be made in those spaces other than the airwaves they are used to. The Braintag Blog has an terrific post about this very topic.
This concept is not new; Bertolt Brecht said as much in 1932! Braintag pointed this item out as well. Get on with this:
“…radio is one-sided when it should be two-. It is purely an apparatus for distribution, for mere sharing out. So here is a positive suggestion: change this apparatus over from distribution to communication. The radio would be the finest possible communication apparatus in public life, a vast network of pipes. That is to say, it would be if it knew how to receive as well as to transmit, how to let the listener speak as well as hear, how to bring him into a relationship instead of isolating him. On this principle the radio should step out of the supply business and organize its listeners as suppliers. Any attempt by the radio to give a truly public character to public occasions is a step in the right direction.”