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Ford Foundation Initiative – Fostering Experimentation for Tomorrow’s Public Media

The Ford Foundation’s Future of Public Media initiative brings together an alliance of leading nonprofits whose work forges the public media structures and projects of tomorrow. The group continues to introduce new, experimental practices that redefine the role of public media in the future. Here are some of the projects that they’re working on this month:


Native American Public Communications is partnering with Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center on the VisionMaker Film Festival, which includes a series of short, viral videos discovered through social networking sites, giving online content an offline venue.

Link TV will broadcast Chahinaz: What Rights For Women?, a film focusing on women’s’ rights in Algeria and an excellent example of documentary film content’s ability to inform the public on important global issues.


WGBH Boston held discussions at Harvard and American University on how copyright law and practice in the digital age are affecting public broadcasting. WBGH is crafting an agenda for copyright reform for public broadcasting.

The National Black Public Consortium's New Media Institute is training minority producers for innovative new media content creation. This year's project will be documenting the Mississippi Blues Trails, using various new media genre like locative media, short form video, interactive online content, online games and audio/video podcasts.


PBS’s Engage Program is an advisory board of public media executives who use their experience and creativity to brainstorm on new, innovative ways to foster experimentation in social media on the PBS and affiliate websites. If you’re interested, contact Natalie Harari.

The NonProfit Finance Fund, which helps nonprofits strengthen their business models, continues to offer financial training sessions through mid-December in Boston, Detroit, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. for media nonprofits. Media nonprofits look to be some of the most vital engines of tomorrow’s public media.


The Sundance Institute is funding projects in 14 different countries, representing their commitment to providing documentary content for community-building, international connections, and resource-sharing in the nexus of human rights and public media.

ITVS Filmocracy is a new, short-films community created to encourage young viewers to engage online with the PBS series Independent Lens, bringing public media content across the generations.


PUBLIC INTERACTIVE (PI) is producing an election version of its NewsRoom module, using the latest digital media technologies to distribute widely cutting-edge and engaging coverage of election news to the public.