This week, LEF Program Director Sara Archambault shares these thoughts:

We are extremely fortunate in New England to have a wealth of media innovation growing from our region. Much of this activity is centered in Boston at the universities or through start-ups. One such organization making ripples that start here and send waves across the world is AIR – the Association of Independents in Radio. AIR is at the hub of innovative platforms in storytelling for public media throughout the US.

For those of you who are unaware of its work, AIR represents a network of over one thousand independent media producers (audio, multi-platform, public media works) in 29 countries throughout the world. In addition to supporting their core constituency through conferences, mentorships, information, and networking, AIR is inspiring inventive work and collaboration in the public media space. This started in 2010 in their new talent search “Media Quest” that sought to invite new voices into public media (so successful there was an MQ2 a year later! The show SNAP JUDGEMENT is one outcome from this work). This was followed in 2013 by the LOCALORE initiative – an initiative that partnered independent producers with public media organizations in an effort to create sustainable “full spectrum” storytelling (on the air, online, in the streets) connecting stations to their communities in more direct and meaningful ways. LOCALORE resulted in a number of successful projects, some of which continue to this day like BLACK GOLD BOOM, CURIOUS CITY (now Hearken), and iSEECHANGE.

Building on this success, AIR recently announced the collaborators in their newest initiative LOCALORE: FINDING AMERICA. Similar to the last Localore collection, these projects pair gifted independent producers and local public media outlets with a goal of creating new models in storytelling with the ability to draw in audiences new to public media. Please visit this link to learn more about this fantastic collection of fifteen projects about to take off from public media stations across the country.

If this inspires your curiosity, do read AIR Executive Director Sue Schardt’s comments at the gathering of these troops in Boston, getting them ready to go out into the world and create. Sue is a force to be reckoned with, helping to create change across the public media spectrum and taking us all back to Johnson’s 1967 mandate for public broadcasting dedicated “ the enlightenment of all the people.”

In fact, if you’re truly nerdy, like me, you might want to go back and read Johnson’s remarks too – just for fun.

There’s something paradoxical about Lyndon Johnson’s 1967 mandate for a
public broadcasting system bringing “enlightenment to all the people of
the United States.”

– Sara Archambault

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