Experiments in Engagement – Localore

The past few years have seen new energy and investment in thinking about what’s next for public media. Projects like the Public Radio Talent Quest and MQ2 have inspired an  eruption of creativity and new ideas, many of them germinating from brain trusts right here in our own backyard in Cambridge. Nellie recently wrote about Zeega and the brilliant innovations being cooked up by the likes of Jesse Shapins, Kara Oehler and James Burns. They have a partner in crime nearby in Sue Schardt from AIR (Association of Independents in Radio). In her leadership of the organization, Sue has put AIR at the forefront of innovation in storytelling and their new project Localore is just another example of the kind of vision that AIR is contributing to new experiments in public media.

Through support from the CPB, AIR is supporting 10 media producers creating new ways to “take public media ‘outside’ to the far reaches of communities, where public broadcasting is seldom engaged.”  The projects will use traditional platforms like television and radio, but also play with games, mapping, phones, and social networks in their production plans. Their goal is to provide stations with new ways to engage the community in local storytelling and a feasible plan for stations to continue this work beyond the end of the grant period.

These projects will ask:

“Where are the untold stories and how do I find them? Is there a political movement that’s affecting people? What are the rituals that bind neighbors and families together — rituals that define them over time? Who are the unseen individuals who influence, shape, or lead a community in unexpected ways or to unexpected places? How do we find them?

What is the question that will inspire people in a neighborhood to step forward and be part of our work — to become a part of public media? How can we tap all the pathways available to us — traditional broadcast and emerging digital and mobile tools — to spread these new stories, to illuminate broadly this new picture of a community?”

This is an exciting project to watch. Check it out here and be on the look out for what they come up with!

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