AIR Names WYSO to Lead Public Media Transformation
Ten teams from coast to coast join forces
After a stiff national competition this fall, the Association of Independents in Radio, Inc. (AIR) today announced 91.3 WYSO as one of ten public radio and television stations tapped for Localore, a producer-led transmedia project challenging public broadcasters to invent new forms of reporting that expand service to a wider public.
Yellow Springs filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar, were chosen as the “Localore” producing team that will spend ten months at WYSO launching and leading “Re-Invention,” a participatory documentary examining how residents of the Miami Valley are reinventing themselves in a new and unstable economy. Producers will ask residents: “Who was I before the bottom fell out? What happened that changed my life? Who am I becoming, or trying to become now?”
“This project will strengthen our creative capacity and our ability to fulfill our service to the community by telling the stories of the Miami Valley,” says Neenah Ellis, WYSO General Manager, “And at the same time, Localore as a whole will demonstrate to others around the nation that local stations can step up to create more vital and expanded services around the country. “
In a unique approach to documentary-making, Reichert and Bognar will collaborate with WYSO and the Miami Valley residents who will be telling their stories. The final result will include film, radio and on-line documentaries.
Reichert and Bognar produced the Emmy Award- winning “A Lion In The House “and the Oscar-nominated “The Last Truck.” Reichert is Professor of Motion Pictures at Wright State University and a three time Oscar nominee, Bognar has premiered four films at the Sundance Film Festival. The couple reside and work in Yellow Springs.
WYSO is among those “incubating” a Localore collaborative team whose members come from inside and outside public media and include independent and station based producers, distinguished documentary filmmakers, gamers, data journalists, and front-edge developers. The project will launch in April.
Localore is a $2 million initiative produced by Boston-based AIR. More than $1 million in funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will support the local collaboration teams. The goal of the project is to bring new ingenuity to journalism projects blending digital and broadcast technology and that “go outside” public media’s core platforms and audiences.
With guidance from a distinguished Selection Committee, AIR chose from proposals submitted to an open call this autumn, including 61 profiles posted by a diverse range of stations to the unprecedented Station Runway. (See WYSO’s multimedia profile here.] Localore’s site has already sparked broad interest, drawing in more than 7,200 unique visitors over the course of the competition.
Other selected stations include KALW-FM, San Francisco, California; KCRW-FM, Los Angeles, California; KQED Radio and Television, San Francisco, California; KUT-FM, Austin, Texas; KVNF-FM, Paonia, Colorado; Prairie Public Broadcasting, Fargo, North Dakota; Twin Cities Public Television, Minneapolis, Minnesota; WBEZ-FM, Chicago, Illinois and WGBH Radio and Television, Boston Massachusetts. See the following page for project details.
“We are so excited and honored to be working with WYSO, the best and most forward-thinking public radio station in the country,” said Reichert and Bognar.
“We expect great things from this collaboration, and will be working with WYSO, Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar to amplify the project’s impact as it rolls out,” said Sue Schardt, AIR’s Executive Director.
Over the past five years, AIR has emerged as a force for identifying, cultivating, and deploying talent to the benefit of the public media network. Founded in 1988, AIR is a vibrant, tightly networked association of more than 800 producers, journalists, technicians, media entrepreneurs, and sound artists. AIR’s membership now spans 46 states and 14 countries worldwide including leading stations, 501c3’s, and public media networks – APM, BBC, NPR, and PRI. In addition to CPB, financial support for Localore comes from the MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
WYSO 91.3 FM is licensed to Antioch University with studios in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Its broad range of programming, including NPR News, is distributed across multiple platforms: FM, HD, internet streaming and on mobile devices as well.
Learn more about Localore: http://airmediaworks.org/localore
Localore 2012 Producer-Station Teams
Julia Reichert & Steven Bognar/ WYSO, Yellow Springs, OH: Veteran documentary filmmakers and Yellow Springs residents Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar will produce a participatory documentary calleed “Re-Invention,” examining how residents of the Miami Valley are reinventing themselves in a new and unstable economy. Producers will ask residents: “Who was I before the bottom fell out? What happened that changed my life? Who am I becoming, or trying to become now?”
Jennifer Brandel / WBEZ, Chicago, IL: Curious City: Let’s Get Answers will prompt audience members to pose, rank, and help to answer relevant questions about community and news topics through online and mobile tools. Designed to democratize editorial research and story selection, the project will make the reporting process transparent at every step, and surface key issues for further exploration.
Anayansi Diaz-Cortes / KCRW, Los Angeles, CA: How do immigrants’ ideas of self and place shift in an era of always-on communication? Multiplatform documentary Sonic Trace will explore the relationship of Latin American immigrants to their home communities. Diaz-Cortes will gather stories from both sides of the border, with a focus on three evocative places (“Tres Puntos”) in LA: a church in South Central, Koreatown kitchens where Oaxacan cooks are rising in popularity, and a mobile recording booth in local food trucks.
Julia Drapkin / KVNF, Paonia, CO: iSeeChange is a crowdsourced reporting project that will draw from participants’ everyday observations about shifts in the weather. Inspired by successful “citizen science” projects, Drapkin will elicit photos, quotes and art submitted by local ranchers, coal miners, and others vitally affected by environmental shifts—showcasing debates about climate through a mobile documentary unit, weekly broadcasts, and multimedia explorations of each season.
Ken Eklund / Twin Cites Public Television, Minneapolis, MN: What should today’s high school seniors know before they head out on their own? This question will drive Get Real Ed, a participatory alternate reality game that asks users to provide real-world solutions for the nation’s pressing dropout crisis. The game will revolve around five fictional “OpOuts” led by the strong-willed Edwina, whose interactions with participants will both shape the game’s trajectory and prompt lively dialogue about the state of U.S. education.
Delaney Hall / KUT, Austin, Texas: Beyond Austin’s much-documented music scene lie the “third places” where musicians regularly meet, perform, and commune: front porches, backyards, garages, sidewalks, and churches. Austin Music Map (AMM) is a collaborative documentary and performance series exploring Austin’s diverse sonic subcultures, and offering users a digital map to discover and learn more about such spots. The project will culminate with a celebratory music festival.
Todd Melby / Prairie Public Broadcasting, Fargo, ND: Through embedded reporting from the oil patches and “mancamps” of North Dakota, Black Gold Boom will catalyze discussion about the local and national impacts of the region’s rush to drill. An interactive site featuring multimedia portraits of workers who have streamed to the state and the families they left behind will accompany a related photo exhibit mounted in local businesses. Data-driven reporting and mapping of active oil wells will provide deeper context for individuals’ stories.
Erica Mu / KALW, San Francisco, CA: A roving crowdsourced storytelling project based in the Bay area and Oakland, Pop-Up Radio aims to build connections between these disparate communities through a series of playful events and broadcasts. Mu will gather stories in 2-month cycles around six themes—via a mobile recording booth, online, and in concert with community partners such as schools, youth media programs, libraries and barbershops.
Nikki Silva (Kitchen Sisters) / KQED Radio and Television, San Francisco, CA: Northern California is America's ground zero for innovation. Two of public media's most influential native institutions join forces to bring together a young, diverse collaborative team from inside and outside public media to bridge dynamic communities of invention in new ways. They'll tap the worlds of interactive media, Berkeley School of Information, transmedia documentarians, and young ethnic producers to create THE MAKING OF... an exciting, year-long initiative reflecting the universality of craft across culture, ethnicity, and socioeconomic divides.
Val Wang / WGBH, Boston, MA: Planet Takeout highlights the role that Chinese restaurants play as vital crossroads between cultures in neighborhoods in Boston and beyond. This participatory, multiplatform documentary project aims to break down barriers between the Chinese immigrants running these hyperlocal establishments, and the diverse customers they serve, through mobile storytelling, face-to-face dialogues, and an interactive site documenting the restaurants’ eclectic visual flavor.