Beyond Broadcast Conference May 12 & 13, 2006

Beyond Broadcast: Reinventing Public Media in a Participatory Culture

An open convening at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School.

May 12-13 2006


We will explore the thesis that traditional public media – public broadcasting, cable access television, etc – face a unique opportunity to embrace new participatory web-based media models – podcasting, video blogs, social software, etc – and create a stronger and more vital public service.

This convening builds on related conversations taking place over this past year in the public broadcasting, technology, policy, and foundation communities. In particular, the Ford Foundation has recently launched a 5-year $50M initiative titled “Strengthening Public Media: Global Perspectives in a Digital Age”. The Center for Social Media at American University has started a “Future of Public Media” program. The Center for Digital Democracy has held a series of public media ‘caucuses’ around the country. Strategic discussions have been held between public broadcasting executives and technologists, entrepreneurs, and citizen media makers. The first Open Source Media Developers Summit took place in November 2005 at New York University. The Integrated Media Association tackled these topics in Seattle at the annaul gathering for public broadcasters. The Berkman Center has fostered related several projects and discussions, including Global Voices, the Public Radio Exchange, Radio Open Source, the Digital Media Project, and the forthcoming Citizen Media Center from Dan Gillmor.

The goal of this convening is threefold:

* to create an opportunity for interaction between active participants in traditional public media and participatory web-based efforts;
* to showcase and discuss the latest projects and models emerging faster than anyone can keep track of;
* to cultivate a shared understanding of the potential and meaning of a renewed public media role.

Day two of the convening will be the second Open Media Developers Summit, focusing on technology through open discussions and demos.

Discussion Topics

* What's happening: what are some successful or provocative examples of broadcasters incorporating participatory efforts into their work right now? How are the emerging web-only media organizatios approaching this?

* How to reinvent the space: How do we take advantage of the strengths of the existing services – that is the trust of public broadcasting brand, the participatory aspect of citizen media – in creating public media space? How do we moderate or curate? What is the 'community' dimension in new media models?

* Sustainability: – what's the business model, how are spaces that are now creating original material maintained? What potential is there for revenue models?

* Law and Policy: What are the most pressing and relevant legal issues in the intersection of the changing role of traditional public broadcasting, and the creation and growth of public participation media?
(i) Telecom regulation (network neutrality, innovation, competition)
(ii) Broadcast regulation (public interest, localism, universalism, diversity, spectrum space)
(iii)IP and Copyright law (rights and licensing)

To read more about the conference and to learn how to register visit the Beyond Broadcast Wiki here.

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