Articles

This Is Big

So this is big, this inauguration thing. It makes me think big, the whole wide world big. The CPB, NPR, and PBS were thinking big too when early this month they sent a letter to Obama declaring that the public media community “stand[s] ready to serve and respond to an increasingly diverse America in ways that are both innovative and inclusive…and through community engagement and interactive content, help Americans shape their future.”

The letter outlined projects that with government support would strengthen the public media infrastructure, and as a result strengthen the economy and civil society. The projects would preserve and create jobs in the short run, and in the long run, they would extend the reach of a social system that helps people address community needs.

The thing is, the letter argues, public media is already doing the work that needs done for a stronger long run. It’s different from most media systems in the way that it marries local control with national reach, and its values are squarely public service values. And isn’t this the very kind of system that will allow a new-media democracy to thrive? Obama seems to think so, if his open-sourced campaign and his call to the American people for self-governance is any indication. Pumping up public media would be a simple way for him to make things better.

Of course many industries are thinking big about their future under Obama’s star. This is a good thing, even if they can’t all get a piece of the stimulus package. This is what MQ2 is all about, thinking big about the future of public media. We can grow our public media campaign, so to speak, just like Obama grew his campaign, through integrated social media and the power of individual, inspired producers. Media makers, lead the way.