Chasing innovation: Where we look

A pair of binoculars

Each week, AIR sends a very short email – the Public Media Scan – to 3,500 subscribers. It’s stripped down: three projects or ideas that offer something refreshing and new for public media.

The alumna-curators of the Public Media Scan built a simple, beautiful machine. It started with Julie Drizin, now the executive director of Current, followed by Erin Polgreen (Symbolia) and Jessica Clark (Dot Connector Studio).

When Jessica handed the Scan to me, she warned that it is meant to be “an oasis” for people who are tired of the slog of routine media and tech projects. “You will spend a lot of time looking for it,” she said.

Here are some of the places I look – an incomplete and ever-growing list. If you have ideas for more spots, please send them my way:


Media making projects

Fusion Interactive


NPR Local

Guardian Interactive

National Film Board of Canada

Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

The Beeb

TPT Rewire




Media reporting on and/or curating projects

The Nieman Lab


Poynter’s MediaWire

ONA’s Interactive Narratives

NPR’s Social Sandbox

PBS’s MediaShift

Local News Lab

Media Impact Funders

BetaKit (Canadian start-up news)

Design Taxi

JSK Journalism Challenges at Stanford


The Public Media Scan archive


Hackers, Coders and Toolmakers

MIT’s Center for Civic Media

MIT’s Open Docs Lab

Northwestern’s Knight Lab

The University of North Carolina’s Reese News Lab

BBC News Labs

Hacks Hackers


Graphics, design and data visualization

Reddit’s Data Is Beautiful channel for digital journalism

Data for Good

Information is Beautiful

Gawker’s Art Blog


Blogs and newsletters

Alberto Cairo’s The Functional Art

Lily Bui’s Chase the Wanderlust:



Melody Kramer’s newsletter, which is archived on her blog



American Press Institute’s Need to Know newsletter

Local Fix by Josh Stearns

Electronic Interestingness by Amy Webb

Real Future by Alexis Madrigal

Hot Pod by Nick Quah

Storybench by Aleszu Bajak for Northeastern University

Re:Sound from Third Coast International Audio Festival 

PRX’s station and producer newsletters


Miscellaneous (requires membership)

Museum Without Walls

Our Innovation Trackers Twitter list

Our AIR members Twitter list

Our AIR New Voices Twitter list

Public Media Innovators group on Facebook

Public Media group on Facebook