Got Zing? – Public Media’s Ripple Effects

How should public media measure success?

Must we use the same yardsticks created by and for commercial media?

Or do mission-driven media have other “ways and means” to evaluate themselves and assess if they are making enough of a difference?

What does success look like in the saturated, digital, multiplatform world of engagement?

Is sustainability “all that” in our rapidly evolving media environment?

These are some of the questions tossed and tackled by AIR Executive Director Sue Schardt and media researcher Jessica Clark in their new paper: Spreading the Zing:  Re-imagining Public Media through Makers Quest 2.0.

Clark is the Director of the Future of Public Media project at the Center for Social Media, part of the American University School of Communications. Schardt is the creator of MQ2, the CPB-funded project to support producer-led innovation in digital storytelling and social networking. Their groundbreaking report is being released this week.

They write, “There is an opportunity to move beyond established standards of success that have defined public broadcasting productions of the past. These standards, such as listener loyalty, were defined by the limitations of the broadcast technology. The profound evolution of media forms and approaches to craft as demonstrated by projects like MQ2 call for a new vision of who public media users are, what effect multiplatform work has on them, and whether they are being encouraged to learn, debate, and act as informed members of a democracy.”

I invite you to read the study, spread it around, then join the conversation two ways: First of all, please post your comments right here on the MQ2 blog. Secondly, join us for Webinar sponsored by PRPD, Public Radio Program Directors, on Tuesday, June 1 at 2 pm. The webinar will share the key insights from this new research paper and will also feature Kara Oehler and Ann Heppermann, two of the collaborators behind MQ2s break out project: Mapping Main Street

Watch this space or visit AIRMedia for information on how to register for the free webinar. Until then, I look forward to seeing your impressions of the Zing report below.