Public Media Scan: Four About Race

The opening page of The Washington Post project, "The N Word"

The Scan isn’t usually themed — or, rather, it isn’t themed beyond “projects that suggest new directions in tech, public media, or storycraft.”

This week, however, a few thoughtful projects collided in conversations and online.

The interactive game Parable of the Polygons drifted across my feed on Tuesday, courtesy of user Guillaume Pasquier. The same day, I was talking to Peter Clowney, the managing director of APM’s National Content Development and Arts & Ideas Programming, about diversity in public media, and he mentioned “The N Word” from The Washington Post — which I hadn’t seen.

had seen “The Whiteness Project” from PBS, which has taken some heat for existing, but I hadn’t figured out how to place it in the context of the Scan.

Then the Third Coast International Audio Festival posted the recording of what, for my money, was one of the most useful and important sessions at the 2014 Third Coast Conference. Shereen Marisol Meraji of Code Switch explains how newsrooms can acknowledge race, and look deeper for great stories.

It all felt like it had to come together in one place:

• Two interactive docs about race: “The N Word” from The Washington Post. “The Whiteness Project” from PBS. Necessary conversations. How could they be better?

• Parable of the Polygons. Indie designers Vi Hart and Nicky Case took a Nobel-winning paper about segregation, made a game.

• ‘Run Toward the Stereotypes. With Respect.’ Shereen Marisol Meraji’s Third Coast session about race and reporting is smart, entertaining, full of take-aways. Long; worth it.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading.
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