Public Media Scan: Get Us Talking

The Public Media Scan is mostly about multimedia projects — work that illustrates our colleagues’ explorations at the boundaries of craft, creativity or technology.

But every now and then, the boundaries are expressed in a more traditional form — like Melody Kramer’s essay investigating what it means to be a member of a public media station, one of the most popular things we’ve shared on the Scan. This week, one of the three spots goes to an essay that follows up on Third Coast International Audio Festival’s conference last week.

Ashley Milne-Tyte, creator of “The Broad Experience,” challenged some of the conventional wisdom about what it takes for a podcast to attract financial support. (In Nieman Reports Magazine, NPR’s vice president for programming, Eric Nuzum, said podcasts have an advantage over broadcast because “’you can have what we lovingly call a tribe’ — perhaps 50,000 to 60,000 engaged listeners.”) Podcasters at Third Coast suggested that that number is both discouraging and an overestimate — and the conversation is important enough to indies and the pubmedia ecosystem that we had to include Milne-Tyte’s essay in this week’s Scan:

I Got You a Comet. Randall Munroe, author of the web comic xkcd, created a science explainer for the ages with real-time sketches from the (imagined) point of view of the Philae lander. (If the gif scrolls too quickly, flip through at your own pace.)

Cash Crowd. Fresh off of the Third Coast Conference, Ashley Milne-Tyte challenges the idea that podcasts need 20,000 listeners to turn a profit.

This Is Going to Be Big. Scratch that. “This.” is going to be big: The new site (in beta now) lets users/aspiring tastemakers share one and only one link per day. So far, a lot of those links come from public media.

If you enjoy AIR’s weekly blast of craft and inspiration, invite colleagues to sign up, and send recommendations for the Scan to me at