This white paper lays out an expanded vision for “public media 2.0” that places engaged publics at its core, showcasing innovative experiments from its “first two minutes,” and revealing related trends, stakeholders, and policies. Public media 2.0 may look and function differently, but it will share the same goals as the projects that preceded it: educating, informing, and mobilizing its users.
Multiplatform, participatory, and digital, public media 2.0 will be an essential feature of truly democratic public life from here on in. And it’ll be media both for and by the public. The grassroots mobilization around the 2008 electoral campaign is just one signal of how digital tools for making and sharing media open up new opportunities for civic engagement.
But public media 2.0 won’t happen by accident, or for free. The same bottom-line logic that runs media today will run tomorrow’s media as well. If we’re going to have media for vibrant democratic culture, we have to plan for it, try it out, show people that it matters, and build new constituencies to invest in it.
The first and crucial step is to embrace the participatory—the feature that has also been most disruptive of current media models. We also need standards and metrics to define truly meaningful participation in media for public life. And we need policies, initiatives, and sustainable financial models that can turn today’s assets and experiments into tomorrow’s tried-and-true public media.
Public media stakeholders, especially such trusted institutions as public broadcasting, need to take leadership in creating a true public investment in public media 2.0.