PBS Announces Breakthough, Local/National, Videostreaming Resource: American Field Guide
ALEXANDRIA, VA, February 13, 2001 - The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB)today announce the creation of AMERICAN FIELD GUIDE - an unprecedented initiative for local/national online programming. This searchable, videostreaming Web site will offer content covering the outdoors and environment created by more than twenty local public television stations from across the country. Topics will include conservation, the environment, earth science, recreation, outdoor history, and more. The innovative digital video library, to be hosted on PBS.org and offered through PBS's local/national cobranding model, is targeted for launch in spring 2001.
PBS and OPB want nature lovers and educational communities to find AMERICAN FIELD GUIDE accessible and well organized, and AMERICAN FIELD GUIDE will be designed to help users find video clips effectively and quickly. Users will enter keywords or select from among designated categories. A search engine supplied by Virage, Inc., a leading provider of videostreaming services, will then return lists of relevant video clips accompanied by text, and links to additional materials on the Web. Some clips will also offer teacher resource materials, including lesson plans.
Working with Virage, PBS and OPB will oversee the encoding, indexing and hosting of the video and Web content. Local station producers will be trained to index the video for segmentation - one of the key ways users access video on the Internet.
"PBS is proud to support this innovative example of how digital programming can better serve audiences, including teachers and students," said Cindy Johanson, senior vice president, PBS Interactive. "AMERICAN FIELD GUIDE will drive new audiences to locally-produced content, member station Web sites, and corporate sponsors. We are delighted to support OPB's vision and expertise as they maximize the value of public broadcasting by enabling people to easily find the learning content they need."
"The opportunity for local stations is immense," said Maynard Orme, president of OPB. "AMERICAN FIELD GUIDE presents a model for stations to unlock a wealth of content and brand the content to intermingle with their own local programming. The gathering together of streaming video subject matter will build a healthy library of cleared materials that will become a destination point for educators and lifelong learners over and over again."
Oregon Public Broadcasting is one of the major providers of programs for the PBS national primetime schedule. OPB produces a variety of freestanding documentary specials and series, as well as specials for Frontline, Nova and The American Experience. OPB has an established reputation for penetrating investigative reporting on a wide range of issues in society and the natural world, and specializes in such genres as critical events and contemporary history, business/technology, travel and exploration and science.
OPB has produced major Web sites for PBS.org as well as enhanced TV prototypes, books, companion radio documentaries and extensive promotion and outreach campaigns for PBS primetime programs. OPB has also licensed its programs in 29 countries throughout the world.
PBS.org, PBS's award-winning site on the World Wide Web, produces high-quality Web programming as it pioneers the convergence of television and the Internet. PBS.org features more than 135,000 pages of content as well as companion Web sites for nearly 450 PBS programs and specials. In January 2000, Yahoo! put PBS.org at the top of its list of the best Web sites of all time.
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 347 public television stations. Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org.