Stations Engage Communities through Interactive Media

In the latest posting from PBS Engage, Lauren Saks muses on the social media efforts of some local stations:

PBS is gearing up for South by Southwest, so I have been extra keen on all things Texas lately.  KLRU combines documentary filmmaking and audience participation to bring us Docubloggers - part professionally produced short stories, part user-generated storytelling.  Thanks to Docubloggers, I am up-to-date on everything from Austin weather to an extraordinary local tattoo artist and a synchronized singing fish-car.  Take a look to see what I mean.

Docubloggers represents only one of the ways that PBS stations are using the Web not only to engage their own communities, but also to share local stories with the world. 

Other interactive projects that have caught my eye?

I get a lot of emails from viewers with story ideas, so I like to keep an eye on Boston's WGBH Lab.  Using the Sandbox feature, I can make my own documentaries (using clips already on the site, or my own) or mash-ups.  Then I can pitch my idea in the Open Call section to see if my story can make it from pipe dream to tv.


Another example, I've never been to Miami, but I know a lot about the people that live there. How? WPBT offers up video submitted by community members sharing news, ideas and more, as part of its uVu project.

PBS stations have always showcased the life of the communities they serve - that's nothing new. What's new is how the Web lets stations share this local media with the rest of the world.  These are just a few of the PBS stations and programs reaching out to communities.  The Engage gallery highlights more projects happening right now across the country. 

Is your station using the web to connect people?  Let me know about it in the comments section below.  I am always looking for new ways to explore the USA from my computer in DC.

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