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Public Radio, TV Plan a Shared Digital Content Platform

Effort includes American Public Media, NPR, PBS, Public Radio International, Public Radio Exchange

Public radio and television are developing a shared distribution network. Its stated goal is to enable public broadcasters and web producers to combine, create, share and distribute their news and cultural content. The idea is to extend their content reach.

The effort is being spearheaded by five national program producers: American Public Media, NPR, PBS, Public Radio International and the Public Radio Exchange.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is providing about $1 million over six months to create development plans and a prototype of what the partners are calling the Public Media Platform.

NPR is administering the grant that will fund the planning phase. Fully developed, the PMP will serve as a technology backbone enabling non-compatible systems to connect.

At the core of the PMP is an open Application Programming Interface. The organizers believe this API will simplify the sharing, combining and distributing of news and educational content to member organizations and the public. It will be available to the public media partners as well as public radio and TV stations, independent producers and other content developers. The partners think the PMP could be used for mobile apps, third-party sites, blogs, mash-ups, and widgets.

An advisory council will meet over the next six months alongside the PMP leadership team. Members include: Document Cloud, iTVs, KPBS(FM) and Television in San Diego, KQED(FM) and Television in San Francisco, Louisville Public Media, Mashery, Miro, National Black Programming Consortium, North Country Public Radio, the Station Resource Group and WGBH(FM) and Television, Boston.

NPR President/CEO Vivian Schiller made the announcement at the Wired Business Conference this week.