Category Archives: Press Releases

…And Now for the Reveal

reveal-logo-squareWEB

The Public Radio Exchange (PRX) and The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) announced at the Public Radio Program Directors Association (PRPD) conference in Atlanta that they’re partnering to create Reveal, an hour-long national radio pilot that will air starting September 28 on public radio stations across the country.

The pilot is hosted by Al Letson, creator and host of State of the Re:Union, and produced by CIR’s Susanne Reber and Marketplace alum Ben Adair.

Reveal will also give listeners a behind-the-scenes look at investigations in progress, break national investigative stories, and follow up on the impact and changes that result from these stories. Online, the Reveal website will feature data apps, video, and other ways listeners can engage with deep storytelling.

In an interview with Current, CIR’s Joaquin Alvarado (CIR’s Chief Strategy Officer) said that CIR is “multi-platform already, [but] the chance to work with PRX brings together two organizations with a lot of momentum. I feel like we’re really poised, with this relationship with PRX, to take things to a new level.”

PRX’s Managing Director John Barth states, “[Alvarado and I] both came to the same realization that there is a gap around consistent investigative journalism in public radio.” Thus, the collaboration between PRX and CIR seemed like a natural partnership.

Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX, adds, “We felt that there was really a hole in the public radio schedule for an investigative voice. This show creates a reliable, creative platform for some of the most important stories being told.”

The series premiere is slated for next fall. Tune in starting the week of September 28, and follow along on the website and social media for more updates because as we all know, there’s always more to the story.

Reveal host Al Letson (left)
Reveal host Al Letson (left)
CIR's Susanne Reber with PRX's John Barth
CIR’s Susanne Reber with PRX’s John Barth

Listen to the Reveal promo.

Follow along online:

Facebook
Twitter
Official website

PRX Remix App:
The Best Stories, In Your Pocket

Remix-app-playPRX is brimming with audio stories. A few years ago, we launched an XM satellite radio channel (XM 123) to showcase the best short pieces from PRX.org plus select podcasts. The channel quickly went from satellite to internet to broadcast. It’s listed in our Public Radio Player app, too.

But we feel this amazing channel deserves its own app.

Say hello to the PRX Remix app!

App_Store_Badge_EN_0609_smaller  en_app_rgb_wo_60


It’s simply the beloved PRX Remix stream, the title and producer of each piece, and a couple of buttons for basic audio player things. It’s an app for people who don’t want too much choice, just great stuff. For people who don’t download podcasts because it’s too much work. For people who love stories.

Mostly, you put it in your pocket, or in the console between the front seats of your car (unless you have a really old car), and let curator-in-chief Roman Mars take care of that ‘What should I listen to?’ problem. Roman, by the way, is host of 99% Invisible among many other things, so he knows what he’s doing.

Special thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts for funding this app – it’s one of their early forays into mobile.

(Cross-posted from our PRX Apps blog.)

The official press release is below.


To download photos and screen shots: http://imgur.com/a/YNG9l

PRX REMIX APP FOR iPHONE & ANDROID SHOWCASES CURATED MIX
OF THE BEST RADIO STORIES, AND PODCASTS FROM
THE MOTH, 99% INVISIBLE, SLATE’S GABFEST, STORYCORPS, AND MORE

PRX Remix serves up stories handpicked from
all corners of the audio universe
by Roman Mars, one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People,”
and PRX editorial team

Cambridge, MA (Embargoed until July 9, 2013) – A new app launching today brings listeners a curated mix of the most compelling radio stories, fascinating interviews, audio documentaries, and intriguing sounds from popular shows to podcast gems like The Moth, StoryCorps, 99% Invisible, The Kitchen Sisters, and WTF with Marc Maron.

Aiming to be the greatest radio station of all time in your pocket, PRX Remix for iPhone and Android showcases a virtually endless stream of ear candy handpicked from all corners of the audio universe by PRX program director Roman Mars, who was recently named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People,” and the respected editorial team at PRX, the award-winning public media company. Creating a completely new listening experience that is fresh, thoughtful, and highly addictive, PRX Remix confirms that the digital era has sparked a new golden age of storytelling.

Drawing from PRX’s growing catalog of over 40,000 audio works by independent producers as well as local stations, PRX Remix offers over 2,400 short audio pieces, with new selections added on a weekly basis. At any given moment, listeners might journey seamlessly from Texas, where the Kitchen Sisters chronicle the history of the Frito, to the sounds of a Los Angeles intersection captured by Random Tape, a radio show dedicated to “the finest auditory ephemera.” In between, listeners will meet raconteurs from The Moth, be dazzled by the world’s brightest minds from PRX’s STEM Story Project, and be moved to tears and laughter by StoryCorps.

To mark the launch of the PRX Remix app, Mars selected his list of must-listen audio stories, all of which are in regular rotation on PRX Remix (see Mars’ list below).

With PRX Remix, listeners can hit play, lean back, and enjoy a steady stream of audio delights or skip through the selections to discover new favorites. The app keeps an archive of all listened-to stories so users can enjoy again, easily share with friends and post to social media. And for people on the go, in the subway, or on a remote stretch of highway, the app preloads up to one hour of audio without a network connection.

“We are all story-driven by nature, so we designed PRX Remix to be the single best source for your awesome audio fix,” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. “This isn’t yet another aggregator app – there are stories in PRX Remix you won’t find anywhere else.”

In addition to the iOS and Android apps, PRX Remix streams 24/7 on satellite radio (XM Channel 123), online at www.prxremix.org, and on a growing number of public radio stations across the United States, including Boston, Seattle, Cincinnati, and Charlotte. The PRX Remix app was developed by PRX with funding support from the National Endowment for the Arts. It is among the first mobile projects to receive a grant from the NEA’s Arts on Radio and Television fund.

With the launch of PRX Remix, PRX continues to build on its track record of harnessing digital media and technology to bring compelling audio stories to a wider audience. PRX also created the Public Radio Player app, which offers access to 500+ public radio stations and 1000+ public radio programs and podcasts, and has developed apps for a roster of public radio superstars that includes Radiolab and This American Life. PRX is also a founding partner of Matter, the new media startup accelerator fusing the values of public media with Silicon Alley entrepreneurship.

Roman Mars’ Must-Listen Stories on PRX Remix

Ben Franklin death ray – The Memory Palace

Birth of the Frito- Kitchen Sisters

Red, White and Blue Bus – Third Coast

NIKKO- Concrete Commando – 99% Invisible

The Ground We Lived On – Sound Portraits

Beep, Beep – David Weinberg

Talk to Me About Love – Jill Dorothy Summers

Thao Nguyen Grandma – Stagedive

Nick: Home School to High School – Radio Diaries

About PRX
PRX is an award-winning nonprofit public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring compelling stories to millions of people. PRX.org operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including The Moth Radio Hour, Sound Opinions, State of the Re:Union, Snap Judgment, and WTF with Marc Maron. PRX Remix is PRX’s 24/7 channel featuring the best independent radio stories and new voices. PRX is also the leading mobile app developer for public media, with apps such as Public Radio Player, Radiolab, This American Life, WBUR, KCRW Music Mine, and more.

PRX was created through a collaboration of the Station Resource Group and Atlantic Public Media, and receives support from public radio stations and producers, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Knight Foundation, and the Open Society Institute.

# # #

Matter One Demo Day

Today is Matter Demo Day!  See below for the official press release.

[UPDATE: here is some press coverage of demo day, including “Public Media Collides with Silicon Valley at Matter Accelerator; Six Startups Emerge“]

[UPDATE: watch a short “Meet Matter” video overview]

[UPDATE: applications for Matter’s next round are now open, and info sessions posted in San Francisco, New York, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago].

The first class of 6 startups is graduating from our four-month accelerator program in San Francisco. This is a major milestone for Matter, and for each of the teams it is an important ritual of startup life – pitching in front of a room full of investors and media.

matterone3

PRX is a founding partner of Matter, with Knight Foundation and KQED as the cornerstone investors in our first fund.

Since we launched Matter last December I’ve been bouncing between Cambridge and San Francisco to work with managing partner Corey Ford and director of operations Jigar Mehta to help guide this remarkable class of entrepreneurs to this moment.

It’s an outstanding group of people, all passionate about their products, their teams, and the shared mission to change media for good.

Today we are also opening the applications for Matter Two – our next accelerator class starting in October.  Please help us spread the word to find extraordinary mission-driven entrepreneurs with a vision for a more informed, connected, and empowered society. We’ll be hosting info sessions over the next several weeks in Boston, New York, Washington DC and Chicago.

Matter is a community and we are always expanding our network of mentors, advisors, partners and sponsors. Join us!

Jake Shapiro

CEO, PRX Inc.
Partner, Matter.

 

For information, interviews, photos contact:
Patrick Kowalczyk, patrick@pkpr.com
Jason Gordon, jason@pkpr.com
PKPR, 212.627.8098 (o), 917.699.6260 (m)

Download photos here: http://imgur.com/a/lVEZs#1 

MATTER, NEW STARTUP ACCELERATOR FOR MEDIA VENTURES,

SHOWCASES INAUGURAL CLASS AT FIRST-EVER DEMO DAY

Matter kicks off call for applications for its second class; deadline is July 28th

San Francisco, CA (June 13, 2013) – At the first demo day hosted by Matter, the media startup accelerator backed by KQED, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and PRX, six media startups today made their case for capital and highlighted how their ventures can help build a more informed, connected, and empowered society.

Fusing public media values with the methods and mindsets of Silicon Valley entrepreneurship, Matter invests in entrepreneurs who show high potential to create media ventures that have a meaningful, positive impact on society while pursuing a sustainable, scalable, profitable business model.

For the six teams that comprise Matter’s first class, today’s presentation to a select group of investors, media executives, and mentors marked the culmination of an intense four-month program. Participants were provided with a $50,000 investment and working space in Matter’s co-working facility in San Francisco’s tech-friendly SoMa neighborhood. Each team participated in a bootcamp focused on building scalable media ventures with a human-centered, prototype-driven design process, as well as a regular series of design reviews, speaker sessions, and mentoring meetings with entrepreneurs, investors, and media executives.

The six startups that presented at Matter’s first demo day address the many ways audiences consume media (reading, listening, watching, interacting) while also empowering audiences to participate and create media in their own ways. The ventures, which include participatory platforms, mobile applications, B2B media services, and content production engines, are:

  • ChannelMeter is a professional grade analytics platform for publishers and brands focused on maximizing and engaging audiences in online video.
  • InkFold is a reading list compiled automatically from your gmail that turns your friends into a reading club.
  • Mixation is a network of online TV stations that anyone can create.
  • OpenWatch is an investigative network for creating a just society through radical transparency.
  • SpokenLayer SpokenLayer unmutes the written web. We partner with publishers to turn articles into audio read by real people..
  • Zeega is revolutionizing interactive storytelling for a future beyond blogs, enabling anyone to express themselves by easily combining media from the cloud.

“I couldn’t be more proud of what these six ventures have accomplished in the last four months,” said Matter Managing Partner Corey Ford. “The goal was to have them continuously test and iterate on their venture to make it more and more relevant to their audiences and more and more viable for investors while maintaining their focus on building a more informed, connected, and empowered society. They’ve done just that.”

“Matter itself is a start-up, and today marks a major milestone in our mission to change media for good,” said Jake Shapiro, Matter Partner and CEO of PRX. “This remarkable group of entrepreneurs now forms the nucleus of Matter’s expanding community of mentors, partners, and investors.”

“KQED invested in Matter to connect public media to the Silicon Valley innovation ecosystem and attract new ideas, technologies, and creative entrepreneurs with ventures that intersect with our mission of media for the public good,” said KQED President John Boland. “All six of the start-ups participating in this first Matter demo day fit that description, and their interactions with KQED staff have been mutually beneficial. Matter is off to a great start.”

“Matter is using entrepreneurial approaches to drive innovation in public media,” said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation Vice President of Journalism and Media Innovation. “By supporting the first-ever Matter demo day, we are providing start-ups with the opportunities they need to build their ideas and contribute to a more informed society.”

Applications for Matter’s second class, which will begin in October 2013, are being accepted today through July 28, 2013.

Any media startups with multi-disciplinary teams who have early-stage prototypes,an apply.  Information sessions for potential applicants will be held in five cities over the next month: San Francisco (June 19, July 9), Boston (June 25), New York City (June 26), Washington, D.C. (June 27), and Los Angeles (July 10). For the first time, Matter will be accepting applications using AngelList. For information, application guidelines, and the schedule for Matter information sessions, go to www.matter.vc.

About Matter

Fusing public media values with Silicon Valley entrepreneurship, Matter is a start-up accelerator supporting media entrepreneurs building a more informed, connected, and empowered society. Backed by KQED, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and PRX, .  Matter invest in entrepreneurs who show high potential to create media ventures that make a meaningful, positive impact on society while pursuing a sustainable, scalable, profitable business model. For more information visit http://matter.vc/press/.

About KQED

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest rated public television services, and a leader in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration—exposing them to new people, places and ideas. www.kqed.org

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more information, please visit knightfoundation.org.

About PRX
PRX is an award-winning public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring significant stories to millions of people. PRX operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including signature PRX programs like The Moth Radio Hour. PRX mobile apps for public media include This American Life, KCRW Music Mine and Public Radio Player. For more information, please visit www.prx.org/about-us/press.

 

 

 

Meet Pop Up Archive — Easily Save and Search Your Audio

PRX is always looking for ways to improve distribution tools and platforms for producers.  While we have mostly focused on getting completed programs to audiences across broadcast and digital, we are also increasingly hearing from producers and stations that the task of managing audio archives is a constant challenge.

So when we first heard of the remarkable efforts of Anne Wootton and Bailey Smith – the dynamic duo behind Pop Up Archive (winner of the 2012 Knight News Challenge) – we knew we should join forces.

An awesome partnership was born, and for the last several months PRX’s development team has been working with Anne and Bailey to create an easy-to-use web application that archives audio and a lot more.

Today the official announcement of the Pop Up Archive beta site is out (see below), and interested producers can request an invite to take it for a spin.

Among other things, the Pop Up Archive:

  • Generates automatic transcripts and keywords so that audio is both searchable and easy to organize.
  • Provides access to an archive of sound from around the world.
  • Has options for both private and public storage.
  • Saves time and money for producers, creators, radio stations, media organizations, and archives of all stripes.

Pop Up Archive is integrated with PRX so members of both can use their existing accounts, and will have the option of publishing their audio to PRX for distribution.

The beta site is open to testers for a limited time! Request an invite here.

The official press release is below.


NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Anne Wootton, 510-463-4066, edison@popuparchive.org

Pop Up Archive to create open search and access for audio

Web platform stores, transcribes, and organizes digital media


We gather sound to tell stories. Memories fade and material can easily get lost or degrade. But when it’s easy to archive, it’s easy to find the threads that create stories when you need them.

OAKLAND, Calif. – (May 13, 2013) – Pop Up Archive and PRX are elated to announce the launch of Pop Up Archive, a web-­based system that brings audio to life. The service is a lightweight web application that allows users to search and access audio files from anywhere, opening a door for content creators and journalists to strengthen their work. It is currently being developed as an invitation ­only pilot, but will open to the public in summer 2013.

Pop Up Archive allows media creators to save, organize and find audio without installing any software or managing a server. The system is capable of ingesting large amounts of digital sound and providing automated transcripts with subject tags, timestamps and robust indexing for powerful search. Visitors to Pop Up Archive can also access a quickly growing database of international sound from oral history archives, universities, media organizations and individual collectors. With this audio comes the potential to liberate undiscovered histories, bring new voices into media, and make archiving an integral and painless part of production workflows.

“Most small and independent multimedia publishers have not developed good systems for archiving and sharing their work,” said Michael Maness, vice president for journalism and media innovation at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. “Pop Up Archive opens a real opportunity for these content creators to increase the value of their work by allowing them to organize and access audio content and preserve it for future generations.”

Pop Up Archive is a winner of Knight Foundation’s 2012 News Challenge.

Voices from archives around the world are waiting to be discovered in previously
unsearchable audio.

Interested producers can request an invite at popuparchive.org to join the beta test. Pop Up Archive provides unlimited free public storage through the Internet Archive, a San Francisco nonprofit founded to build an Internet library with permanent access to historical collections that exist in digital format. For more sensitive material, private storage options are also available.

The entire Pop Up Archive system will be free for a limited time, with tiered service plans in the future. Planned future improvements to the service include editable transcripts and keywords, additional options for handling rights and access to audio, group memberships and enterprise services for digital audio collections.

For larger media organizations, Pop Up Archive acts as a layer on top of existing content management systems and production workflows. Its simple web interface integrates with reporter habits to strengthen newsrooms — no clunky software. A simple drag-­and-­drop functionality allows users to add audio that becomes immediately searchable with context beyond the typical YouTube search result. Pop Up Archive is building a dynamic archival body of content that can be easily searched and accessed via API, informed by related efforts such as the American Archive Content Inventory Project and the Public Media Platform.

Request an invite today at popuparchive.org for a free account to start making your audio searchable. Archive entire collections of raw audio and completed work — save time and rediscover amazing material by revolutionizing how you organize it.

About PRX
PRX is an award-­winning public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring significant stories to millions of people. PRX operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including signature programs like The Moth Radio Hour. PRX mobile apps include This American Life, KCRW Music Mine, Radiolab, and Public Radio Player. Contact: Jason Gordon, 212­627­8098; jason [at] pkpr [dot] com.

About Pop Up Archive
Pop Up Archive is building a collection of sound from around the world with partners and clients from a growing body of media organizations, oral history archives, and journalists. Born at the UC­ Berkeley School of Information and supported by the Knight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the system is a lightweight web application that makes audio searchable without requiring technical expertise from users. Contact: Anne Wootton, 510­463­4066; edison [at] popuparchive [dot] org.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org. Contact: Andrew Sherry, 305­908­2677; media [at] knightfoundation [dot] org.

 

Public Media Platform announces funding, hires executive director

PRX is proud to be a founding partner of the Public Media Platform (PMP), a new set of tools to help distribute public radio and television’s digital content: audio, video, text, and photos.

We’ve spent the past two years in close partnership with APM, NPR, PBS, and PRI to develop a prototype, business plan, and systems inventory. Today, we are pleased to announce a major grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that will make the PMP a reality.

The Public Media Platform’s vision is directly connected to PRX’s own mission and role. We believe that the public radio and television content should be distributed more easily and efficiently in the digital space. When people find our content, they love it. Most of the top podcasts come from public media. Imagine being able to search across content providers on various topics, or include relevant public media content on your own website or blog.

PRX’s role in the PMP is threefold: we will help advise the development of the core platform that NPR is creating based on its own API; we will integrate PRX.org to create a seamless pathway for PRX producers and stations to opt-in to publish their content into the PMP; and we will help showcase the remarkable content collections made by possible by the PMP through mobile apps that we continue to build for stations and producers and PRX itself.

Here below is a shared press release by the PMP partners, and Current has posted an article about the announcement as well.

PMP Partners

PUBLIC MEDIA’S NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS BREAK DOWN BARRIERS TO SHARE DIGITAL CONTENT

 

A New Public Media Platform Promises to Bring More Public Radio and Television Content to More People

Washington, DC; Dec. 17, 2012 – Public media’s leading national organizations will launch a ground-breaking collaboration to build a shared technology resource this coming year. The Public Media Platform (PMP) will allow public media producers and stations to gather their digital content in one place, and cost-effectively distribute it across digital platforms to achieve a critical mass of compelling non-commercial content.

Listeners, viewers, and website and mobile users will find it easier to find and interact with the news, entertainment, and cultural and educational content produced by the public media community once the PMP is in operation. Currently 37 million people listen to a mix of news, music and cultural programming every week on public radio stations. Public television educates, entertains, and informs nearly 123 million viewers every month. Millions more listen, view and learn from a multitude of public media websites, apps and mobile platforms.

Producers – from national networks like PBS, NPR, APM, PRI and PRX to public television and radio stations to independent producers – will have the opportunity to store and share text, digital video, audio and photos via the PMP. A new non-profit organization with officers drawn from the five founding organizations will oversee this new resource. The officers are David Kansas of APM/MPR, President; Kinsey Wilson of NPR, and Jason Seiken of PBS, Vice Presidents; Cory Zanin of PRI, Secretary; and Jake Shapiro of PRX, Treasurer. Four at-large members will be named soon.

Kristin Calhoun, currently Director of Station Products and Innovation at PBS, has been named Executive Director of the PMP, and she will begin work on January 7. She will oversee the creation of the PMP and manage its contracts, budget and finances, as well as station relations and marketing. Work on the technology infrastructure and creation of business rules will begin immediately.

Funding for the PMP comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). In 2010, CPB funded a pilot and planning process, and based on the success of that work, they will fund the creation the PMP and help underwrite its operating costs through May 2017. “The Public Media Platform will significantly enhance the way public media producers and stations use technology to innovate, collaborate and develop compelling programs for national and local audiences across all public media platforms – on air, online and in the community,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB.

About the PMP Partners

American Public Media™, the parent organization for Minnesota Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio and Classical South Florida, is one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world, with a portfolio reaching 17 million listeners on more than 800 radio stations nationwide each week.

NPR is public radio’s largest producer and an influential force in American life. In collaboration with more than 880 independent public radio stations nationwide, NPR strives to create a more informed public – one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.

PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 123 million people through television and more than 21 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances.

PRI helps listeners “hear a different voice™” and to connect with one another and the larger world. It represents public radio’s largest portfolio of independent and station-based productions, produces programming including PRI’s The World®, and delivers this content on-air, on-line and through mobile devices.

PRX is an award-winning public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring significant stories to millions of people. PRX operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including signature programs like The Moth Radio Hour. PRX mobile apps include This American Life, KCRW Music Mine, Radiolab, and Public Radio Player.

 

Media Contacts:
APM: Mary Sutherland, 651.212.1373, msutherland@americanpublicmedia.org
NPR: Danielle Deabler, 202.360.7492, ddeabler@npr.org
PBS: Jennifer Rankin Byrne, 703.739.5487, jrbyrne@pbs.org
PRI: Julia Yager, 612.330.9231, jyager@pri.org
PRX: Patrick Kowalczyk, 212-627-8098, patrick@pkpr.com

Matter launches: new name, new space, new partner, applications open

Matter Ventures

 

 

We are super excited to announce the launch of Matter Ventures, the new name for the Public Media Accelerator. Not only does it have a new name, but also a new space in San Francisco, and a new investor and partner in KQED, who is joining PRX and Knight to launch the new company.

The New York Times covers the debut in the Monday December 3 2012 paper:

Partnership Offers Support For Media Entrepreneurs

Can the nascent entrepreneurial ideas bouncing around Silicon Valley help reinvent public media?

Matter Ventures, a start-up accelerator that will provide four months of financial and logistical support for budding media entrepreneurs, will be unveiled Monday by its partners: KQED, a public television and radio station operator; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; and the Public Radio Exchange, known as PRX.

We are also sending out an official press release on behalf of Matter Ventures and the three founding partners – PRX, Knight, and KQED:

Fusing Public Media Values with Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship, KQED, Knight Foundation, and PRX Launch Matter Ventures, An Accelerator for Media Start-ups

The intensive, four-month acceleration program is designed for media startups with multi-disciplinary teams who have early-stage prototypes, such as participatory platforms, mobile applications, B2B media services, and content production engines. Matter will invest in entrepreneurs who show high potential to create media ventures that make a meaningful, positive impact on society while pursuing a sustainable, scalable, profitable business model. Over the course of two years, the fund will run four class cycles, each consisting of five startups. Applications for the inaugural class, which will begin in late February 2013, will be accepted starting today through January 6th, 2013. An online application and guidelines can be found at www.matter.vc.

Applications are now open for teams interested in joining the first Matter class.   We’ve got a great space on Bryant Street in San Francisco, right in the thick of things in Internet land.

Matter office in San Francisco

We’ll be posting more information soon about information sessions and other ways to participate.

In the meantime, you can follow Matter. on Twitter, tumblr and Facebook.

And check out the growing coverage of Matter. in GigaOm, VentureBeat, Xconomy and others on the press page.

Corey Ford announced as Director of Public Media Accelerator

We are super excited to announce that Corey Ford is joining us as Director of the Public Media Accelerator, starting in April 2012. Full press release below.

One of the Accelerator’s main goals is to be a magnet for new talent, particularly mission-driven entrepreneurs with the vision to “change media for good”. We’re off to an exceptional start with Corey.

For information, interviews, photos contact:
Patrick Kowalczyk, patrick@pkpr.com
Jason Gordon, jason@pkpr.com
PKPR, 212.627.8098

$2.5 MILLION PUBLIC MEDIA ACCELERATOR
ANNOUNCES DIRECTOR

Corey Ford, Director of Innovation
Endeavors’ Runway program
and former PBS FRONTLINE producer, tapped to lead initiative

Cambridge, MA (March 7, 2012) – Corey Ford, director
of Innovation Endeavors’ Runway program, the start-up incubator at
Eric Schmidt’s early stage venture capital firm, and former producer
for the Emmy Award-winning PBS series FRONTLINE, has been tapped as
the director of the new Public Media Accelerator, a $2.5 million
incubator launched by Public Radio Exchange (PRX) and the John S. and
James L. Knight Foundation to spur innovation in public media.

As director, Ford will oversee all aspects of the Public Media
Accelerator (www.publicmediax.org), which aims to do for public
broadcasting what accelerators like Code for America and RockHealth
are doing for government and health care, respectively. The Public
Media Accelerator seeks to “change media for good” by investing in
mission-driven entrepreneurs from media, technology, and design to
build ventures with the potential to reshape the future of public
media. Applications for the program will open in early summer 2012.
Candidates selected to participate will receive seed funding and join
an intensive mentorship-driven entrepreneurship program.

With his experience building a start-up incubator, producing
award-winning public media, and teaching multi-disciplinary
innovation, Ford is an ideal choice to lead the launch of the Public
Media Accelerator. He most recently served as the director of Runway,
an incubator for entrepreneurs at Innovation Endeavors, Google
chairman Eric Schmidt’s venture capital fund. Prior to that, he taught
design thinking innovation at the Institute of Design (“the d.school”)
at Stanford University. Ford began his career in public broadcasting
managing the production of 17 films from creative inception to
broadcast for the PBS/WGBH series FRONTLINE, earning an Emmy and a
duPont-Columbia Gold Baton Award. He earned his MBA at Stanford and
was a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill.

“Corey is an exceptionally talented leader and exactly the kind of
mission-driven entrepreneur the Public Media Accelerator is designed
to serve.” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. “He understands the
challenges facing public media and has first-hand experience in
helping entrepreneurs turn ideas into products and businesses. He
knows what it will take to inspire a new generation of innovators in
re-imagining public media for the 21st century.”

“I feel like my whole career has been built for this opportunity,”
said Ford. “I came to Silicon Valley from public broadcasting because
I believed deeply in its mission but was worried about its future and
wanted to figure out how to apply the lessons of entrepreneurship and
innovation to strengthen public media for the next generation. The
Public Media Accelerator is the opportunity to do just that. I am
excited to build an ecosystem that supports entrepreneurs who will
shape the future of public media by leveraging new technologies and
creating viable business models to deliver public media content that
is relevant for today’s audiences.”

About Public Radio Exchange
PRX is an award-winning public media company, harnessing innovative
technology to bring significant stories to millions of people. PRX
operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering
thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including
signature PRX programs like The Moth Radio Hour. PRX mobile apps for
public media include This American Life, KCRW Music Mine and Public
Radio Player. Learn more at PRX.org.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality
journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster
the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and
communities are informed and engaged. For more information, please
visit knightfoundation.org.

The Moth Receives MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions

This is fantastic news, hot off the presses (full details below). Our friends and partners at The Moth are recipients of the prestigious “genius” award for nonprofits – The MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions. This is a transformative grant, will help fuel The Moth’s remarkable expansion and the breakout success of The Moth Radio Hour. PRX has some personal experience with this having also been a recipient of this award in 2008, and we can’t wait to see what this leads to for The Moth.  

Congratulations!   –  Jake

 

For information, interviews, photos contact:

Patrick Kowalczyk, patrick@pkpr.com

Jenny Chang, jenny@pkpr.com

PKPR, 212.627.8098

 

THE MOTH, ACCLAIMED NATIONAL STORYTELLING ORGANIZATION,

RECEIVES MACARTHUR AWARD FOR CREATIVE & EFFECTIVE INSTITUTIONS

 

$750,000 grant will enable The Moth to expand Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour into weekly series and preserve its 15-year video and audio archive of live storytelling

 

New York, NY – The Moth, the non-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling, today announced that it has received a $750,000 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions that will allow it to expand its Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour into a weekly series, as well as preserve its vast video and audio archive of live storytelling events from the past 15 years.

Presented by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the award recognizes The Moth’s role in promoting live storytelling to an international audience and “documenting our common humanity.”

Founded in 1997, The Moth (www.themoth.org) will celebrate its fifteenth anniversary this year. Since the first Moth evening in founder George Dawes Green’s living room in New York City, The Moth has presented more than three thousand stories, told live and without notes, by people from all walks of life to standing-room-only crowds worldwide.  Moth shows are renowned for the great range of human experience they showcase. Since each story is true and every voice authentic, the shows dance between documentary and theater, creating a unique, intimate, and often enlightening experience for the audience.

According to executive director Joan Firestone, the award will be used to increase the number of episodes of The Moth Radio Hour from ten each year to a weekly series beginning in January 2013. The MacArthur Foundation’s early support of The Moth Radio Hour contributed to its meteoric growth. Launched in 2009, the show is recognized as one of the most successful launches in public radio history, with more than 250 stations now airing the program. Presented by PRX (www.prx.org), The Public Radio Exchange, The Moth Radio Hour is produced by Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media and by Catherine Burns, The Moth’s artistic director.

The award will also be used to preserve The Moth’s 15-year video and audio archive, protecting live stories of hundreds of storytellers from Malcolm Gladwell, Annie Proulx, and Al Sharpton to an astronaut, a pickpocket, and a hot-dog eating champion. In 2011 alone, more than 15,000 minutes of stories were recorded.

“Receiving the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions is an incredible honor for The Moth and a testament to the power of live storytelling,” said Joan Firestone, executive director of The Moth. “As The Moth celebrates its fifteenth anniversary, this award will enable us to take the organization to an exciting next level, reaching an even wider audience through our radio show, while preserving our vast archives for future generations.”

“From Chicago to Kampala, these extraordinary organizations demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness,” said MacArthur President Robert Gallucci. “They provide new ways to address old problems.  They generate provocative ideas and they reframe well-worn debates.  And their impact is altogether disproportionate to their size.”

The Moth is one of only 15 organizations from six countries to be recognized today with the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. The MacArthur Foundation does not seek or accept nominations for these awards. To qualify, organizations must demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness; have reached a critical or strategic point in their development; show strong leadership and stable financial management; have previously received MacArthur support; and engage in work central to one of MacArthur’s core programs.

 

About THE MOTH

The Moth is not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. The Moth has presented more than three thousand stories, told live and without notes, by people from all walks of life to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. The Moth features simple, old-fashioned storytelling on thoroughly modern themes by wildly divergent raconteurs who develop and shape their stories with The Moth’s directors.

The Moth conducts six ongoing programs – The Moth Mainstage, which tours nationally; The Moth StorySLAM program, which conducts open-mic story competitions around the country; The MothSHOP Community  Education Program, which brings storytelling workshops free of charge to underserved adults and high school students; The Moth Podcast, which is downloaded over a million times a month; The MothSHOP Corporate Program, which offers corporate storytelling solutions; and The Moth Radio Hour, which is, produced by The Moth and Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media and presented by PRX, The Public Radio Exchange. The Moth Radio Hour airs on 250 public radio stations across the country.

The Moth’s executive staff are: Joan D. Firestone, Executive Director; Catherine Burns, Artistic Director; Sarah Austin Jenness, Producing Director; and the pro-active Board of Directors is represented by Anne Maffei, Chair.

 

# # #

PRX to launch Public Media Accelerator with $2.5 million investment from Knight Foundation

I have exciting news to share, for PRX and public media.

PRX has evolved considerably over the past several years, focusing our strategy on three areas: Content, Distribution, and Leadership/Innovation.

In Content we are seeing great success with The Moth Radio Hour and other signature programs; in Distribution the PRX content marketplace is thriving, Public Radio Remix is a growing national format, and our mobile apps for public media are taking off with This American Life, KCRW Music Mine, Public Radio Player and top station apps.

But it is in the third area of Leadership and Innovation – where projects like the Public Radio Talent Quest first emerged –  that I am bringing you news of a significant development we are announcing today: a new $2.5 million effort to spur innovation to advance public service media.

The press release below lays it out, and you can learn more at http://www.publicmediax.org and by following @publicmediax.

We will soon be recruiting advisory board members and mentors, and are interested in key partnerships and sponsors. More on that front coming soon.

Best,
Jake

==============

CAMBRIDGE, December 8, 2011 – A new effort will provide funding and expertise to entrepreneurial teams with innovative ideas for increasing the impact of public service media.

Called the Public Media Accelerator, the project will be launched and operated by PRX, and is supported by a $2.5 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Modeled on technology startup incubators, the Accelerator aims to strengthen public media’s essential role in meeting community information needs across new platforms and devices.

“Forty years ago, public broadcasting harnessed the technology of the time to engage audiences with high quality content that was otherwise inaccessible,” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. “We are expanding this vital service to include today’s pervasive and participatory media, particularly mobile.”

“Through funding more than 200 community information experiments, we’ve found that the models with the best success are nurtured through outside advice and expertise,” said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation’s vice president for journalism and media innovation. “We hope the Public Media Accelerator will bring public media’s quality journalism into more people’s lives, by using technology to expand its reach.”

The Public Media Accelerator will invest in both nonprofit and for-profit ventures, building apps, services and media products. It will showcase successful projects to additional funders and investors, and receive support through a partner and sponsor network.

The Public Media Accelerator will formally launch at the South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) conference in March in Austin and will name a director and advisory board early next year.

For more information and updates about the Public Media Accelerator visit http://publicmediax.org and follow @publicmediax on Twitter.

 

ABOUT PRX
PRX is an award-winning nonprofit public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring significant stories to millions of people. PRX.org is public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use. Listen to Public Radio Remix, our continuous stream of the best radio stories, on XM123, PublicRadioRemix.org, and a growing number of broadcast stations. Our apps for public media include This American Life, KCRW Music Mine, and Public Radio Player. Learn more at PRX.org.

ABOUT THE JOHN S. AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.

Press Release: The Moth Wins a Peabody

We were thrilled to get notified yesterday that The Moth Radio Hour has received a 2010 Peabody Award. Our joint press release with our partners at The Moth and Atlantic Public Media is below, along with the video trailer for our new season of The Moth Radio Hour, opening May 1st.


The Moth Radio Hour is thrilled and honored to receive a 70th Annual Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media for 2010. The Moth Radio Hour is a production of The Moth, a nonprofit organization dedicated to live storytelling. It is presented by PRX (Public Radio Exchange), and produced by Jay Allison and Viki Merrick of Atlantic Public Media.

“Storytelling, likely the oldest art, is revered and reinvigorated by this hour for everyday raconteurs,” write the Peabody judges.

Since its 2009 debut, The Moth Radio Hour has been an instant success, airing on more than 200 public radio stations and delighting listeners across the United States. It is one of an impressive 18 public media productions to win a Peabody this year.

“Just like our live shows, The Moth Radio Hour connects people everywhere through stories of bravery, wit, and humor,” said Joan Firestone, Executive Director of The Moth.

The Moth Radio Hour is a powerful selection of stories from The Moth’s live performance programs: The Moth Mainstage where celebrities appear alongside unique voices from all walks of life; The Moth’s StorySLAM competitions, which are open to all and rapidly expanding to cities across the country; and The Moth’s community outreach program, MothShop, which brings workshops to people whose stories would otherwise go unheard. The Moth storytellers stand alone, under a spotlight, with only a microphone and a roomful of strangers. The storyteller and the audience embark on a high-wire act of shared experience which is both terrifying and exhilarating.

The Moth Radio Hour is the realization of my ten-year-long dream to bring The Moth to public radio,” said Catherine Burns, Artistic Director of The Moth. “We have long felt that radio was the perfect medium for our stories, and we are touched by the generous response from listeners and stations.”

The Moth Radio Hour, hailed as “brilliant and quietly addictive” by London’s Guardian, features old-fashioned storytelling on modern themes by diverse raconteurs who develop and shape their stories with The Moth’s directors. The Moth organization was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green, who wanted to recreate in New York the feeling of sultry summer evenings in his native Georgia, where moths were attracted to lights on the porch while he and his friends told tales.  Since then, The Moth has presented more than three thousand stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide.

“I love the feeling of The Moth.  You can feel the risk each storyteller takes, getting up before us to recount something spellbinding and real. It makes you recognize how rare it is to hear truly honest, vulnerable voices on the airwaves,” says Jay Allison, a veteran radio producer now with six Peabodys to his credit.

“Public radio at its best connects compelling stories to communities to make a difference. We are incredibly proud that Peabody recognizes The Moth Radio Hour‘s excellence, and can’t wait to bring more of it to millions of listeners,” says Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX.

The Moth Radio Hour is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Moth, Atlantic Public Media, and PRX congratulate all the winners of this illustrious prize.

For more information, visit www.themoth.org, www.prx.org/themoth, and www.atlantic.org.