TV & Radio with an API: Stories from Current and NPR

Robin Sloan (Current), Zach Brand (NPR, Digital media)
Fundamentals
Location: 2001
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 15 ratings)

Current and NPR are the first major media API that open up substantive original news and other information for online re-use by other parties. Discover how this open distribution is working, and what opportunities and challenges it creates for everybody from bloggers to other mainstream media.

Launched in July 2007, NPR’s API is the first major media API that opens up substantive original news and other information for online re-use by other parties. Discover how this open distribution is working, and what opportunities and challenges it creates for everybody from bloggers to other mainstream media.

NPR’s API is the first major media API that open up substantive original news and other information for online re-use by other parties. In the words of Todd Mundt this creates “Unprecedented flexibility [that] allows anyone, from a blogger in Pittsburgh to KQED in San Francisco, to generate highly specific content searches of the NPR archive (going back to 1995) and port the results to a webpage or an application.”

Beyond exposing the information in over 250,000 public radio produced stories to any interested community, the NPR API provides lessons learned on particular technical and business challenges and also helps pave the way to a more collaborative and open dialogue with media producers and the public moving forward. It helps to demonstrate that intellectual property rights and mashups do not need to be mutually exclusive. Instead of building legal barriers around our content, there is an alternate opportunity that we media producers can embrace; the strategy of brand and release.

Photo of Robin Sloan

Robin Sloan

Current

Robin Sloan is VP of Strategy at Current, a participatory media company co-founded by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt. Current produces news by
collaborating with its audience; it runs a cable and satellite TV network, available in 58 million homes around the world, and a social news site, current.com.

Before Current, Robin worked at the Poynter Institute, a journalism school and think tank in St. Petersburg, Florida. There, he co-produced EPIC 2014 (http://robinsloan.com/epic), a viral video view of the future of media. Before Poynter, he graduated from Michigan State, where he majored in economics and minored in wasting time on the internet.

Photo of Zach Brand

Zach Brand

NPR, Digital media

Zach J. Brand

Dir, Chief of Technical Strategy & Operation,
NPR Digital Media

In the fall of 2007, Zach J. Brand joined NPR Digital Media to oversee the technical strategy and operation of NPR’s content on new media platforms, including NPR.org, podcasts and mobile devices. He has focused on developing extensible and re-usable architectures for tools and content which support both NPR branded products as well as NPR member station’s efforts.

Prior to joining NPR, Brand spent over twelve years at Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive. At different times his responsibilities included both application development leadership and infrastructure management for the various websites produced by WPNI including www.washingotnpost.com, www.newsweek.com, www.slate.com and BudgetTravel Online. He played key roles in development of the various content management systems, display ad and classified advertisement technologies, and the core infrastructure architecture which maintained a best in class availability for The Washington Post’s flagship website during his tenure.

Other achievements during Brand’s career include architecting a customization application and website for AmericanGreetings.com, overseeing technology for the first website produced by Barnes & Noble, and running his own multimedia company.

Brand hold’s a B.S. in Mass Communication with a multimedia focus from Boston University. He lives with his wife Catarina and twin sons outside of Washington D.C.

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Comments

Brian Hawkins
04/03/2009 3:05pm PDT

I wish I could show this to some local media outlets who just don’t get it when it comes to online distribution. Excellent material and perspective.

chuck Lenatti
04/01/2009 5:30pm PDT

this session should have been mandatory for all the traditional media publishers who think charging for content is a good idea

Picture of Windy Moore
Windy Moore
03/31/2009 5:38pm PDT

I tune into NPR every sunday. your work is very important. try to get over to NAB April 17-21. There is alot of edu. orientation at NAB with the NABEF, the career day, and the hard work of the Networks ahead to integrate with the innovation leaders. I will be there.

Picture of Joe @A Spector
Joe @A Spector
03/19/2009 9:12am PDT

It’s great to see the influence of the new web in traditional media. Interested to see whether this will lead into more adoption and what the road ahead looks like.

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