2014 student competition to develop cross-platform apps

Kristin CalhounTeams of journalism, computer science and business students at the University of Missouri will build working prototypes of new, consumer-focused mobile experiences using U.S. public media content.

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute launched its seventh-annual student competition last night in partnership with the Public Media Platform (PMP), a joint initiative of American Public Media, NPR, PBS, Public Radio International and PRX funded by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The PMP is building a common repository and programming interface to simplify the collection and sharing of multimedia stories.

PMP Executive Director Kristin Calhoun explained, “The vision for the PMP rests on a simple premise, that with the capacity to easily share and exchange digital content, the opportunities to develop compelling new public media services and reach new audiences increases exponentially. The PMP is excited to see the concepts that will come from this student competition."

Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute partners with NPR, PBS and other public media to create new products, servicesThose students will now have approximately one month to form teams, research potential concepts and make an initial pitch. A panel of judges from RJI and the PMP will select three to five finalist teams in early December, providing them with resources and mentors so they can build and test their products during the late winter and early spring of 2014.

Teams will make final presentations in April. The winners will travel to San Francisco shortly thereafter to extend the value of the PMP by collaborating with professional Silicon Valley developers.

Over the past six years, RJI has followed an interdisciplinary approach to present journalism, business and computer science students with real-world challenges sponsored by technology and media leaders such as Adobe, Apple, AT&T, Hearst, Microsoft and Sprint.

“The need has never been greater to engage citizens effectively with in-depth reporting,” said RJI Futures Lab Director Mike McKean. “Our students have especially keen insights into the needs and desires of younger audiences that they can use to build bridges between their peers and public media journalists.”

RJI continues to work closely with innovative public media outlets including the University of Missouri’s award-winning NPR affiliate KBIA-FM, the Nine Network in St. Louis and Harvest Public Media, a five-state consortium of radio and TV stations covering food, fuel and field.

About the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (rjionline.org) engages media professionals, scholars and citizens in programs aimed at improving the practice and understanding of journalism. RJI collaborates with news and technology companies, professional associations, foundations and individuals to generate and test innovative models and technologies for journalism and advertising. Six Donald W. Reynolds Fellows spend an academic year at RJI, working with Missouri faculty and students and RJI staff to develop new ways to gather, process and deliver news, information and advertising.

About the Public Media Platform

The Public Media Platform (PMP) is a nonprofit organization formed by several of public media’s leading national organizations: American Public Media, NPR, PBS, PRI and PRX. It is building a content repository and distribution system that will enable public media organizations to better and more efficiently distribute audio, video, text and images onto digital platforms, to the benefit of the public. The PMP also creates new possibilities for more innovation and future collaboration among those that produce public media.

About American Public Media

APM, 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.

About NPR

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.

About PBS

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.

About PRI

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.

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.

For more information contact RJI Futures Lab Director Mike McKean, mckeanml@rjionline.org, and PMP Executive Director Kristin Calhoun, kristin@publicmediaplatform.org.


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