MacArthur, a longtime supporter of public radio and television, announced two new grants to help bring quality information to U.S. audiences about other parts of the world. The grants, totaling $1.4 million, will make possible innovative projects that seek new ways to deliver information to the public, using the opportunities offered by the widespread use of new technologies.
“The spread of digital technology is dramatically changing news gathering, reporting, and broadcasting, as well as how people choose to access information” said MacArthur President Jonathan Fanton. “MacArthur’s approach includes support for traditional public media, as well as creative new efforts to make better information from diverse sources about events across the globe available to U.S. audiences.”
Link Media, Inc. will receive a grant of $1 million over three years in support of its new television and Internet program, Global Pulse. Global Pulse programs will consist of newscasts selected by professional editors from over 60 broadcasters worldwide. The newscasts will be translated and presented unfiltered to American audiences. The stories will be supplemented with commentary by regional editors and experts and presented on television and on the web as streaming video or podcasts. Link TV also intends to make the programs viewable via mobile devices.
A grant of $375,000 over three years will be awarded to OneWorld United States, part of the 12-center OneWorld international network. OneWorld.net provides communications tools to support civil society organizations. The U.S. center manages much of OneWorld’s editorial work, which often originates from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). In some cases, OneWorld editors screen submissions from NGOs and place them on web sites or OneWorld TV with little professional editing. In other situations, OneWorld editors commission professional freelance journalists to write on topics submitted by NGOs or individuals and then publish these stories on the OneWorld Daily Headlines Service and the Yahoo! World News syndication service. This project results in a high-quality combination of professional and amateur work.
In recent years, tools such as podcasts, streaming video, and blogs have begun to allow unprecedented access to news and information. These new technologies encourage participatory journalism and interaction among audience members, allowing citizens to learn more actively. MacArthur’s media grantmaking reflects these developments. While MacArthur continues to support the production of high quality public radio, television, and documentary films, the Foundation also encourages the use of new media in combination with traditional programming.