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AIR names KALW to lead public media transformation

SAN FRANCISCO: After a stiff national competition this fall, the Association of Independents in Radio, Inc. (AIR) today announced KALW as one of ten public radio and television stations tapped for Localore, a producer-led transmedia project challenging public broadcasters to invent new forms of reporting that expand service to a wider public. KALW is among those “incubating” a Localore collaborative team whose members come from inside and outside public media and include independent and station based producers, distinguished documentary filmmakers, gamers, data journalists, and front-edge developers.The Bay Area-based project will launch in March of 2012.

Localore is a $2 million initiative produced by Boston-based AIR. More than $1 million in funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will support the local collaboration teams. The goal of the project is to bring new ingenuity to journalism projects blending digital and broadcast technology and that “go outside” public media’s core platforms and audiences.

With guidance from a distinguished Selection Committee, AIR chose from proposals submitted to an open call this autumn, including 61 profiles posted by a diverse range of stations to the unprecedented Station Runway. (See KALW’s video profile here.] Localore’s site has already sparked broad interest, drawing in more than 7,200 unique visitors over the course of the competition.

Lead producer Erica Mu and associate producer Audrey Dilling, radio producers based in San Francisco, will spend 12 months launching and leading “Pop-Up Radio,” a crowdsourced storytelling project designed to bridge the communities of Oakland and San Francisco. Other selected stations include KCRW-FM, Los Angeles, California; KQED Radio and Television, San Francisco, California; KUT-FM, Austin, Texas; KVNF-FM, Paonia, Colorado; Prairie Public Broadcasting, Fargo, North Dakota; Twin Cities Public Television, Minneapolis, Minnesota; WBEZ-FM, Chicago, Illinois; WGBH Radio and Television, Boston Massachusetts, and WYSO-FM, Dayton, Ohio. See the following page for project details.

“Those of us working at KALW have spend the last 71 years building and strengthening our service to San Francisco,” said Station Manager, Matt Martin. “Pop-Up Radio brings the promise of further expanding our role to more of our citizens here while, at the same time, helping demonstrate for others across the nation the potential for public broadcasting to step up to a more vital and expanded service across America.”

“We expect great things from this collaboration, and will be working with KALW and producers Erica Mu and Audrey Dilling to amplify the project’s impact as it rolls out,” said Sue Schardt, AIR’s Executive Director.

Over the past five years, AIR has emerged as a force for identifying, cultivating, and deploying talent to the benefit of the public media network. Founded in 1988, AIR is a vibrant, tightly networked association of more than 800 producers, journalists, technicians, media entrepreneurs, and sound artists. AIR’s membership now spans 46 states and 14 countries worldwide including leading stations, 501c3’s, and public media networks – APM, BBC, NPR, and PRI. In addition to CPB, financial support for Localore comes from the MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Now in its 71st year of operation, KALW is deeply committed to programming that is “local, global, creative.”  In 2004, in response to the alarming decrease in local journalism in the Bay Area and nationwide, KALW built a newsroom and launched its Public Interest Reporting Project, focused on in-depth, local reporting.  In 2008, KALW launched Crosscurrents, a daily news magazine with a companion digital news site that allows the station to reach new audiences and connect with younger and more diverse populations.  KALW has become a national model for incorporating professional editors, volunteers and student reporters into a newsroom.

Learn more about Localore: http://airmediaworks.org/localore