Digital Media – Not for Profit?

Posted: February 16, 2011 by Elizabeth Sullivan in #5 Not for Profit

I just happened upon this a couple nights ago and thought it was interesting. It sort of applies to the course given the context they were placing on this ‘new way of learning’. I thought it could be very practically applied to the method that many journalists seem to advocate for.

As for non-profits PBS is probably one of the better models out there, given that while growing up, PBS perpetually seemed like it was on it’s last leg. Celebrities like Art Garfunkel, spent hours on Sunday afternoons convincing people that they needed public broadcasting, and thus the cycle had been drawn. But, somehow PBS did it right, and they have an amazingly interactive website, and the content has generally maintained it’s value, that “knowledge is power”.

PBS has likely left it’s smear on my brain, and besides the bawdy British humor,  I think I had a pretty interesting understanding of space, physics, and nature, provided by viewers like you. But however much I liked the station, as a Canadian Kid I never felt responsible to donate as I watched Simon or Garfunkle perform wispy poetry while people answered phones and made pledges behind them.

Although the idea hasn’t manifested itself into gilt just yet – it’s made me question their latest campaign against government cuts that will lead to Public Broadcasting’s funding to be cut. The ad currently on their website describing their situation is about 30 seconds long and ends with a hammer smashing a radio. It doesn’t feel effective, and here’s why. Mr. Rogers did a better job of it when he moved a senate member to goosbumps by reciting elements of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood in a meeting held which discussed cuts to PBS’s funding back in 1969.

What I’m trying to get at here is that PBS has been around for a while, and although they have a lot going for them content and message wise, they still don’t always get it right.

The organization that I found this week was a not for profit set up by university professor and their students at the University of Huston. The website’s called World Internet News.  Although it may not be perfect, and although it may be in need of a face lift and a bolt of something to get it started, it remains a start up of a not for profit, which could be considered — “a viable news source.”

I like that I know that students wrote the articles, but that it can and will compete with serious journalism, because it wants to. There is something base about the instinct to survive, and can it be translated into how we deal with problems that arise apart from our apparent doom? I think that’s what the Not-for-profit gets down to at the core, does it have the stamina to survive using what little money it gets from public funding while exceeding expectations in terms of broadcasting standards. Some will survive, some won’t.



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