Thursday, July 31, 2008

Public Radio Core Values in a Web 2.0 World

Public Radio’s Core Values are frequently mentioned on this blog, most recently in the context of how public radio can preserve and apply its Core Values across new distribution channels and in social media. That’s a topic worthy of further conversation, so let’s start one.

First, some background. About 8 years ago PRPD, the professional association for public radio program directors, set out to uncover and articulate Public Radio’s Core Values. The process was thorough and included resources to help stations and program producers identify and nurture Core Values in all forms of programming including fundraising, underwriting, and promotion.

Today’s challenge is to do the same in a Web 2.0 world, especially with blogs and user-generated content. On one hand, public radio needs to ensure the Core Values of the “brand” are protected. On the other hand public radio can’t ignore or suppress the richness of Web 2.0 opportunities.

How does that happen? Which of public radio’s core values have universal application? That is, they apply on the radio, to the written word, on video, and in community dialog. Which of public radio’s core values don’t translate to Web 2.0? Do other values need to be uncovered and defined so public radio can maintain its identify in new spaces? Does public radio’s identity change beyond calling it public “media?” How so?

Leave comments here or join the dialogue at DirectCurrent.

To ensure that “Core Values” isn’t reduced to a mere buzz phrase, here’s a link to the original introductory report from the PRPD Core Values project. Please read it as part of participating in this discussion, even if you read it before. And here are the Core Values:

Qualities of the Mind and Intellect
Love of lifelong learning
Substance
Curiosity
Credibility
Accuracy
Honesty
Respect for the listener
Purpose

Qualities of the Heart and Spirit
Humor
Idealism
Inspired about public life and culture
Belief in civility and civil discourse
Generosity

Qualities of Craft
A uniquely human voice
Pacing that's appropriate to the substance of the content
Attention to the smallest details of music, sound, language

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