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For immediate release:
November 1, 2011

Jessica Clark               
Email: jessica@AIRmedia.org

AIR Taps Zeega to Further Catalyze Public Media

Boston: The Association of Independents in Radio, Inc. (AIR) announced today a new partnership with Zeega to collaborate on Localore, AIR’s recently launched initiative aimed at advancing new media journalism and storytelling towards a wider American public.

Zeega, an open-source HTML5 platform for creating interactive documentaries and winner of the 2011 Knight News Challenge, grew out of AIR’s MQ2.  MQ2 was a 2008 Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) funded initiative that laid groundwork for Localore and established a new role for producers to accelerate public media’s transition in a new trans-platform age. Through MQ2, Mapping Main Street grantee Kara Oehler and principals Ann Heppermann, Jesse Shapins, and James Burns, invented a new, participatory framework to allow average citizens to contribute a range of media -- photos, audio, and digital video – through public APIs to bring balance to the political rhetoric surrounding “Main Street America” during an election year. 

Localore is a $2 million AIR initiative that directs more than $1 million in CPB funding to support station-based innovation teams. AIR will announce 10 winning producers and incubator stations early in 2012. Hundreds are expected to apply to lead the Localore teams, and dozens of stations – from Native reservations to major market radio and television outlets – are producing media for the Localore Station Runway before the open call concludes on November 10th.

Zeega’s innovation team will work with Localore producers, stations, and collaborators to design their projects, and then continue on for up to 12 months to execute selected local initiatives. Together, Zeega and the Localore teams will further advance new forms of journalism and community engagement for the benefit of all throughout the country and industry.

Zeega, a startup non-profit based in Cambridge, MA, is both a community and a framework for creative invention, enabling people to pioneer new forms of storytelling that combine original content with photos, videos, text, audio, data feeds and maps via APIs from across the web. Zeega is being incubated at the metaLAB (at) Harvard at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

AIR is a vibrant, tightly networked association of producers, journalists, hackers, technicians, media entrepreneurs, and sound artists. Founded in 1988, AIR has emerged as force for identifying, cultivating, and deploying talent to accelerate public media innovation and expand service to more citizens across the U.S. AIR’s membership now spans 46 states and 14 countries worldwide including leading stations, 501c3’s, organizations and networks including APM, BBC, NPR, PRI, PRX, Transom, and the Third Coast International Audio Festival. In addition to CPB, financial support for Localore comes from the MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.



Photos and AIR/Localore logos at http://airmedia.org/PageInfo.php?PageID=480