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SXSW Interactive 2015

NPR & PBS: Public Media, Reaching New Publics

So called legacy organizations like NPR and PBS have made strides in trying to gain new audiences with initiatives like NPR’s Code Switch and PBS’s Black Culture Connection, which are explicitly aiming to bring in diverse viewers and listeners to public media outlets.

In another arena, PBS’s Digital Studios (home to YouTube-only programming like “PBS Idea Channel” and “It’s Okay To Be Smart”) and NPR’s Generation Listen are creating new pathways to much younger audiences to PBS and NPR. (And with content -- much of it online -- that you maybe wouldn't have associated with public media.)

Hear from representatives from PBS and NPR, who’ll cover what’s working, and what’s not when reaching out to younger and more diverse audiences for public media.

Featured will be speakers from PBS Digital Studios, NPR’s Code Switch and PBS’s Black Culture Connection, and moderated by Guy Raz, host of the NPR's TED Radio Hour.

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  1. Why is it important -- some would say critical -- for NPR and PBS to bring in new audiences for its programming?
  2. How are public media changing the way they deliver and create content to reflect the changing demographics of our country?
  3. What are NPR and PBS doing to grab younger and more diverse audiences?
  4. What have been the two biggest recent successes NPR and PBS would point to, in gaining new audiences, and why did they work so well?
  5. What's on the horizon for public media outlets trying to grab the attention of younger, more diverse audiences? What's worked and what hasn't?


  • Lauren Saks, Director, Programming, PBS Digital Studios, PBS
  • Nicole Eley-Carr, Manager of Digital Content & Strategy , PBS
  • Guy Raz, TED Radio Hour Host, NPR
  • Shereen Meraji, Reporter, NPR


Kevin Dando, Sr. Dir., Social Media Strategy and Digital Comm., PBS

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Entertainment and Immersion
  • Level: Intermediate
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