Begin begging: The PBS model

9 Mar

Yes, Red Green is in the studio.

Yes, Red Green is in the studio.

Combine dull and dated programming with content already available on DVD, and add a pledge drive. Welcome to a Public Broadcasting Service effort near you. Set your DVR for Dr. Who? Why, that’s very selfish and will put a serious crimp in the live efforts of the PBS phone bank volunteers.


Newspapers might have to take notes from their continually broke brethren to sustain their “commitment to quality content.” Up to 60 percent of public television’s revenues come from private membership donations and grants, unlike the broadcasting-for-profit mode, which survives on success in the marketplace.


The old guard news media might need to develop a coffee mug, tote bag, and DVD set to inspire the faithful in what will be regular appeals.


“A movement is stirring to keep the Seattle Post Intelligencer going. According to a P-I employee website, journalists plan to keep an online version of their paper going for at least a couple of months if the paper stops publishing, which could happen mid-March. The goal is to get subscribers and philanthropists to fund the online version.”


Serve yourself a cocktail, and sit down for the pitch as newspapers quickly try to learn the new skill of transparency that is driving social media. What do readers really want besides the content, the back story and hearing their voice? All three every day.


How about DVD boxed sets of PI editorial meetings as pledge drive gifts? People would covet an illustration of the level of commitment, and purity of agenda that news leaders use to plan community coverage.


Now that’s engaging content and something I might purchase.


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