What does it mean to be a member of a public radio station in the United States? What could it mean? How could expanding the definition of membership instill a sense of ownership and identity among listeners, allowing them to feel more connected and invested in public media’s content, work and mission?

These are the questions I will be investigating during my Visiting Nieman Fellowship. I am planning to use the time to create the framework for a new model of membership within public media that would complement already-existing forms by offering membership to people who may not be able to donate financially, but would like to donate a skill or their time to their local stations. I suspect this will inculcate a sense of identity and ownership amongst listeners, allowing them to feel more invested in public radio’s content, work, and mission, while also transforming public media stations into public community spaces that continue to fulfill the original mission.

I’m planning to conduct the fellowship as a series of two-week-long sprints. I’m structuring the fellowship this way, in part, so that I can talk to people across public media (and across other industries) to inform what I build or create, and so I can hold myself accountable as the fellowship progresses. I also plan to make all of my research public.

All of my research will be published on this site.


Open Source and Contributing

This project is open source and we welcome contributions from the public.