By Paula Bernstein | Indiewire April 10, 2014 at 11:00AM
POV, PBS's award-winning nonfiction broadcast series, has been at the forefront of digital innovation since the 1990s. With an influx of $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, POV plans to increase its digital co-productions, hire a technology fellow and expand its nonfction media lab, POV Hackathon, POV announced today.
Expanding POV's commitment to digital storytelling, $75,000 of the Knight Foundation funding will go to two promising media projects that "push the boundaries of nonfiction media in the digital age," according to POV. The projects will receive technical and creative support to take them from idea to prototype to a finished product.
"POV has never been just a television program. More than that, since its earliest days it’s been an ongoing exercise in bridging independent voices and the public by offering new tools and technology for storytelling and engagement," said Adnaan Wasey, executive producer of POV Digital, in a blog post.
With the balance of the support, POV will offer a yearlong fellowship to a technologist and continue its nonfiction media hackathon labs. The selected fellow will develop digital and mobile tools for nonfiction media makers. Since 2012, the POV Hackathon labs have gathered media makers and technologists to collaborate and develop new innovations in documentary for the Web. In 2014, POV will organize two labs in New York and for the first time hold a lab in Los Angeles.
"While newsrooms have seen significant pick up in media innovation in recent years there is a need for more digital breakthroughs in the television and broadcast arena; POV is helping fill this gap by innovating with new technologies across multiple media platforms," said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation vice president of journalism and media innovation. "Videos and documentaries have a great power to engage the public and capture in-depth stories. We can strengthen their reach by supporting innovation in this area."
POV co-executive producer Cynthia López said, "We’re excited that Knight is supporting digital media across the spectrum, from the experimentation that comes out of POV Hackathon to creating new works that forward the field of digital journalism and Web documentary. As POV continues exploring what’s possible, we will also see how nonfiction media makers can find new ways to use mobile platforms for storytelling and engagement."
POV is now seeking projects for digital co-production. Submit a project for digital co-production at pov.org/submit, apply for POV Digital’s Knight Technology Fellow position at pov.org/jobs, or find out more about the next POV Hackathon labs at pov.org/hackathon.