“POV reimagines the documentary—again” by Adnaan Wasey on Knight Blog
NEW YORK – (April 10, 2014) – American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) today announced a plan to further expand its nonfiction series, POV, beyond television into the digital space with new innovations in storytelling. With $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation POV will increase its digital co-productions, hire a technology fellow and continue its successful nonfiction media lab, POV Hackathon.
Since the 1990s, PBS’s award-winning nonfiction broadcast series POV (a cinema term for “point of view”) has built a reputation for digital innovation. POV built PBS’s first program website and created PBS’s first interactive storytelling project, the Webby Award-winning “POV’s Borders;” POV has also continually created companion film websites and apps. Recently, POV and The New York Times announced a collaboration to premiere new documentaries on the organizations’ websites. The first film, “The Men of Atalissa,” produced by The New York Times, can be seen on pbs.org/pov and www.nytimes.com.
Building on POV’s digital track record, $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. The projects will receive technical and creative support to take them from idea to prototype to a finished product.
With the balance of the support, POV will offer a yearlong fellowship to a technologist and continue its nonfiction media hackathon labs. The chosen 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.”
“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,” said Cynthia López, POV co-executive producer. “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.”
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About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. www.knightfoundation.org/.
Produced by American Documentary, Inc. and beginning its 27th season on PBS in 2014, the award-winning POV is the longest-running showcase on American television to feature the work of today’s best independent documentary filmmakers. POV has brought more than 365 acclaimed documentaries to millions nationwide. POV films have won every major film and broadcasting award, including 32 Emmys, 17 George Foster Peabody Awards, 12 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards® and the Prix Italia. In 2012, POV achieved a new milestone, winning five News & Documentary Emmy Awards®. Since 1988, POV has pioneered the art of presentation and outreach using independent nonfiction media to build new communities in conversation about today’s most pressing social issues. Visit www.pbs.org/pov.
Since 1994, POV Digital has driven new storytelling initiatives and interactive production for POV. The department created PBS’s first program website and its first web-based documentary (“POV’s Borders”) and has won major awards, including a Webby Award (and seven nominations) and an Online News Association award. POV Digital continues to explore the future of independent nonfiction media through its digital productions and the POV Hackathon lab, where media makers and technologists collaborate to reinvent storytelling forms. Visit www.pbs.org/pov. @povdocs on Twitter.
POV Community Engagement and Education (www.pbs.org/pov/engage)
POV’s Community Engagement and Education team works with educators, community organizations and PBS stations to present more than 650 free screenings every year. In addition, we distribute free discussion guides and standards-aligned lesson plans for each of our films. With our community partners, we inspire dialogue around the most important social issues of our time.
American Documentary, Inc. (www.amdoc.org)
American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.
Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Bertha Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, The Educational Foundation of America, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.
POV Communications: 212-989-7425. Alternate contact: 206-790-8697
POV online pressroom: www.pbs.org/pov/pressroom
Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, [email protected]