Media for the Public Good Donates Programming to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting

Public radio programming covering LGBTQ issues as well as musical performances and other programming to be preserved and made accessible to the public.

New York (06..06.19) – Media for the Public Good, Inc. (MFPG), announced today that it is donating episodes of OutCasting, public radio’s LGBTQ youth program, plus additional OutCasting and other content, to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between the Library of Congress and Boston public broadcaster WGBH.  

OutCasting is produced by LGBTQ youth and straight allies working under professional supervision in Westchester County, New York.  At OutCasting, the young participants, who are generally of high school age, interview eminent experts and people with compelling stories.  Among OutCasting’s guests have been Gilbert Baker, the longtime activist and creator of the rainbow flag, in his last interview; Evan Wolfson, a civil rights lawyer and a key architect of the marriage equality movement; and Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, whose ordination precipitated a worldwide split in the church over homosexuality.

Other topics have included asexuality, non-binary gender, intersex, representation of LGBTQ people in the media, and much more.

Reaching a general public radio audience, the program examines LGBTQ issues from the fresh young perspectives of OutCasting’s young participants, voices rarely heard in the mainstream media.

The Advocate, a major national LGBTQ magazine, has described OutCasting as “[i]n-depth, well researched, and punchy in the right ways…  NPR-level production values….  What makes all this remarkable is that most of the people working on the show… are barely old enough to drive.”

Marc Sophos, OutCasting’s creator and executive producer, said, “It’s very gratifying that OutCasting’s contribution to public knowledge about LGBTQ issues is being recognized by its inclusion in the AAPB and the Library of Congress, especially now as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.” 

For his work on OutCasting, Sophos was recently named a Fellow of the 2018 AARP Purpose Prize, which “honors extraordinary individuals who use their life experience to make a better future for all,” according to AARP. “The Purpose Prize isn’t something just I have won; it would never have been possible without the work done by our youth participants and the others who have contributed to OutCasting in many ways,” Sophos said.  “Now having these two big things happening so close together, you can imagine the impact it’s having on our young participants, getting this national honor and now knowing that their content, thoughts, perspectives, and voices are being preserved for posterity.” 

Until 2013, MFPG operated WDFH FM 90.3, a public radio station Sophos had established just north of New York City.  Interviews and in-studio musical performances broadcast on WDFH will also be included in the donation to the AAPB.  The AAPB will preserve MFPG’s and WDFH’s content and make it accessible to the public.

The mission of the AAPB is to preserve and make accessible historic public media content from across the country, dating back to the early 1940s.  Given its age, much of the original public media content is fragile and deteriorating.  Digital files stored on hard drives and institutional servers are equally at risk.  The AAPB is in a race against time to ensure that future generations, researchers and the public will be able to access this content for years to come.

Now in its sixth year of service, the AAPB has preserved for posterity over 100,000 digitized and born-digital audio and video materials.  Among the collections preserved are the past 50 years of episodes from Sesame Street; more than 14,000 episodes of the PBS NewsHour Collection, dating back to 1975; more than 1,300 programs and documentaries from National Educational Television, the predecessor to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS); raw, unedited interviews from the landmark documentary Eyes on the Prize; raw, unedited interviews with eyewitnesses and historians recorded for American Experience documentaries including Stonewall Uprising, The Murder of Emmett Till, Freedom Riders and many others. The AAPB also works with scholars to publish curated exhibits and essays that provide historical and cultural context to the Archive’s content.


About Media for the Public Good and OutCasting

MFPG, based in New York, is an independent non-profit public media organization that produces OutCasting and OutCasting Overtime, which are available online at OutCastingMedia.org, via podcast, and on public radio stations.  The programs are available to interested stations through the Pacifica Radio Network and PRX (Public Radio Exchange).  OutCasting, its main program, is 29 minutes long and covers LGBTQ issues in-depth.  It is heard on more than 50 public radio stations under its own name and as a regular contributor to the Pacifica program Sprouts: Radio from the Grassroots.  OutCasting Overtime, a series of shorter, often commentary-based pieces, is also a regular contributor to the LGBT program This Way Out, heard on more than 200 stations.  Both programs are released monthly.  All episodes of OutCasting, as well as related programs, videos, press coverage, and other information, are available at OutCastingMedia.org.  MFPG was previously named Hudson Valley Community Radio, and from 1995 to 2013, it owned and operated WDFH Westchester Public Radio, just north of New York City.  [MOU1] 

About the American Archive of Public Broadcasting 
The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) is a collaboration between the Library of Congress and the WGBH Educational Foundation to coordinate a national effort to preserve at-risk public media before its content is lost to posterity and provide a central web portal for access to the unique programming that public stations have aired over the past 70 years. To date, over 100,000 digital files of television and radio programming contributed by more than 100 public media organizations and archives across the United States have been preserved and made accessible for long-term preservation and access. The entire collection is available on location at the Library of Congress and WGBH, and more than 47,000 files are available online at americanarchive.org.

About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Pinkalicious & Peterrific, and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels WORLD and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater Boston, Basic Black and High School Quiz Show. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s Local NPR®; 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs for public radio (among them, PRI’s The World®), a leader in educational multimedia (including PBS LearningMedia™, providing the nation’s educators with free, curriculum-based digital content), and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at wgbh.org.

About The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

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