AAPB Debuts New Online Exhibit “Structuring the News: The Magazine Format in Public Media”

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) has launched a new digital exhibit about newsmagazines, a popular form of news presentation spanning five decades of radio and television broadcasting. Departing from mainstream examples such as 60 Minutes and All Things Considered, the exhibit brings together unique programs produced by independent stations from across the country for the first time as a unified collection. The newsmagazines showcased in “Structuring the News” cover topics from labor strikes to a day in the life of an air traffic controller, and emphasize conversations and voices often overlooked by network news shows.

“Structuring the News” is curated by Digital Exhibits Intern Alejandra Dean, and highlights 42 definitive examples representing both metropolitan producers and smaller, regional studios. Many of the shows in the exhibit prioritize local issues and communities, providing a window into American daily life from 1976-2016. In addition to defining the format, the exhibit looks at important precursors during the 1960s that experimented with news reporting.

“Structuring the News” can be accessed online at http://americanarchive.org/exhibits/newsmagazines.

To celebrate the launch of “Structuring the News: The Magazine Format in Public Media”, the exhibit’s curator, Alejandra Dean, AAPB Project Manager Casey Davis Kaufman, and Mark Williams, Professor of Film and Media Studies at Dartmouth College, will be discussing newsmagazines in a Facebook Live event at 12pm EDT on Thursday, July 6th. Don’t miss this inside look at over fifty years of broadcast newsmagazines, and the chance to ask questions about the exhibit! To watch, head to WGBH’s Facebook page at 12pm EDT on July 6th.

PBS Annual Meeting Presentation & Takeaways

The American Archive team from WGBH presented at the PBS Annual Meeting in San Francisco. We had the wonderful opportunity to meet many of our station collaborators in person and gather tremendously useful feedback from participants. Many thanks to all of those who attended the session and reception, as well as those who took the time to meet with us at other moments during the conference. Additionally, we are sincerely grateful to our co-presenters, Sandy Schonning from KQED and Laura Sampson from Rocky Mountain PBS’ Stations Archived Memories program.

Below we’ve provided our Annual Meeting slideshow, divided into three sections: 1) history and progress of the American Archive, 2) stories from stations, and 3) discussion. During the discussion section, we asked a series of questions, and in this version of the presentation you will find a summary of the answers. If your organization is participating in the American Archive, please feel free to comment on this post with your answers to these questions (or questions about these questions!).

Feel free to email any of our session presenters:

Karen Cariani, Director
WGBH Media Library & Archives
karen_cariani [at] wgbh [dot] org

Casey E. Davis, Project Manager, American Archive
WGBH Media Library & Archives
casey_davis [at] wgbh [dot] org

Laura Sampson, Rocky Mountain PBS
Stations Archived Memories 

laurasampson [at] me [dot] com

Sandy Schonning, KQED
sschonning [at] kqed [dot] org

♥ Happy Valentine’s Day from the American Archive and Chicago Public Media! ♥

Happy Valentine’s Day! Love is in the air today as we share with you a clip from the American Archive, contributed by Chicago Public Media (WBEZ), featuring Little Milton singing “I Want to Love You” at the Chicago Blues Festival in June of 1987.


“The Chicago Blues Festival has been a Chicago institution for over 30 years and has grown to hold the title of the largest free blues festival in the world. Held every summer in Chicago’s Grant Park, the festival has consistently featured blues legends alongside the future stars of the genre and, despite Chicago’s embarrassment of riches when it comes to blues artists, features performers from around the world. If they’ve sung the blues, chances are they’ve appeared at the festival,” says Chicago Public Media’s Director of Studio and Broadcast Operations Adam Yoffe. “WBEZ has been lucky enough to capture some of the earliest years of the festival to tape, and are excited to bring them to the archive in the coming months.”

Chicago Public Media’s music archives feature interviews and live performances with many of the most revered jazz and blues figures in the country and includes hundreds of reels that date from the mid-1980s to the early ’90s, such as performances of jazz greats Etta James and Dizzy Gillespie and blues legends Lonnie Brooks and Koko Taylor.

This program we’re sharing today was originally recorded on 1/4″ audio tape and was digitized in the first 40,000 hours of the American Archive collection, which are now being preserved at the Library of Congress.

This American Life showcased in today's Google Doodle
This American Life showcased in today’s Google Doodle

And while your in the Valentine’s Day spirit, you should check out today’s Google Doodle. WBEZ’s This American Life has collaborated with Google on today’s Doodle, featuring candy hearts and Valentine’s Day-themed stories produced by This American Life.

**Audio clip courtesy Chicago Public Media (WBEZ). All rights reserved.
Thanks to American Archive intern Bill Nehring for editing today’s clip.
This post was written by Casey E. Davis, Project Manager for the AAPB at WGBH