A more involved, immersive public requires a newly designed Public Media service to support it. One that provides a 360º people-centric experience; is participatory in nature; and serves as a central nexus in people sharing, commenting, collaborating, and finding ways to be involved in their communities.
This new public media is a mechanism created for the public's voice that grows out of and is driven by the public's interests. By telling the story with the public and not about the public, and incorporating an integrated multi-platform approach to the development, production and distribution of content, Public Media can better fulfill the expanded needs of today's complex and engaging media landscape.
KCET's Departures series embraces this concept by redefining the production process and understanding the community as a partner and an expert. This relationship is fostered offline and on by engaging community residents, non-profit organizations, schools and students, in the creation and procurement of relevant and relatable content. From development to production, the neighborhood and its community (the stake holders) are involved in the process of production, resulting in a tight knit between the aspirations of the local community and the station. Departures is a participatory platform, a series, and a network where people can convene information and ideas about our city and its people, and engage in the interpretation of the city that we live in.
Departures' production model involves KCET producers directly with the community by partnering with local organizations and asking them what stories need to be told. No one knows Los Angeles as well as the organizations and individuals working and living in the area. By bringing them in and engaging them in every step of the content development process, Departures provides an authentic, accurate and fresh take on the issues and stories most affecting the city.
Similarly, the Departures Education team engages youth in the area and through a series of workshops and curricula tailored for the series, examines how multimedia theory and application can link students to their personal and community history, examining issues in social science and civic engagement. Through this process students become knowledgeable in the history, geography, and socio-political issues in their community, develop life and professional skills, learn technology and multimedia production, and become producers of KCET's web series Departures.