National Public Radio (NPR) is a media organization, an online radio application that produces, distributes and delivers breaking national and world news. It is also a privately supported, not-for-profit membership organization, NPR produces and distributes programming that reaches a combined audience of 26.4 million listeners weekly. With original online content and audio streaming, NPR.org offers hourly newscasts, special features and ten years of archived audio and information (NPR, 2010).
NPR is one of Media Convergence – an example that offers a new digital distribution communication platform to deliver broader public service to their world-wide listeners (international, national and community) and also engages and interacts with their audiences. According to Jenkins, media convergence is more than simply a technological shift. Convergence alters the relationship between existing technologies, industries, markets, genres and audiences. Convergence refers to a process, but not an endpoint. With this, media convergence will come a new trend in consumption.
NPR stated that “Open, distributed access to public radio content will result in much greater usage than if we require everyone to come to our portals” (Dennis Haarsager, 2008). Therefore, to increase distribution opportunities, NPR has announced the release of their APIs at O’Reilly’s Open Source Convention (OSCON) 2008.
The NPR Application Programming Interface (API) has enabled developers and more tech-savvy users to build complex applications (See picture below).
NPR’s API is a content API, which essentially provides a structured way for other computer applications to get NPR stories in a predictable, flexible and powerful way (NPR, 2010). For example, podcast directory – mix your own podcast – is one of NPR’s content APIs created by NPR to allow developers to remix and reuse any podcast content created by the network. NPR Addict and NPR Backstory are mashups that are created by third party developers (tech-savvy users) Therefore, NPR opens APIs which make APIs more transparent and opens them to its users. As well as, it provides an interaction platform to allow users to innovate and be creative with its podcast content.
The following video clip shows how people use NPR Addict on their iphone:
In conclusion, NPR provides a secure platform for application developers and tech-savvy users through assembly and innovation. NPR is also open its APIs to increase the spread of its digital material. In the future, the Web probably will offer more and more open web services. As well, more and more companies will allow their APIs to be open to attract more drive traffics. In other words, allowing more people to visit NPR website.
Haarsager, D. 2008. NPR’s digital distribution strategy.
Retrieved March 19, 2010 from : http://technology360.typepad.com/technology360/2008/09/nprs-digital-di.html
Jacobson, D and Neal, H. 2008. Open Content – National Public Radio.
Retrieved March 19, 2010 from : http://www.npr.org/images/api/NPR_OSCON_open_content_for_insidenprorg.pd f
NPR. 2010. API Documentation – API Overview.
Retrieved March 19, 2010 from : http://www.npr.org/api/index.php
Jenkins, H. 2004. The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence’ International Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 7 (1), 33-43.