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National Center for Media Engagement

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MiND: Media Independence (WYBE)

Philadelphia, PA

MiND: Media Independence is one of the nation’s smallest public television stations, yet it serves the largest coverage area–from southern Connecticut to northern Maryland. It does so with a unique approach that takes full advantage of media 2.0. MiND is the creator, curator, and distributor of short stories with a local and a global focus. The format gives voice to people and communities not often seen on television. A staff of 12 teaches people to use media, provides a creative, welcoming place to produce videos, and provides extensive distribution.

Community members produce about one in four of MiND’s five-minute programs, with many more programs produced by MiND and their local partners. “We knew we’d be working on a small budget so we looked at what would have the greatest impact,” says CEO Howard Blumenthal. “People only watch a few hours a week, so we decided to use the ‘repeat factor’ and provide a library of programs. We keep production costs low by showing programs 200 times per year, allowing us to air 100 hours of MiND programming a week.”

Design Matters

When Blumenthal and his team dreamed up MiND, he knew good design mattered to the overall identity they were presenting to the community. The logo and trademark were developed in-house. The staff then developed an intern project with six universities in the region to produce more than 250 thirty second animated station IDs. Here are a few of the best: 

Awaken Your Mind: 

 

Phrenology: 

 

Watch more of the “Best MiND IDs” here

MiND Boot Camp Trains New Producers

“We thought many, many people would have many, many stories to tell and simply opening doors would cause that to happen,” explained Blumenthal. That apparently didn’t happen to the extent Blumenthal had expected.  “We found we needed to train people,” he said.

MiND has trained over 1,000 people through a video production boot camp now in its fifth year.  “…I appreciated not only all the technical info, but also the practical experience,” raved one trainee, describing the mix of content.

Over six years, MiND’s internship program has trained an additional 250 college students, some retirees, and others. “We have a great relationship with folks in all areas of our community,” notes Blumenthal. “MiND provides a creative environment that attracts people to come in and produce.”

Watch a few examples of MiND programming:

Community Screening Events Spark Discussions, Networking

MiND has partnered with community organizations to produce more than twenty screenings, projects and events on significant social issues. Screenings and discussions have explored violence prevention with Drexel’s Center for the Prevention of School-Aged Violence; the importance of locally-sourced foods with the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and Kimberton Whole Foods;  civil rights with the Women’s Law Project, the ACLU of Greater Philadelphia and Equality PA, among others. The programs premiered in primetime and were made available on the MiND Web site. “We want to [organize the event and] get out of the way so the organizations can be the center of attention,” explained Blumenthal. “We’re raising awareness and connecting people.”

Strong Relationship with Your Audience Creates Compelling Content

Blumenthal believes that MiND’s approach to program development, production, and community engagement is powerful because of the impact it provides and because it makes financial sense. Programs are aired several hundred times, so their cumulative audiences are significant. Individuals and organizations see their work presented to a very large audience–not just once. “MiND’s ongoing commitment to the community is evident more than 100 hours each week, as MiND provides more local programming to its community than just about any public TV station in the country,” says Blumenthal. And since content is key, he adds, “Having an ongoing relationship with our audience makes sure we deliver content that is of interest to them.”

– See more at: http://apps.mediaengage.org/storyexchange/story_pmw.cfm?sid=161169#sthash.ng1pxGOy.dpuf