Tuesday, July 15, 2008

NPR Cancels BPP

National Public Radio has canceled its ambitious Bryant Park Project, aimed at drawing-in younger, more media-savvy, listeners.

Unlike most NPR shows, the BPP was available online through daily podcasts, supported by a Facebook page, and updated frequently through Twitter. BPP developed a strong following, particularly among its target audience, who have been quite vocal in their dismay over the news. The cancellation has also been heavily-covered by online news sources and throughout the Blogosphere.

While never an incredibly popular station, NPR has suffered in recent years, due to the general public's perception of the station as too heady and aimed at older audiences. It is true that many of NPR's shows are aimed at older audience members and focus on political, financial, and world issues most younger people are generally uninterested in. Put more simply, young people are more interested in topics and ideas which personally affect them, and though it can be argued that larger political and world issues affect everyone, when you get right down to it, life is better-handled at the local level. BPP hit that local level on a national stage and opened NPR up to its listeners, who could directly react and respond to the stories and staff.

NPR invested a reported $2 million in the BPP, though none of that included publicity, as I myself had never heard of the program until news of its cancellation hit the Web. While my local area does not get a good signal from a NPR outlet, I am online about 20 hours of the day and always seeking reputable, exciting news sources and media; BPP is a project I would have appreciated and been actively involved in - had I been aware of it!

You can voice your concerns and plea for the show's revival by writing NPR.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

1 comment:

ManoDogs said...

NPR's response to the developing movement to somehow save BPP (so far) was to run a succinct article discussing basically what was written above.

Ever true to our intentions here to The Cyberculturalist, one speaker notes the model failed because it bothered to move outside the Web medium at all.