“Newspaper death spiral,” and a proposal to avoid it, envisioned for pubcasting

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The worst of the “Econolypse” is yet to come and public broadcasters need a plan of action, writes Robert Paterson, a consultant on NPR’s New Realities project who also advises stations. Paterson plays out a grim scenario for the field in 2009 — continued cost reductions that put NPR on “the newspaper death spiral” and force stations to scale back until they become network repeaters. His solution? “In short there has to be a drive to create a true PUBLIC MEDIA NETWORK — to set up a network that can offer all the members the full value of the network effect,” he writes. Paterson points to a proposal co-developed with Alaska Public Media’s John Proffitt to reorganize the Alaska Public Radio Network as a collaborative public media entity, or “chaordic organization.” A slide show from Proffitt’s presentation to Alaska pubcasters is here, and Proffitt writes about it and takes questions on his blog, Gravity Medium.

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