Some 800 people attended the Sept. 13 dedication of Public Media Commons in St. Louis, a unique 9,000–square-foot outdoor media environment located between Nine Network and St. Louis Public Radio that features two-story–high video walls and 5-foot interactive touch screens. The $6 million project, funded by local contributions, is a collaboration among the stations and the University of Missouri-St.
NPR’s news applications and multimedia operations are merging into a single unit to be headed by current News Applications Editor Brian Boyer. “We were already sitting right next to each other,” Boyer said. “When we moved into the new building, it was already obvious that we would be working closely together.”
The departments have already collaborated on several projects, including a web presentation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s family photos and a Tumblr, Cook Your Cupboard, which advises home cooks about how to use odds and ends from their pantries. Other desks have often approached Boyer’s team about attempting projects with multimedia components, he said, forcing him to redirect such requests to the Multimedia desk. The new arrangement will make collaboration smoother, he said.