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PBS and NPR stations across the country collaborate to launch the newly redesigned Forum Network, an online video lecture service and website


Boston, MA , PBS, NPR and WGBH announce today the launch of the redesigned Forum Network (, a national digital media lecture service and website that provides free educative content in the form of online lectures to citizens of local communities and beyond. Public stations across the country are working in collaboration with local mission-driven community organizations, and cultural and educational institutions to produce free online lectures that educate, inform and engage people in ideas, cultural diversity, and compelling issues of our time.

The Forum Network began at WGBH, Boston’s public broadcaster, as a local community service and online media initiative. In 2008, generous funding from PBS, NPR, CPB, WGBH and the Lowell Society made it possible to rebrand and relaunch the Forum Network as a national PBS and NPR public service and platform.

The updated Forum Network site features thousands of high quality lecture videos and audio downloads by some of the world’s leading thinkers, scientists, policymakers, artists, authors, and community leaders. It incorporates social networking elements that enable audiences to exchange ideas and content through time-coded commenting, discussion threads, media rating, and sharing tools. Closed Captioning, transcripts, and slides are also available for select videos on the Forum Network.

“The Forum Network connects diverse producers, perspectives, and people in a network of public discourse around the globe,” said Jon Abbott, WGBH president. “Public broadcasting is unique in that it has the organizing principle of local television and radio stations in communities across the nation co-producing content with community partners. We have the added value of being able to align and promote this content with our broadcast programs and platforms.”

Participating Public Stations in Washington, DC (WETA), New York City (WNET), Atlanta (Public Broadcasting Atlanta), and Boston (WGBH) are currently generating new content around compelling local and global issues by extending the stations’ local impact to museums, libraries, universities and community groups that offer public lectures. Forum Network partners include top colleges, institutes, forums, and museums such as the Harvard Institute of Politics, MIT Tech & Culture Forum, Museum of Science, High Museum of Art, Cambridge Forum, Boston Athenaeum, Museum of African American History, Southern Center for International Studies, and many more. Video on the new website is powered by the Kaltura open source online video platform.

Forum Network director Eli Ingraham said, “The trusted brands of PBS and NPR, together with the constellation of public stations, provide neutral ground for audiences around the world to explore topics of interest, to expose themselves to different ideas, to get engaged. We call it a user-generated citizenry.”


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