Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, news program airing on over 500 stations in North America (radio, television, new media). As part of a large public media collaboration in the U.S., Democracy Now! is broadcast on Pacifica, NPR, community, and college radio stations; on public access, PBS, satellite television (DISH network: Free Speech TV ch. 9415 and Link TV ch. 9410; DIRECTV: Link TV ch. 375); as a "podcast," and on the Internet. Democracy Now! performs as an independent news voice, harvesting content from its many media collaborators and suppliers, in order to weave multiple topics and segments into its news programs.
The news reports from Democracy Now! provide audiences with access to people and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S.corporate-sponsored media, including independent and international journalists, ordinary people from around the world, grassroots leaders and peace activists, artists, academics and independent analysts. In addition, Democracy Now! hosts debates between people who substantially disagree, such as between the White House or the Pentagon spokespeople on the one hand, and grassroots activists on the other. According to Democracy Now!...
New stations continue to add Democracy Now! to their programming schedules, and there are several movements around the country to bring Democracy Now! to new communities. Democracy Now! is funded entirely through contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations. They do not accept advertisers, donations from corporations, or donations from governments, striving to maintain an unaffiliated, editorially-independent voice.
In earlier days for Democracy Now!, the only metadata that was captured about programs produced in-house and from out-of-house sources were four fields of information (often what appeared on media labels). The need was apparent for collecting more granular program descriptions, especially dates of producton as well as "Temporal Coverage" markers that anchored a piece of media to a specific event or point in time. As well, cataloging smaller program segments and associating their relationships to a parent news story are central to the production workflows within Democracy Now! Overall, the organization's metadata efforts are two pronged...
Growing additional metadata as well as building file management and database tools to capture expanded descriptions are part of the current effort to manage their ever-growing collections of records. In fact, as of 2007, the production database for Democracy Now! is managing over 3 gigabytes of metadata, 42,000 that are PBCore compatible and another 200,000 scraped from satellite transmissions for programs of interest to Democracy Now!
PBCore became attractive to Democracy Now! as a metadata dictionary that was in the "open source spirit" (Creative Commons license) and available to organizations outside of the public television and radio industry. In the throws of developing their own data dictionary and schema, Democracy Now! found PBCore had already done extensive work in defining its metadata structures and could be integrated into their own systems.
As expected for any Application Specific Profile, like that of Democracy Now!'s production database and web-published program offers, PBCore has performed as a base schema. Democracy Now! has grafted customized metadata extensions onto PBCore's original 53 fields in order to meet its programming and production needs.
Vital to their workflows is the ability to describe and track relationships between smaller program segments and how they are incorporated into larger, more encompassing programs with topical themes. PBCore does not readily accommodate these relationships in a single "Collection Level File" but instead is best able to handle relationships as associations between one independent metadata record and another. Further development is ongoing in discovering the best practice to accomplish Democracy Now!'s requirements.
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