John Proffitt (the one in Anchorage, not Houston) returned from the Public Media 2008 conference in February and wrote:
... In my (current) view, IMA appears to be at an impasse. We seem to have reached a point where integrated media advocacy has given out, where recommendations and demonstrations fail to move our organizations to meaningful action. ¶ To date, IMA has been effective at putting the online services question on the table within public broadcasting and has done so eloquently and repeatedly. But for all the work completed, no significant sea change has yet arrived. Meanwhile, the house of public TV is on fire, we’re losing audience to a fracturing media world across the board and new players (like Wikipedia and others) have stolen “our” web traffic and possibly our raison d’etre. ...
Link: Gravity Medium.
For readers outside of U.S. pubcasting, the IMA is the Integrated Media Association, the organization which encourages work in emerging public media. I was on its board until resigning last fall to chair NPR's board. But I think John makes a good point. I've been a self-appointed nag about new media for nearly a decade and can't really point to much success. That may just be my own ineffectiveness, but John implies something more widespread it involved.
John's post initiated a very articulate conversation that you shouldn't miss in the comments with consultant Rob Paterson and independent radio producer Stephen Hill, like John, both deep thinkers about this. Stephen has collected his comments in his blog. See Calling the game (link: Spatial Relations) and Pack light and bring your values with you (link: Spatial Relations). In the second, Stephen notes:
... The problem is that mass usage paradigms do not translate into viable business models for niche services. ¶ All of public broadcasting with the exception of the big NPR news shows and a few others is a niche in the media world. Geographically defined, locally focused services are also another niche in Internet logic. ...