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Update on PMP Implementation in Bento


As mentioned in a previous post, South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB) Pilots PMP on Bento, visitors to SDPB’s site can now connect with deep, robust and engaging content thanks in part to the Public Media Platform (PMP). Included in this statement are dozens of stories, audio, video and interactive graphics from major content producers and contributors around the system.

No, Director of Content Larry Rohrer didn’t just find a secret cache to hire a dozen additional digital staff members. Instead, Digital Producer Brian Gevik, integrated the Public Media Platform into SDPB’s main website, powered by PBS’ Bento content management system (CMS). It’s the first such integration of PMP content within Bento.

"It's allowing us to pull in content from all of the public media partners and display that content in a Bento page," Gevik says.

Like many joint licensees – especially those that produce local news – SDPB faced a challenge: How could it easily combine its local news and audio content (hosted through NPR’s Core Publisher CMS solution) with its video and other site elements (hosted on Bento)?

With the PMP, some custom code and a little help from PBS Digital, SDPB was able to solve their issue and leverage Bento. Now when the station produces a story on Asian Carp invading the state’s rivers for example, it can add depth and context through related stories from public-media outlets such as PBS NewsHour and NOVA; American Public Media’s Marketplace; Public Radio International’s The World; and NPR’s national news programming.

Before PMP, the only way to build out a package of links which pulled in this type of content was manually searching each public-media partner’s site – hours of work, meaning it never happened. With the PMP – Bento integration, it’s a quick search query (see image below). According to Rohrer, this allows SDPB to deliver on the full potential of public media to its audience – and stretch the station’s modest resources.
Examples of SDPB PMP Content Implementation: 

  • A local story about the state’s first case of measles in nearly 20 years, supplemented with more than a dozen other pieces about the vaccines debate. 
  • A multi-part package on South Dakota’s deteriorating bridges and roads, with added context from national partners. 
Station Resources: 
Product implementation training and support documentation resources are now available for PMP integration within Bento. See the implementation product training video; and product documentation pages about PMP and how to request access to the PMP API for more information.

What’s Next:
Currently, the Bento integration pulls headlines, photos and introductory text from PMP onto a Bento page. Upon clicking on this content, a user would be taken off to the original source article Additional upgrades to launch in the coming weeks will allow full text and other content to flow freely. Users can also expect a native audio player.

This will help address requests from SDPB’s digital team and others whom want to keep pushing for more. Gevik and Rohrer, for instance, would love an automated “top stories” or “water cooler” module that would pull in a mix of headlines and interesting stories – and find other ways to use the tools to help deliver on the promise of public media to their audiences

"It's that point of view: ‘What else can we do with an organization of our size?’ “ Rohrer says. “Now when someone (from the newsroom) comes to Brian and says, ‘I wonder what else we can do?’ - well, there he goes."

Editor’s Note: Stations can only pull in content they have rights to. For questions about content rights, please content Marc Pultuskier from PMP.

By Tom Davidson | Senior Director | PBS Digital and Jen Carter Hinders | Producer Manager | PBS Digital

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