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NPR Music: Remediation, curation, and National Public Radio in the digital convergence era

Autor: Christopher Cwynar
Revista: Media, Culture & Society
Link: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0163443716674362

This article considers National Public Radio’s (NPR) relationship with music and the web. I argue that the NPR Music project has successfully leveraged NPR’s perceived autonomy from commercial factors, sophisticated cultural sensibility, established audience, and unique network of member stations to become an important curator of music-based radio and music itself. Building on an emerging discussion of the politics of curation and publicity in the social media and streaming paradigm, this article extends the concept of ‘soundwork’ to argue that national public media organizations must increasingly both produce and curate content in order to compete for attention and engagement on the platform-based social web. As this case study of NPR Music demonstrates, these legacy institutions can leverage their valuable ‘national public’ identities in order to facilitate these activities, but this strategy threatens to undermine their legitimacy during a period in which ‘public’ is an increasingly contested and contingent term.