From YouTube to Broadcast

by Daniel Farber-Bell

Thecirlogo new public television series “Reveal” shows how important content can travel from the internet to broadcast media, bringing online investigative reporting and in-depth research to audiences who are more accustomed to television and radio.

The four-episode series was created by the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR). It’s presented by Oregon Public Broadcasting and has been distributed by the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) to PBS affiliates since the first of October. “Reveal” uses materials from CIR’s YouTube channel “The I Files”, building on the Center’s 37 years of experience in uncovering and exposing injustices. The show airs content that is usually not broadcast on television, to viewers who are unfamiliar with it.

Joaquin Alvarado of CIR said to Teta Alim of, “We do a lot of video, and we wanted a chance to test this idea of having ‘Reveal’ really hit all of the major public media channels, from digital to radio to TV.” And with a public radio series planned to air starting January 2015, it seems “Reveal” will be able to reach a much larger audience. “Reveal” presents in depth investigations in each of its hour long episodes, starting with a longer documentary portion, followed by shorter reports and ending with an informative animation segment. It touches on issues such as juveniles incarcerated in solitary confinement, challenges for women in Afghanistan and child soldiers in Mexico.

“Reveal” reports are based on extensive research and on the ground encounters. For example, according to, the “Reveal” team worked for several years on their documentary about women in Afghanistan following the characters and gathering testimonies. This is a kind of reporting that is hardly found in today’s fast-pace, instant, micro-blogging media.

Taking content from the rapidly growing web, traditionally viewed by an internet oriented younger audience and sharing it on public broadcast, provides an intriguing new direction for content distribution in public media.

For more details on “Reveal” read “OPB, Center for Investigative Reporting launch public TV version of Reveal” on, by Teta Alim.


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