Fall 2021 Update

Release Season is Here!

For the various production teams in Labs, autumn 2021 has been a long time in coming. It's release season for us, and we're excited that a few of our projects are finally making their way to your eyes, ears and mice!

First, eyes. Producer Jenni Johnson has been working this year to right something that has been bugging us for years. The content on our Paleo Sleuths website has been nearly devoid of the contributions that women in Nebraska have made to paleontology. So Jenni set out to set the record straight. This summer we released her short piece on Carrie Barbour, America's first American female paleontologist. In making that film, Jenni realized that there was not one but two Nebraskan Carries worthy of our attention. Jenni's second piece, Carrie Herbel: Preparing the Past is out now. And Jenni is in R&D on a third piece to make her contribution a trilogy. More on that in 2022!

Now, ears. In late 2019, Senior Emerging Media Producer Mary Anne Andrei set out to tell the story of skateboarding culture in the Midwest. Now an Olympic sport, skateboarding is still mostly thought of as a West Coast phenomenon. But, as Mary Anne and host Brenton Gomez (aka, the DIY rapper "Conny Franko") show us, the Midwest made significant contributions to skate culture that are in danger of being forgotten. At the heart of this story, and the "why" behind series, is a desire to dispel the notion that skaters are antisocial anarchists. Quite the contrary, Center of Gravity: A PlainStory Podcast will show you how important community is to this group of nonconformist athletes and artists.

Finally, mice. Since 2018, what we now call Labs has been experimenting with virtual reality. Building on our extensive experiments with 360 video from 2016-2019, we feel that a major part of the next generation of public media will be exploratory experiences that use space as a communication medium. Our tests and experiments have led us to a very exciting collaboration with the University of Nebraska State Museum that is now available: Expedition Nebraska: A Natural History VR Experience. This is Nebraska Public Media's first published WebVR experience. That means all you need is an updated version of your web browser and a reasonable internet connection to explore the virtual space. We very much believe that VR should be for everyone, not just those who can afford a fancy headset, and while app and headset versions are forthcoming later this year, releasing this experience first to the web was a priority for Nebraska Public Media. We'll be making iterative updates and expansions throughout the autumn, so keep checking back to this page for updates.

Chad Davis
Chief Innovation Officer


Who We Are...

Grounded Applications Developed for Groundbreaking Media

Nebraska Public Media Labs is the organization's R&D department - a space for experimentation, exploration and incubation of new opportunities in content creation and storytelling. Looking toward the next generation of public media, we:

  1. Test ideas that lead to a better understanding of the opportunities in emerging media for Nebraska Public Media
  2. Expand the technology tool kit of content creation available to all storytellers at Nebraska Public Media
  3. Create content and products that, when published, create measurable impact while reflecting the values of Nebraska Public Media and Nebraska Public Media Labs
360° Video Demo in Omaha, NE
Nebraskans exploring some of Labs' spatial media experiments.