July 17, 2008
Danielle Deabler, NPR




July 17, 2008; Washington, D.C. – Today, NPR is launching an Open API (Application Programming Interface) that will make NPR news and information content available to access, include and share on individual websites and blogs.

The API will also allow the 860 NPR Member public radio stations around the country to incorporate more NPR news and information content in their digital media products and services, and establish a framework for eventually sharing their own content. Additionally, it will extend third-party content partnership opportunities for NPR and Member stations.

This launch represents one of the first comprehensive Open APIs introduced by a major national media organization. It is also the latest step in NPR’s multifaceted digital media strategy, which has included expansion of the NPR.org site, NPR Podcasts, the NPR Music destination site and NPR Mobile on-demand services.

Members of NPR’s Open API development team will introduce it and demonstrate its capabilities at the O’Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON) in Portland, OR next week. The NPR session will be Thursday, July 24, 5:20PM (PT); registration is required.

“An Open API lets NPR offer our content to the public in infinite ways,” Darren Mauro, Director, User Experience Delivery, NPR Digital Media. “The public has always been an essential part of what we do – we have ‘Public’ in our name – and the API concept will advance that relationship in a transformative way.

An Open API is a cutting-edge digital programming tool that, using a set of technologies, enables websites to interact with each other and to more easily share content. The NPR Open API will provide access to more than 10 years of NPR-produced content, primarily NPR News: this includes audio, text, and photography for developers to easily incorporate into their sites and blogs and share with larger audiences. The user can curate personal collections of news based on topics of interest, favorite programs or current events. The range of content available includes NPR breaking news, books, politics, health and science, arts and culture and international subjects. Also, a wide variety of non-performance NPR Music content – such as artist interviews, features and reviews – is available. NPR’s Open API site offers examples of innovative applications of the API that range from interactive mapping to reusable widgets. An example of an NPR Open API widget is: http://www.npr.org/api/widgets.php

The API will permit the Member stations to incorporate more national news content into their websites; for instance, aggregating national news with particular relevance to their local communities and combining it with their own station-produced coverage. Future NPR Open API plans include enabling Member stations to share their own locally-produced news and other content.

“With the changing media landscape, local public radio stations have become increasingly more important to their communities and this new resource will enable them to expand their public service.” said Zach Brand, Director & Chief of Technical Strategy, NPR Digital Media.

More information about use of the NPR Open API is available at www.npr.org/api