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Reddit Users Get Their Own TV Show

PBS is partnering with social news service Reddit to pilot a television series called YourWeek that combines user-submitted video segments and in-studio commentary.

Reddit went public with its plans today in order to solicit user participation for the series pilot, which is supposed to be posted online June 6. If the show gets picked up, it will premiere on TV this fall.

YourWeek will be hosted by Michelle Cottle of The New Republic and Rich Lowry of the National Review, who will add further reporting on stories that make it to the top of Reddit. Reddit won’t be expanding to support video posts, but it will encourage users to contribute links to first-person reports they’ve posted elsewhere. The show sounds like kind of the inverse of Current TV, in that it’s grounded in an active community that doesn’t necessarily have production chops.

YourWeek topics will include “politics, arts, international, science, tech, social, sports, and pop culture” — so basically everything. Reddit and PBS are trying to make the show participatory in some creative ways, for instance asking users to write its theme song and promising to incorporate viewer feedback and corrections even after shows air on TV.

Reddit, which is owned by Conde Nast, clearly isn’t getting into public television for the money. Co-founder Alexis Ohanian described the show as a way to expose Reddit’s news filtering and commenting community. “PBS can reach much a broader, much more mainstream audience, and our users have been clamoring for that kind of platform. The biggest draw for us was putting us in front of a much bigger audience and to affect what people are talking about.”

When asked about the show driven by top stories on that other social news site, Digg’s Diggnation, Ohanian replied, “No offense to Kevin and Alex, but I expect the discourse to be a little higher. I don’t think the hosts will be drinking beers.”

5 Responses to “Reddit Users Get Their Own TV Show”

  1. My first reaction was that this sounds really neat.

    My second reaction was somewhat of a surprise because I have always thought of Reddit as being one of the most extreme/radical pop communities. Around the time Reddit was bought, the top stories were often about Ron Paul, NSFW, along with a lot of preaching to the choir – most of which I dont associate at all with the more scholarly nature of the PBS brand.

    The quote takes a cheap digg at Digg(nation) but even Digg which is not exactly the most sophisticated audience is however less extreme than the Reddit audience.

    As of right now, the top stories on Reddit:


    A link to a non-profound political Cartoon


    McCain Backer Hagee Said Hitler Was Fulfilling God’s Will (AUDIO) “John Hagee, the controversial evangelical leader and endorser of Sen. John McCain, argued in a late 1990s sermon that the Nazis had operated on God’s behalf to chase the Jews from Europe and shepherd them to Palestine. According to the Reverend, Adolph Hitler was a “hunter,” sent by God, who was tasked with expediting God’s will of having the Jews re-establish a state of Israel.”


    The quest for every bead type. “I’ve been growing a beard every winter for some years now, and every spring, I try to see how many facial hair variations as I can check off from the chart of facial hair types. Listed below are descriptions of the 34 facial hair types from the chart, including examples of the 19 variations that I’ve been able to attain so far.”

    Anyway, after all this, I still think its neat.