NET Expands Emergency Alerts on Mobile and Digital Platforms

News Release Date: 
April 6, 2018

For Immediate Release

NET Expands Emergency Alerts on Mobile and Digital Platforms

LINCOLN, Neb. (April 6, 2018) – In an effort to enhance public safety for listeners living in “tornado alley,” NET – Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Stations, is taking part in a project to improve and expand local emergency-messaging capabilities on mobile devices and other digital platforms. The goal is to help stations generate locally-produced tornado test alerts and to synchronize these alerts with their audio broadcasts – all in an effort to protect lives in an emergency.

The 27 participating stations, which are located in tornado prone areas across 10 states, will be outfitted with the Public Radio Satellite System (PRSS) MetaPub delivery service. Developed by NPR Distribution, MetaPub allows local stations to issue text and graphic alerts synchronized with over-the-air broadcast messages that can be heard and seen on mobile phones, HD radios, “connected car” devices, Radio Data System (RDS) displays and via online streaming.

Stations participating in the project have reported that listeners are already responding positively to metadata-enhanced broadcasts. One listener tweeted to NET’s radio station KUCV in Lincoln, “Love having the programming info on the screen while I’m driving!”

The project is funded by a $419,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). As part of the CPB grant, the PRSS will ensure that all of the stations have the necessary hardware, software and training to enable the use of MetaPub.

“We at NET are very happy to participate in this project, as we are committed to keeping our listeners informed, enlightened and safe,” said Ling Ling Sun, Assistant General Manager of Technology Services. “We’ve seen the potential of metadata to strengthen our relationship with our audiences, and we’re looking forward to increasing our work with MetaPub with our broadcasts.”

PRSS will provide engineering support and conduct quality-assurance tests. Participating stations will provide feedback about the installation and implementation of MetaPub and ways to improve usage that may help not only their communities, but communities across the country.

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CONTACT: Kim Rogers, 402-660-5521, krogers@netNebraska.org

NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Stations

NET is Nebraska's statewide public media service dedicated to creating opportunities for Nebraskans to engage with critical issues, compelling stories and quality entertainment. NET serves each of Nebraska’s 93 counties with 52,560 hours of programming each year on four television and two radio channels, plus online and mobile content. In addition to providing free, high-quality educational programming for children, NET provides programming in the arts, award-winning news and current affairs information and emergency alert services. For more information about NET, visit netNebraska.org.