A small hinged window above a door, allowing light and ventilation into hallways of older buildings. At magazine and newspaper offices, unsolicited manuscripts were submitted “over the transom.”
What We Are Trying To Do
Transom channels new work, voices, and ideas into public media through the Internet and workshops. Our goal is to be useful and inspiring. Transom is a performance space, an open editorial session, an audition stage, a library, and a hangout. Our purpose is to pass the baton of mission and good practice in public media through tools, philosophy, and technique.
Atlantic Public Media & Transom.org
Atlantic Public Media (APM) administers Transom. APM is a non-profit organization based in Woods Hole, Massachusetts which has as its mission, “to serve public broadcasting through training and mentorship, and through support for creative and experimental approaches to program production and distribution.” APM is also the founding group for WCAI, public radio for the Cape, Coast and Islands under the management of WGBH-Boston. After Transom, APM co-founded (with SRG) the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) – an online marketplace and distribution center for radio content. APM also produces The Moth Radio Hour and various other projects. You can learn more about Atlantic Public Media’s work here.
The idea for Transom came from journalist and devoted public radio listener, Bill McKibben, arising from his desire to hear more interesting and diverse stories on the air. Bill’s idea was championed by Jay Allison, Executive Director of APM, who liked it for the way it brings together the worlds of public radio and online community. Jay has been involved with both since the early days – with NPR since the 1970s and as host on The WELL and of The Association of Independent’s in Radio (AIR) online conferencing since the 1980s.
Transom launched in early 2001 after receiving lead funding from the Florence and Schumann Center for Democracy. In 2003, Transom won the first Peabody Award ever given exclusively to a website. In the years following, we have received funding from the Ford Foundation and the Knight Foundation. The National Endowment for the Arts has provided ongoing support. We are also funded by direct donation from our users. Find out more here.