KCET Aims to Turn Viewers Into Programmers With Artbound

Today KCET launched a new series called Artbound, and with it a novel approach to arts journalism, one that lets readers vote on what stories the TV station will produce.

The Artbound web presence features articles and columns by a host of contributors, including Sharon Mizota of the LA Times, Frances Anderton of KCRW and DWELL magazine, and Joel Beers of the OC Weekly. It reads like a pretty standard arts section, but with a touch of American Idol thrown in. KCET explains:

These long-form, multimedia articles will be rated by readers and vetted by the Artbound editorial team; highly compelling stories will be produced in a short format video documentary and featured online. Artbound’s audience will have the opportunity to share, discuss and comment on the films. Shortly thereafter, four original 30-minute TV episodes will be produced culled from the content and social activity online.

Allowing the audience to choose KCET programming is a compelling idea. But readers of arts coverage do not tend to the be most vocal of online commenters, so we’ll be curious to see how much participation this project inspires.