Watch what matters
What do we do?
We help people discover authentic educational and artistic content by supporting and spotlighting exceptional content creators. Together we are building a public media for the 21st century.
We love authentic content that many independent creators make, but we know how difficult it can be for audiences to find islands of great content in the sea of options. Most of the time, we rely on algorithms that take away our power to choose meaningful over mindless content.
At IMI, we are taking this power back and creating an ecosystem that connects creators and audiences together. Audiences benefit when independent creators can pursue their authentic vision. Creators benefit when audiences can discover and support them.
We’re building a place where audiences can come to find exceptional content by spotlighting the best educational and artistic creators on the internet. Exceptional content requires exceptional creators, and we’re here to support creators who share our vision. We’re developing fellowship programs, community-building events, and creative and professional workshops to help creators flourish.
To do this, we’re partnering with foundations and donors (including viewers like you!) who want to help build this ecosystem and share our vision of building a public media for the 21st century. Join us!
Why do we do it?
Authentic content from exceptional independent creators inspires and enriches our society. The time is right to create a new public media for the media of today: media made by people, for people.
Over the last 60 years, public and nonprofit support has made it possible for seminal artists, storytellers, and educators to find an audience and enrich our lives. In 1969, Fred Rogers convinced the United States government that programs like Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood were vital counterweights to commercial television. This led to the formation of PBS and NPR, which would not exist without the exceptional people making public television and radio programs and the audiences who support them. In the 1990s, the Sundance Film Festival gave independent filmmakers a global platform that ultimately changed the way Hollywood told stories. We believe we are at a similar time in history. We are building a public media ecosystem that does the same thing for the media of today. Media which is online, made by people, for people.
The internet has empowered more people than ever to make and share content, offering unprecedented opportunities for human expression. Our vision is to create a public media for today’s world so that exceptional creators can be supported and authentic content can find an enthusiastic audience. We envision bringing creators and viewers together through greater democratization of content creation and consumption.
To start, we went straight to the source: the creators themselves. We’ve spent the last two years getting to know some of the people behind this impactful content – real people with an authentic passion to create content that helps, challenges, and inspires. Whether telling their own stories, exploring the world through science, or wondering about life and the human spirit, these dedicated and talented people have voices that need to be heard.
We think these creators and their content should have the best chance possible to reach more people. Unfortunately, the internet doesn’t always work to our benefit. Algorithms elevate the most sensational or outrageous content, but not necessarily the content that uplifts and transforms individuals and societies. Audiences have no way of searching for content that was painstakingly made over weeks or months by artists, rather than churned out by profit machines. Our media should entertain us, but it should also inspire us. We deserve more.
To make this possibility a reality, exceptional creators need support. Creators face many difficulties sustaining their work. They may have millions of YouTube subscribers or podcast listeners and still face huge challenges making the kind of content they want to share. They face constant pressures to tailor their work to algorithms and commercial sponsors, which threatens the authenticity and creativity of their work. There is little support in place to help them grow in their craft so they can succeed and thrive.
We find ourselves at a critical juncture not unlike the founders of NPR, PBS, and Sundance. A new public media ecosystem is needed, where creators and audiences can find each other and sustain each other. We’re taking action to make it happen.