May 9, 2016 | POV’s daily list of essential reading for the documentary and independent filmmaking community.

The New York Times is trying to make VR films that aren’t one-offs, and that keep readers coming back
You’ve probably seen a lot of VR content coming from The New York Times, and don’t expect it to stop coming anytime soon. In fact, they are launching a through-line and episodic structure VR show so audiences feel compelled to come back for more VR. Sam Dolnick, the overseer of the VR projects, talks about The Times approach to VR, the evolving ethics of virtual reality journalism, and why The Times sees a real future in what it calls “meditative VR.”
Read more: Nieman Lab

We asked six Hot Docs filmmakers, Why do documentaries matter?
Hot Docs, the largest film festival in North America, concluded yesterday, but the documentaries showcased at the festival are just beginning their journeys in the spotlight. Six filmmakers with varying degrees of experiences and expertise came together at a roundtable to discuss why documentaries still matter. The filmmakers include The Apology’s Tiffany Hsiung , Hip-Hop Evolution’s Darby Wheeler, and Between You and Me’s Chase Joynt. You can also find the list of winners here and audience award winners here.
Read more: CBC

TV Creators Agree the State of LGBTQ Characters is Slowly But Surely Improving
At the Writer’s Guild of America conference in Los Angeles last Friday, eight of television’s most prominent showrunners, producers and writers gathered to dive deep into the current state of LGBT representation in television, including their own shows and beyond. Despite the pressure from audiences’ expectations, the TV creators are now looking to produce quality content for diverse audiences.
Read more: IndieWire

Podcasts Surge, but Producers Fear Apple Isn’t Listening
Since Steve Jobs first introduced the new Apple software to download digital audio shows in 2005, podcasting, or radio-style shows for the Web, has exploded in popularity. The question now for Apple is whether to rush to accommodate an industry that is quickly outgrowing its origins, or to let podcasting be, at the risk of losing its claim over a medium that owes its very name to the company. While Google and Spotify have also recently introduced podcasts, Apple remains the primary source for podcasts, and podcasters will look to Apple not only for a revenue source but also for the data and analytics.
Read more: The New York Times

A year in at Vox, Recode looks at its future: Video, distributed content, more podcasts, and no /
It’s been a year since Vox Media acquired the tech site Recode, and despite the slow start, the relaunch yesterday on Vox’s proprietary publishing platform, Chorus, is aimed at moving the site forward. Dan Frommer, Recode’s new editor-in-chief and most recently the technology editor at Quartz, said that Recode differentiates itself from other tech sites — including its Vox Media sibling The Verge — is through its focus on business. He also mentioned while Recode is excelling with engaging content and ideas, more work needs to be done in terms of social media and videos.
Read more: Nieman Lab

Upcoming festivals and deadlines
This Week
DOK.fest-International Documentary Film Festival Munich 5/5-5/15
Taiwan International Documentary Festival 5/6-5/15
Festival de Cannes 5/11-5/22

Next Week
Deadline: Miller/Packan Documentary Film Fund Grant 5/15
Deadline: United Nations Association Film Festival Submission 5/16

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POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 400 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.