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The hardy kiwi is a variety of the small green fruit that a UNH professor thinks could be a new cash crop for the North Country, if it gets a little more domesticated through breeding.  But as is reported in the first episode of a new N.H. Public Radio podcast called Outside/In, the same vine has proved to be an invasive pest in one spot in Massachusetts , posing an interesting quandary: Should it be encouraged or quashed? Who decides, and how do they know?

The podcast is from Sam Evans-Brown, who NHPR listeners will recognize from his reporting on environment and energy issues. It’s a free subscription, so check it out.

Podcasts are booming, both from independent producers and traditional media. The Washington Post reported recently that National Public Radio is looking into them as one way to reach beyond the increasingly old audience for traditional radio broadcasts. But that creates issues for local affiliates like NHPR, because it might separate them from listener donations:

By sending its programs directly to listeners via digital means, (National Public Radio) risks bypassing and even competing with the stations that broadcast those shows  and supply the dollars that enable NPR to produce them in the first place. “If I love [an NPR program] and I happen to be in the car, I may send money to my local station to thank them for the content,” says Larry Rosin, president of Edison Research, which analyzes audience data. “If I listen to the same program [via non-broadcast sources], who do I give money to? It does tend to break the logical chain” of contributions.

Local podcasts like Outside/In might be a way for local public radio affiliates to grab some younger paying listeners themselves.

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