One of the major challenges for community media is the issue of trust and capacity to deliver news in a form that is socially accountable, open and transparent. Last week I met with the team at Impress to discuss ways that the CMA and Impress might collaborate more to promote an agenda of socially accountable media in the UK.
Impress is an independent media regulator that supports independent news producers and journalists. Responding to the challenging media and journalism issues that were identified in the Leveson Report, Impress offers a framework of accountable standards that are fully compliant with the issues that were raised in the Leveson Report.
As described on the Impress website, they are a “regulator designed for the future of media, building on the core principles of the past, protecting journalism, while innovating to deal with the challenges of a digital age.”
In response to the Cairncross Review, Impress are launching a taskforce to look at issues associate with the funding and regulation of news and journalism in the UK. They are asking:
- How can the Cairncross recommendations be implemented whilst protecting the freedom of the press?
- How can subsidies be directed towards publications that are committed to high standards of journalism?
- What kinds of support do small and start-up news publications need in order to thrive in the digital era?
I’ve been asked to take part in the taskforce discussion on behalf of the CMA, so I’m keen to gather views and examples of community radio stations, and other community media groups who create or are informed by news, reporting or journalism practices, so that I can feed this into the discussion.
Hopefully the team at Impress will be able to attend the CMA conference in September, so there will be an opportunity to chat directly about independent media standards. Impress hasn’t traditionally covered broadcast media, but as convergence in media speeds up and more people are using online streaming tools, it will be useful to look at how this is regulated from an independent perspective.