John Harris has piece in today’s Guardian about Community Media.
He points ouf that:
There are some pointers to the future. It is heartening to hear that the BBC is set on “reinventing” its 39 place-specific radio stations in England and re-emphasising their “localness” – and that the corporation now funds 150 new local democracy reporters, who doggedly track just about every aspect of local government, and contribute to what remains of local newspapers, often in their online versions. There are around 250 community radio stations in the UK, which claim 3.5 million listeners, and an apparently growing network of so-called “hyperlocal” news and information websites – though it’s all too telling that they are too often devoid of hard news content, and largely run by volunteers.
I would take issue with this somewhat dismissive notion of volunteering and so-called ‘hard-news’ being expressed here, but he does go on to make a positive recomendation:
With the right financial help, there surely ought to be some means of developing all these things, so long as two key principles are understood: first, that although radio, TV and orthodox print journalism are important, the future will also be about online video and podcasting; and second, that it is high time we got over our rigid division of the media into “national” and “local”, and blurred the two. If that happened, the current sense of large swaths of the London media little realising what is going on in the country might recede, political ruptures might not take quite so many people by surprise, and we might be that little bit more at ease with ourselves.
This is a good opportunity for us to contact John on Twitter and point him in the direction of the transformational work that we do in community media