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William Perrin @willperrin
Talk About Local working with Carnegie UK Trust
City University Conference 2 May 2014
‘Media Power and Plurality: from hyperlocals to high-level policy’
Experienced selection panel
5 very different projects
Two payments of £5k each
Kick off June 2013
Carnegie Partners tend to have strong informal or formal journalism at their core,
with other skills such as technology or sales added or acquired as necessary.
Neighbourhood News demonstrates that local media projects need not be capital
intensive and respond well to small packets of funding.
Each partner demonstrates a blend of skills – pro bono and paid input by professional
journalists, skilled story tellers without formal journalism training, community
building and outreach, design and to a lesser extent some technical capability.
Their work is measured and of good quality. We are not seeing web news led by
technical geeks, nor opinionated internet ranters.
Neighbourhood News has created employment for modern, portfolio based media
workers and stimulated community engagement in volunteer media production.
Many local media market interventions in the UK are tied to fixed technologies by
historical accident and serve large corporations
Social policy questions
Why do we see so little support for local news projects by grant
making foundations, charities and grant makers, who are interested in
the wellbeing of communities and individuals? What role could such
Would the approach adopted in Neighbourhood News – of spreading risk by
supporting a small number of well-organised community media projects with
small pots of funding and using an independent expert advisory group to help
select winners – be attractive to other funders?
What is the best strategy for supporting start-up local news projects? Can
traditional community development structures play a role or is a new
infrastructure required? How can local news projects be supported to learn from
Media policy questions
In the debate on regulating media plurality, which is largely about managing
market exit of independent outlets, is there a role for encouraging market entry
by many small web-based providers?
Could government interventions in the local news market, such as
the Community Radio Fund, be adapted or expanded to provide
opportunities for local news providers who operate on other platforms,
including web-based providers?
What scope is there for amending the regulations relating to the advertising of
statutory notices to ensure that the outlets awarded such contracts meet clear
requirements in relation to population reach and provision of at least some
‘public interest’ content, irrespective of the platform used?
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