Neighbourhood News - interim outcomes #mediaplurality14


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how to intervene to support hyperlocal websites

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Neighbourhood News - interim outcomes #mediaplurality14

  1. 1. 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’
  2. 2. 80 applications Experienced selection panel Media neutral 5 very different projects Two payments of £5k each Kick off June 2013
  3. 3. Interim findings 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
  4. 4. 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 organisations play? 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 each other?
  5. 5. 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?
  6. 6. William Perrin Talk About Local expert advice and analysis on local web media and technology @willperrin