The Tyne Tees and Borders television region has been selected as the English pilot region for the Independently Funded News Consortia (IFNC) proposed by the government’s Digital Britain report.
Additional trials in Scotland and Wales will also take place and the tender process for all three pilots was opened yesterday.
Several local media groups have already outlined plans for IFNC bids. ITN has proposed a ‘grand alliance’ between local media groups.
Responding to the announcement of the English pilot region yesterday, John Hardie, ITN CEO, said in a statement:
“We’re excited to be joining forces with the talented staff who provide the current service in the Tyne Tees and Border region and in Wales to create the backbone of our bids for the pilots announced today. We are building a coalition with newspapers, radio and community groups to bring together the best in commercial journalism in each of the regions to offer a compelling multi-platform news service for viewers, listeners and readers.
“IFNCs provide an opportunity to re-invigorate local and regional newsgathering across broadcast, print and online and to ensure that there is an innovative and comprehensive alternative to the BBC. We look forward to playing a key role in this bright new future for local news.”