Tag Archives: Wales

How a hyperlocal is calling on the community for crowdfunding with Pitch-in!

The Port Talbot Magnet, a hyperlocal launched by a group of journalists six months ago, has been asking the community to fund stories in an bid to make the site sustainable.

One of those behind the hyperlocal, Rachel Howells, told Journalism.co.uk:

Last month we launched Pitch-In! which was our call to the community, to let them know that we are here and that we want to collaborate with them and we want them to be a part of the news service.

Pitch-in! follows crowdfunding initiatives such as Spot.us, based in the US, in asking readers and interested parties to donate money.

The Port Talbot Magnet is asking the community to meet targets to “sponsor our football results service”, “help us buy public liability insurance”, “sponsor a court reporter for a day” or contribute to the development fund or offer general support.

Howells, one of the directors of the Port Talbot Magnet, explained:

These are just a taste of what we would like to achieve. We have a long list of goals, including reporting council meetings and news, police and emergency services news, increasing our coverage of business news, sport, arts, music, entertainment, charity groups and campaigns – things we don’t have the resources for at the moment. And we are looking for local people to tell us what they would like us to cover, as well as giving journalists the opportunity to pitch in with ideas for investigations or news that they think should be covered.

A month on from launching Pitch-in! as a “call to community” and Howells said it has had “some success”, appearing to have generated around £40 in donations.

It’s a little more than we would have had if we hadn’t asked.

The Port Talbot Magnet is the result of cutbacks in South Wales and the closure of the Trinity Mirror-published Port Talbot Guardian, which shut in 2009.

A group of journalists, the majority of whom were members of the Swansea branch of the National Union of Journalists, started discussing how to “do something proactive to keep ourselves in journalism”.

Howells herself is former editor of Big Issue Cymru, who was made redundant when her job moved to Glasgow.

We could see there were changes in the industry that were particularly affecting Wales and that were affecting journalism generally.

As they were setting themselves up as a cooperative the group toyed with various ideas, settling for a news site for Port Talbot to fill the “natural vacuum” left by the closure of the local paper.

When the Port Talbot Guardian closed we just thought; here is a group of people who need local news, we are a group of journalists who want to provide it, surely there must be a way of filling the gap and creating some employment for ourselves as well.

The journalists’ joint effort developed into a local news site for the town of 35,000. Eight professional journalists are on the board of the Port Talbot Magnet, plus there are 20 “interested parties”, including academics and PRs.

The site launched in April 2011, in the same month as the Passion, a three-day play starring Michael Sheen, was performed in the local area and the hyperlocal became a community partner for the National Theatre Wales. Howells said this provided traffic and a “great test and great showcase” for the site.

Attempts to get public funding had proved unsuccessful, prompting the group to last month turn to community funding and also set up a membership scheme.

We can’t run it just as volunteers for ever, we want it to grow and develop, but we recognise that we can’t do it by ourselves.

Howells is hoping the community will answer the call, to subsidise the money generated through advertising.

Along with her role as journalist and director of the news site, Howells is also studying a funded PhD at Cardiff University, looking at what happens to a town that loses its local paper, the implications for democracy, and looking at possible sustainable business models. For obvious reasons her research is focused on Port Talbot.

Asked about her findings so far she explained it was too early to provide results from her research.

What I can tell you is that there were all these awful predictions that the number of local newspaper titles would drop significantly and that up until 2015 we were going to lose a percentage of them. This hasn’t happened at all and the number of closures has been minimal.

But underneath the surface though, when you look at the number of staff that have gone, if you look at how newspapers have merged with each other, the pagination of newspapers, there is an encroaching poverty in the newsgathering, particularly in this area.

UK Future of News gets local

Future of News group organiser Adam Westbrook has summarised last week’s meet-up on his blog and also updates on the birth of three UK splinter groups: in Brighton, South Wales and the West Midlands. Full post at this link…

On Sarah Booker’s suggestion, I set up a page for the Brighton group: places are filling fast for our first meeting on 8 February, featuring developer Simon Willison (behind the Guardian‘s MP expenses crowdsourcing project and wildlifenearyou.com) and the Argus online editor, Jo Wadsworth. So put your name down quickly!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

13.2 jobs could go at Trinity Mirror’s Media Wales; NUJ members to hold strike ballot

A plan to cut 13.2 jobs at Media Wales, a Trinity Mirror-owned subsidiary, was announced this afternoon without the  guarantee of no compulsory redundancies. A two month consultation period will now be held.

The company also announced the closure of the Neath and Port Talbot Guardian paid-for weeklies on October 1.

In response, union members at Media Wales will hold a strike ballot, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said today.

Media Wales publishes The Western Mail, The South Wales Echo, Wales on Sunday and the Celtic series of weekly papers.

“Although we have been briefed fully about the financial position of the company and the group, we are determined that no NUJ member should be made compulsorily redundant as a result of these cuts. We expect the company to ensure that will be the outcome,” said Martin Shipton, NUJ father of chapel at Media Wales.

More Trinity Mirror cuts: three North West and North Wales weeklies closed

Trinity Mirror today confirmed the closure of three weekly titles in the North West and North Wales. The Wrexham Chronicle, the Mid-Cheshire Chronicle and the Whitchurch Herald will all publish their last editions the week commencing September 28.

The company anticipates that eight editorial and three commercial roles will be lost as a result of these closures. ‘A period of consultation has begun with all affected staff,’ Trinity Mirror said in a release issued today.

The company claimed it would now focus on ‘market-leading, healthy and profitable titles and associated online products’.

“Whilst these announcements relate to the closure of three titles and the subsequent effect this will have on jobs, these decisions also herald the strength and robustness of the titles that remain, namely the Chester Chronicle series, Flintshire Chronicle, Ellesmere Port Pioneer, Crewe Chronicle series, Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News and the Mid Cheshire Buysell,” said Carl Wood, publishing director at Trinity Mirror Cheshire.

“This decision reflects the challenging economic conditions affecting our local advertising markets and, as such, the current revenue and circulation of these titles does not provide us with a strong enough base for sustainable and profitable publication of these titles either now or in the longer term,” added Sara Wilde, managing director, Trinity Mirror Regional North West and Wales.

“Taking this difficult decision now will enable us to move forward into 2010 and beyond as we look to protect and develop our strong portfolio of print and online products within the North Wales and Cheshire market.”

Trinity Mirror announced in August it was entering a period of consultation at its Midlands titles, with a plan to make the Birmingham Post weekly and to print the Birmingham Mail overnight. In July, Trinity Mirror announced the closure of seven of its weekly titles in the Midlands region, resulting in 94 redundancies from a number of departments across the publisher’s Midlands operation.

BroadcastNow: Ofcom warns ITV could lose £64m a year on regional news

Ofcom has warned that the ITV network will be facing a loss of up to £64m a year by 2012, if it has to continue providing regional news bulletins, reports BroadcastNow.co.uk.

“The regulator indicated its support for establishing independent news consortia to deliver localised news across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

(…)

“The Digital Britain report released earlier this year also called for independent news consortias to take over the regional news slots on ITV, suggesting that the groups could comprise of existing media organisations and be funded by the surplus from the Digital Switchover fund.”

Full story at this link…

Related:

Last week John Hardie, ITN chief executive,  called for separate contracts for replacement ITV regional news services to be issued for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – ie. a single contract for the whole of England (via MediaGuardian).

Readers prefer subscriptions to micropayments – according to paidContent:UK/Harris survey

PaidContent:UK has this week launched a series about online payment models, using the results of a poll conducted by Harris Interactive. Its first story reported that if newspaper groups were to begin charging for their websites, three quarters of users would abandon them in favour of a free alternative.

Only five per cent would pay for their favourite free news website

The research, which polled 1,188 British adults, found that among users who read a free site at least once a month as their top source of news, only five per cent would pay for that website, if such a payment model was introduced. Seventy-four per cent would find a free alternative news source; a further eight percent would continue reading the website’s free headlines only; and 12 per cent were not sure what they would do.

Long term subscriptions more attractive

Today’s update indicates that long-term subscriptions rather than micropayments, is ‘by far the most attractive option’ to consumers:

PaidContent:UK reported:

[Harris Interactive] asked users who read a news site at least once a month what their favoured option would be if they either chose to pay for their favourite site or were forced to pay by all news sites going pay-for:

  • Per-article fees (ie. micropayments) are the favourite option for 21 percent.
  • A day pass giving unlimited articles within a 24-hour period is favoured by 26 per cent.
  • But a subscription of up to a year is the most desired model, supported by 54 per cent.

So what does this mean for micropayment models?

“There’s been a lot of buzz about micro-payment recently, and some prominent players, like Google have moved into this field,” said Andrew Freeman, the  senior consultant with Harris Interactive’s technology, media and telecoms team.

“But there are massive challenges: and not just technical ones. From a simple business point of view, micropayments are disproportionately expensive to administer. Until you have an enormous volume and value, it just won’t be worthwhile.

“If consumers are going to give up their preference for single-subscription payments they can more easily check and monitor, they will need to have real confidence and trust in the brands they use. Micropayments will probably benefit only the very largest of companies.”

The survey

“The likelihood of newspapers instituting online charging models has become a hot topic. But the debate has mostly been led by what the publishers, and not the readers, want. We felt it was important to ask them and put some data in the public domain to inform publishers currently faced with this decision,” paidContent:UK editor, Robert Andrews, told Journalism.co.uk.

“Everything we’ve learned over the last few months tells us that there’s likely a bigger pay-for market for mission-critical, business and niche information than for general consumer news like sport, celebrity or perhaps even politics.”

Although they didn’t ask about specific news categories for this survey, paidContent:UK hopes to take these questions to consumers in a follow-up survey, he added.

Forthcoming stories will look at what price consumers would be happy to pay; and whether including a newspaper subscription would affect users’ willingness to pay online.

Surprising findings

“The top-line results are in line with my expectations. Conventional wisdom that has grown up around this debate in recent months has told us that, whilst there may be a pay-for market for mission-critical, business or niche news content, there’s enough plurality in the global consumer news market that readers can find an alternative source with just a few mouse clicks,” said Andrews.

“But some specific findings surprised me. For example, those in their teens and early 20s are many times more likely to say they’ll pay than those aged 35 to 54, whom I would have thought would have more disposable income.

“The working class and those on subsistence are nearly as likely to say they will pay as the upper middle class and middle class. And some of the regional variations, for example Wales are right up with Londoners on propensity to pay, and those in the north east of England far more likely to say they would continue reading their favourite site but only via its free headlines.”

Advice for the industry

“Publishers will need to carefully consider the effects of implementing a pay wall before mixing their cement – our survey suggests most of their readers would flee to a rival paper,” Andrews said.

“Sites must consider whether they have a value proposition unique enough to retain readers despite our findings. And they need to do the maths: raising a pay wall would reduce the number of eyeballs achieved for publishers’ advertisers, so are payments from five per cent of readers enough to offset the decline in ad income?”

#FollowJourn: @christiandunn/digital news editor

#FollowJourn: Christian Dunn

Who? Digital news editor, NWN Media

What? Manages the online content for a regional newspaper group publishing in north-east Wales and Chester

Where? @christiandunn and http://christiandunn.blogspot.com/

Contact? christian.dunn@nwn.co.uk

Just as we like to supply you with fresh and innovative tips every day, we’re recommending journalists to follow online too. They might be from any sector of the industry: please send suggestions (you can nominate yourself) to judith or laura [at] journalism.co.uk; or to @journalismnews.

Ben Bradshaw’s speech in full: BBC has probably ‘reached limits of reasonable expansion’

Ben Bradshaw’s speech from the Royal Television Society’s binnenial convention in Cambridge last night, his first since becoming the British culture secretary in June. In his speech he criticised James Murdoch’s recent comments in Edinburgh and discussed regulation, regional news and public service broadcasting. The headline grabbing comments concerned the BBC: Bradshaw said that there could be a case for a ‘smaller licence fee’ and also suggested that the BBC Trust model is not ‘sustainable’.

Twenty years ago I had the good fortune and privilege to be the BBC correspondent in Berlin. I had arrived there in the beginning of 1989 – as a rookie reporter from BBC Radio Devon – to a posting considered a bit of a backwater.

Not much had happened in Berlin since the wall had gone up. My predecessor’s biggest story in four years was the death of the elderly Nazi, Rudolph Hess, in Spandau Prison. Within weeks of my arrival, the East Germans were revolting and in just a few short months the Berlin Wall was
down. In career terms – it was very lucky timing.

I’ve been recalling the events of 20 years ago quite a lot recently. Not just because of the impending anniversary, but because of the loud and bad tempered debate in Britain about the future of public service broadcasting in general and the BBC in particular.

 I have many memories of that time in Berlin, personal and professional.

But one of the most abiding is of the stream of East Germans in the days after the Wall came down, who were able, for the first time, to visit the BBC office in West Berlin. They came to say ‘thank you’ for the programmes that had sustained them during decades of Communist rule.

When I asked them why they listened to the BBC, rather than the much better resourced Deutsche Welle, or the West Berlin stations or the Voice of America, they gave a variety of answers, but there was a common theme: “You don’t preach to us. You don’t treat us East Germans as second class Germans. Your news is fair. You don’t pretend everything in your own country is perfect, so we believe what you say about other things. You allow different voices.”

Broadcasting – changing world

The two decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall have seen a profound and accelerating change in our media landscape. You know better than most the journey from the analogue world of three heavily regulated broadcasters and a small add-on commercial market, to the digital world where the market is much larger, with a multimedia element, and where the public intervention is represented essentially by the BBC, with a self-funding Channel 4 gingering up the public service end.

It has been a transition from what could be called a command and control to a mixed economy.

In that transition some things have been lost or endangered – plural provision of children’s programming, high-end drama and, across all media, the viability of commercially provided news, locally, regionally and in the Nations.

But the changes have also brought huge gains for the consumer and for the industry. There is a choice of programming and of technology-driven convenience and quality unthinkable back then. Although current trading conditions are tough, the industry is fundamentally healthy both commercially and creatively, winning Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes.

Our production sector makes the UK the world’s largest programme exporter after the US and by far the leading exploiter of programme formats, with over half of the global market.


 This mixed economy has served the interests of the public, both as citizens and as consumers. It would seem to be what people want.

When we do intervene or regulate, we try to do so in a way that best allows the market to grow, to evolve, to expand. And we try to do so in ways that sustain the core values to which the public continue to attach importance – impartiality in news, effective protection for children and so on.

In the last 20 years, the private/public mix has continued to innovate to anticipate and reflect public taste.

Technical innovations such as Sky Plus, High Definition and the iPlayer; an impressive range of innovation in content, from new talent to new formats; new regulatory models encouraging the growth of the independent sector outside London. And – at the centre of public provision – a strong, stable BBC with the security of income fixed for several years at a time to ensure its independence, both politically and commercially.

As we come towards the end of the transition from the old analogue world to the fully digital world, the challenge is to secure a consensus on whether our mixed economy remains the right approach – which I believe it is – and how to maintain it for the long term.

This is an appropriate point at which to thank Stephen Carter and his team for their excellent work in Digital Britain which provides both the long-term framework for government’s policy on the digital economy and our next steps.

Competing visions for future of public service

Just as we are approaching the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall we have just marked another significant 20th anniversary – that of a Murdoch making a speech about the media in Edinburgh.

Murdoch speeches in Edinburgh are designed to be – how should I say – thought provoking. And James’ certainly was. Among his most striking assertions were that profit is the only guarantor of independence; that people are better informed if broadcasting is left to the market; that regulation needs sweeping away; and what he called state sponsorship – by implication the BBC – must be far, far smaller.

Profit the only guarantor of independence? I’m not sure that the market has secured the independent quality broadcasting that citizens in some modern democracies might expect. As for the market informing people better – that has not been my experience travelling around the United States, compared with the more regulated mixed media economies of Europe.

No, I do not believe that the market alone can deliver the plural sources and high standards of independent and impartial news and current affairs, let alone the richness of innovation and quality in other areas like drama, comedy, natural history and children’s programmes for which Britain is envied worldwide. There are important areas of content as well as infrastructure that the public says it values, wants and expects, and that the unregulated market will simply not provide.

Future of public service broadcasting

I challenge James Murdoch’s use of the term Orwellian to describe Britain’s media landscape. Being publicly funded or subject to statutory regulation does not equate with state control. East German TV was state controlled. That’s why those East Germans valued the BBC – it was free, diverse, self critical.

And the British people understand the distinction between publicly funded and state controlled too. Otherwise they would not consistently say they trust the BBC more than any other media organisation – more than ever according to the latest survey, in spite of the summer media onslaught on
the corporation.

So James said things with which I profoundly disagree. But he also did us all a favour by asking legitimate questions and raising genuine concerns that our public discourse has been skirting around for too long. He was right to raise questions about the BBC’s size, its remit and its impact on the rest of the British media industry.

In the 20 years since I was reporting Berlin, the BBC has gone from being a service of two television channels, four national radio stations, a local radio network, a teletext service and some videotape sales, to a BBC with eight linear TV channels, several interactive and high definition channels, nine national radio stations and a dominant local radio network, the iPlayer, a world-leading online presence, and a commercial publishing, DVD , television and multimedia empire of some scale.

And if it were to continue on anything like that trajectory, the rest of the industry would be right to be worried and the mixed economy would be seriously imbalanced. 

Since James Murdoch’s speech the BBC has another review of itself, including, we are told, looking at its size.

And then Sir Michael Lyons comes up with his £5.50 ‘give-a-way’ and appears to be arguing he would rather the licence fee were smaller than the BBC share any of it to save regional news. What’s to be made of this? Is this really about the long term interests of public service content? I would just like to point out that the £5.50 is not the BBC’s to give away.

It was agreed on top of the current licence fee income for the BBC to fund help with digital switchover. However, Michael, if you want to return £5.50 from the BBC’s share of the licence fee to the public – or more if you wish – let me know and I’m sure it can be arranged!

This is not a serious or sensible way to have a debate about something as important as the future of the BBC and public service broadcasting. 

I happen to think the BBC probably has reached the limits of reasonable expansion.

 I believe the corporation is right to be looking more carefully at what it pays its stars and executives.

It is time for the BBC to allow the National Audit Office access to its accounts. 

I’m also concerned about the regulatory structure of the BBC.

Although the Trust has performed better than its predecessor, I don’t think it is a sustainable model in the long term. I know of no other area of public life where – as is the case with the Trust – the same body is both regulator and cheerleader.

And finally, there may indeed be a case for a smaller licence fee. But there is a proper timetable for determining that. One of the unbroken conventions adhered to by successive Governments, to avoid the suggestion of political interference in or pressure on the BBC, has been to respect the multi-annual settlement system. I resolutely believe that to be right. Any attempt to break that convention would rightly be seen as a direct assault on the BBC’s independence.

However, there will need to be a decision in around two years time on the licence fee after 2012. During the next Parliament the shape of the new Charter with the BBC will need to be agreed. This will beg even bigger questions than those I’ve already just posed. Do we as a nation still value public service broadcasting? Do we want the BBC to survive and, if so, what do we want it to do and how do we want to pay for it?

These are very profound and hard questions to answer. Harder than at any time since the BBC was born given the speed with which the media environment is now changing. They cannot and should not be resolved by the BBC reviewing itself. Nor by speeches by media moguls or politicians. The public also needs to be heard in this discussion. They pay for it after all. They are the customer.

This means that the process, the discussions and consultation in the run up to the end of this licence fee and charter period will need to be even more open, even more fundamental than those we conducted before the current settlement. A proper national conversation, certainly not a stitch up behind closed doors between BBC management and politicians. Only that way will whatever is agreed have the legitimacy to withstand the onslaught from the BBC’s enemies and critics and stand the test of time.

The regulatory structure

I have spoken about one way in which government intervenes in the market for public benefit – public service broadcasting, now let me turn to the other, regulation.

There are those who argue that because of the revolutionary changes to the broadcasting landscape the traditional approach to regulation is outdated. I agree: but our approach is not traditional. At the same time, however, this does not mean to say that we can or should do away with regulation all together.

It is often those who call loudest for deregulation and non-intervention in areas that affect them who are quickest to call for intervention and regulation where it benefits them. The fact that we have some of the lowest wholesale broadband prices in Europe is not an accident or the product of the market. It is the product of regulation that has enabled vigorous competition – including from new entrants.

There is a serious point here about the right kind of regulation. When it comes to regulating for convergence, it is worth remembering that in establishing Ofcom Britain led the way in Europe by bringing content, delivery and wireless spectrum regulation together in one place. Ofcom has done so with two-thirds of the staff and lower costs then the five bodies that preceded it. And it is our approach to wireless spectrum, of liberalisation, deregulation and market mechanisms that have become the new European model.

Of course regulation needs to evolve as consumers’ habits change. The key is to move with the public. They expect broadcasters to have a duty of care when running phone-in programmes. They still value the watershed. They still expect protection against offensive material beamed unbidden into their living room, as opposed to what they actively go and get from walking to the newsagent or surfing the internet. They enjoy the rumbustious opinion and style in the print media. But they trust the impartiality of broadcast news.

This is the strength of the mixed economy. However, that does not mean we are interested in regulation for regulation’s sake, which is why I want to change our approach on product placement. We’ll consult on this shortly and would hope to have any change in place in the New Year.

To the critics of our regulatory structure I ask the simple question: if regulation were a problem in itself, how is it our media market is amongst the most successful in the world? It is because we have got the right balance between public and private. We have stayed ahead of the game and, as our Digital Britain plans show, we are determined to maximise the future potential of the broadcasting industry.

A draft Digital Economy Bill is taking shape, ready for the next session of parliament. In addition to tackling unlawful file-sharing it paves the way for universal broadband – future-proofed – and for delivering digital radio and next generation-mobile services. Digital Britain commits us to a new remit for Channel 4, building upon the vision of Next on 4, moving it firmly into the digital age.

Andy Duncan was, of course, the driving force behind Next on 4 and I’m very grateful to Andy for the leadership he has shown Channel 4 through a period of unprecedented change in the media world. He has been instrumental in repositioning  Channel 4 for the digital age and I’m sure we all wish him all the best for the future.

This time last week the switch to digital TV reached its millionth home. The analogue system is only three years away from being switched off entirely. Three out of every four sets in the country now receive multichannel television – nine out of 10 households. And the Switchover Help Scheme we established has now helped more that 100,000 older and disabled people to switch, providing equipment, installation and aftercare.

Next month we will have many of the most influential global figures around the table at the inaugural c&binet conference – our Davos of the creative industries – aimed at identifying and supporting the most effective way of protecting, producing and commercialising creative work.

Regional and local media

I mentioned earlier the threat to plural news programmes in the regions and nations. As a former local newspaper and local radio journalist I would be acutely aware of the importance of good local news to the public, even without my constituents reminding me on a regular basis.

The high viewing figures for regional news are no accident. People want to know what’s happening in their patch. It helps maintain a sense of local and regional identity and pride. It plays a vital part in a democracy at holding local authorities, the NHS and other public organisations to account. It’s reporters and presenters have a far more intimate relationship with the viewers than those on the network.

When in the South West earlier this year Carlton amalgamated its former two news regions into one – based in Bristol – my constituents were not happy. They lost their dedicated ITV evening news programme produced and edited from Plymouth with an even more local opt out from Exeter. While the Carlton journalists do a valiant job of reporting their vast new region with limited resources, we all know that the economics of local and regional news are getting less and less sustainable. The poll we published yesterday showed 84% of the public think it’s important to have a choice of sources of regional and local news.

Seven out of 10 people want regional news on more than just one channel. And one cannot will the ends without the means. Two thirds of those questioned supported our idea of using the equivalent fraction of the licence fee that’s currently ring-fenced for switchover to secure plural regional news for the future. We said when we announced this in Digital Britain that we thought this was a fair, transparent and sustainable solution, but that we were open to other ideas.

We still are. I note Mark, your interesting suggestion of floating some of BBC Worldwide and I look forward to hearing more about this proposal. But we are determined not to lose plural news provision in the regions. It seems crazy that people all over the world can access the brilliant BBC website if we cannot provide a choice of quality regional news to people here at home.

The consultation closes 22nd September – after which it’s essential we press on with plans for three pilots of local news consortia, one each in Scotland, Wales and an English region, which we hope can begin in the course of next year.

Skills and talent

Plurality is not the only virtue of the local news consortia idea. They will also provide a valuable opportunity to find new skills and talent, opening up opportunities in the media to young people in cities like mine.

I very much hope that the Government can help you help the next generation of local journalists using not just these new consortia but in all the good work you already do to encourage young people and build skills.

The creative industries, the digital economy and the media are areas where this country is by nature and history strong. They make a large and increasing contribution to our national economy and will provide a significant proportion of the employment growth in the future.

That’s why, as part of the Government’s future jobs fund – my colleague Yvette Cooper and I have agreed to fund between 5,000 and 10,000 new jobs in the creative sector. I know some of you are already involved in this venture and I would urge more of you to come on board. The scheme will not only help thousands of young people whose employment prospects have been the worst hit by the global down turn – but they will help you and us find and nurture the creative and media talent of the future.

Conclusion

I have argued tonight that public service broadcasting has informed, entertained and enriched Britain, and generations of Britons. The BBC has been central to that in the past and I hope will continue to be in the future.

Equally, the market has brought huge benefits. When those East Germans were streaming through the Berlin Wall 20 years ago, there were no mobile phones, let alone blackberries or multi-channel digital televisions. High-speed broadband, downloads and video-on-demand were glints in the eyes of the visionary few rather than central to all of your business models. It is the market that has driven and delivered this change.

This mixed economy – free but regulated, public service and private – has served Britain well.

In his Edinburgh speech, James Murdoch described it – actually you, Britain’s broadcast media – as the ‘Addams Family’ of the world’s media. I don’t know how you felt about that. And I assume he didn’t mean it kindly. But aren’t the Addams family a well-loved, long running, world-wide hit? And haven’t you, this British Addams family, won seven out of the 10 international EMMYs two years running? And don’t you export £1 billion of TV content every year? So, maybe on this definition of the Addams family, I finally find something on which James and I wholeheartedly agree.

Thank you.

The new Student Publication Association needs to converse with existing communities

Josh Halliday, an undergraduate journalism student at the University of Sunderland and InJournalism editor, takes a look at a new student organisation. A version of this post originally appeared on his blog. A disclosure: he launched Euro CollegeJourn, an online student community, earlier this year.

The UK-centric Student Publication Association will be a ‘national representative body’ for student publications ‘which supports student publications and their contributors by offering guidance, knowledge sharing, links in to the industry and become a forum for all involved,’ according to notes from a preliminary meeting last week, which I have permission to quote from.

These early developments suggest that online resources will be central to the SPA (or SJA according to their website.) Such online resources will seek to provide information and resources regarding good practice and legal issues.

Member publications will have the option to upload their content to the SPA website allowing for ‘affiliated publications’ and industry experts to see their work and, presumably, offer feedback and advice.

There is also plans for an ‘alumni association’ to allow for ‘strong industry contacts to be sustained and have a base of knowledge and experience which affiliated member publications can use to their advantage’.

Regarding the set-up, there will be nine regional representatives whose job it is to report back to a central body, enabling the Association to make ‘informed decisions about how it should operate and run itself’. The regions represented are: London and East Anglia, South East England, South West England, the Midlands, North East England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

Now my take. Any organisation which acts as a forum for student journalists and student journalism can only be a good thing.

I think the SPA would do well to get in touch with, and be inspired by, CoPress in the US. CoPress are, in their own words, an ‘organization dedicated to providing college news outlets with the technical resources and support network they need to innovate online’.

Look at what they’ve done with a wiki, a forum, published conference calls, engagement with the online community through social media; all ‘best practice’ essentials, in my opinion.

I admit, when I received the email from the SPA, it concerned me that it was the first I’d heard of their plans.

It would have been good to see mention of it on Tomorrows’ News, Tomorrow’s Journalists, a purpose-built forum for student journalists.

Similarly, with Euro CollegeJourn. Even though my project is currently on a summer hiatus it would have been good to see Association members involved with it.

In the hope the SPA will join the existing and evolving online conversation. I’ve reserved a Twitter account especially for them. It’s @StudentJournUK – take it, it’s yours.

Nonetheless, I wish the Association every luck. What better time can there be for meaningful collaborative work between journalism students?

What would you like to see a representative body for student journalists and student publications do? How could they help you out? Leave a comment below.

Royal Television Society journalism award winners in full

As Tony Burman predicted, the ‘news channel of the year’ award at last night’s Royal Television Society awards didn’t go to Al Jazeera. Instead, it went to the BBC – who did rather well on the night in several categories. Here’s the full list, with the judges’ comments:

Young Journalist of the year: Hannah Thomas-Peter – Sky News
“A combination of fantastic access and great insight has enabled our winner to help transform health coverage on Sky News.”
Nominees: Joe Crowley – Inside Out BBC South / Kate Taunton – Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4 News

Nations and Regions Current Affairs: The Story of Michael Barnett – Inside Out BBC Yorkshire
“A powerful programme with a sure touch…with the confidence to let the story tell itself.”
Nominees: A Friend in Need – Focus ITV Meridian / Meat Hygiene – Week In Week Out Special BBC Wales

Nations and Regions News Coverage: Weston Pier Fire – The West Tonight ITV West for ITV1
“… comprehensive, engaging and professionally presented.  It had outstanding pictures and a real sense of an event which affected the whole community.”
Nominees: Boris’s Deputy – Ray Lewis Investigation BBC London News / The Darwin Trial North East Tonight for ITV1

Scoop of the Year: HBOS/Lloyds TSB Merger BBC News Channel
“… indeed ‘an extraordinary exclusive’ which heralded the extraordinary changes in the British banking system.”
Nominees: China – The Moment the Earth Shook ITV News / Canoe Man – Gerard Tubb Sky News

Presenter of the Year: Jon Snow – Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4 News
“…yet another superb year, whether it was in the studio – interrogating politicians and bankers – or out in the field – from the Middle East to the United States. One jury member said ‘he’s just brilliant. There’s nothing more to say.'”
Nominees: Kay Burley – Sky News Sky News / Andrew Neil – BBC News

News Coverage – Home: The British Banking Crisis BBC News
“The winning entry started with a scoop of the first order and followed it with reportage and explanation of the highest quality. It was without doubt the story of the year and showed BBC News at its very best.”
Nominees: Ipswich – Guilty ITV News / Heathrow Crash BBC News

News Coverage – International:
Congo Crisis ITN for Channel 4 News
“Top class coverage of a consistently high standard… It was totally comprehensive, enterprising and managed brilliantly to use small individual stories to explain the bigger picture.”
Nominees: China – The Earthquake ITV News / Conflict in the Caucasus – Newsnight BBC Newsnight for BBC Two

News Channel of the Year: BBC News Channel
“The winning news channeldelivered a fantastic series of scoops on the story of the year. It was a channel you had to watch to keep abreast of the breaking economic news.”
Nominees: Al Jazeera English News Al Jazeera English News / Sky News Sky News

Current Affairs – Home: Primark: On the Rack – Panorama BBC for BBC One
“… not only an engaging watch but… thorough and also went the extra mile to lay bare the whole chain from refugee camp to the High Street rail.”
Nominees: Omagh: What The Police Were Never Told – Panorama BBC for BBC One / The Secret Peacemaker BBC for BBC Two

Current Affairs – International: Undercover in Tibet – Dispatches True Vision for Channel 4 Television
“…a truly great current affairs film that sheds light on the future. Filmed just months before Tibet erupted into rioting, this extraordinarily brave programme, made at great personal risk and with much hardship, illuminated the tensions and troubles of the country, with powerful testimony and pictures.”
Nominees: Britain’s Most Wanted – This World Mentorn Media for BBC for BBC Two / Iraq’s Lost Generation – Dispatches Hardcash for Channel 4 Television

Innovative News
: 10 Days to War – Newsnight BBC Newsnight for BBC Two
“The winning series harnessed everything from drama documentary to a special website to re-examine events leading to the Iraq war in 2003. The jury saw this as a brave and successful venture to capture a new and younger audience.”
Nominees: Unplugged Sky News / On The Frontline – Afghan Headcams ITV News

Specialist Journalist of the Year: Robert Peston – BBC News
“One journalist dominated this year’s specialist category.  [He] owned the story of the Credit Crunch and its impact on the whole economy.”
Nominees: Faisal Islam – Channel 4 News/ Channel 4 News at Noon ITN for Channel 4 News / Jason Farrell – Five News Sky News for Five News

News Programme of the Year: BBC News at Ten BBC News for BBC One
“In a vintage year for news output, this programme shone through. The jury felt it had led the way on a wide range of major stories and the experience and quality of its leading correspondents had simply been unmatched anywhere else. It had triumphed on the big story of the year but had supported that with first-class reporting throughout.”
Nominees: Five News with Natasha Kaplinsky Sky News for Five News / News at Ten ITV News

Camera Operator of the Year: Garwen McLuckie – Sky News Sky News
“The winner’s work in Africa was fearless and showed a remarkable empathy for the problems faced by people across the continent. His story-telling was impressive and his work demonstrated immense personal bravery and the highest technical skills.”
Nominees: Raul Gallego Abellan – Associated Press Television News Associated Press Television News / Stuart Webb – Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4 News

Television Journalist of the Year
: Robert Peston – BBC News
“The winning correspondent produced probably the most sustained run of scoops and exclusives in the history of broadcast news in the UK… It would not be an exaggeration to say that a large part of the nation hung on the winner’s words every night – he personally revived appointment-to-view.”
Nominees: Martin Geissler – Africa Correspondent ITV News / Emma Hurd – Sky News Sky News

Lifetime Achievement Award: Peter Wilkinson
“This year’s winner is, for the first time, a cameraman.  He is not a household name – but you will all recognise his work. Many of the defining moments of our era have been captured through his lens, and he is one of the true pioneers of his trade.”

Judges Awards: Zimbabwe News Teams

“[This year’s Judges’ Award] recognises and salutes the work of a disparate collection of journalists, cameramen, producers and others who work under the radar, who have helped the outside world to report and understand a major international story that would otherwise have remained largely hidden from view.”

Gold Medal: Stewart Purvis
“[The Gold Medal goes] to someone whose name may not be widely known by the public but who has influenced, directly or indirectly, virtually everything we’ve seen on screen tonight. He is, without doubt, one of the makers of modern television news.