Community Media is more than a thrown-together opportunity for volunteers to participate in the creation of their local media. It’s also a chance for ordinary people to own and benefit from the running of the media organisations that directly serve them. That was the message from tonight’s Make The News presentation held at the Leicester King Power Stadium.
At a time when there is significant challenges for media businesses to survive, while still catering for a traditional local communities, it’s refreshing to hear some passionate arguments and an alternative approach – the co-operative.
Supported by the Carnegie Trust and Co-Operatives UK, three speakers gave impassioned demonstrations why local media continues to matter. Why it is wrong to claim that local media is dead, and what can be done about building alternative co-operative media businesses.
Chris Morley from the NUJ spoke first about the impact that economic change has had on the local news industry. Followed by Dave Boyle who shared his passion for co-operatives and their potential for radical change. Ross Hawkes from Lichfield Live shared his experience starting a not-for-profit news service for his local town.
Afterwards I caught-up with Dave Boyle who gave me a run-down of the main reasons for backing co-operatives as a good way forward for keeping local media local, and how you can find out more at events running around the UK.