In February 2003 CTVT launched a unique open-access community media project across the London Borough of Southwark. Here is a link to the project which is no longer active and is retained on a server for research purposes: http://www.singernet.info/southwarktv/
Expansion from 9 pilot partners in early 2003 brought more than fifty schools and community groups into active participation, with each partner building and maintaining their part of the site. It was offered free by CTVT; once a partner school/group had signed a contract with us, we gave them their password to the admin suite – and they were free to create as much media as they pleased.
Four overseas partners signed up at one time, from Bethlehem in Palestine’s West Bank, Yangon in Myanmar, Belo Horizonte in Brazil and Sydney, Australia. The idea was to offset the intensely inward looking focus on Southwark by introducing media pals from other communities far away who might lend perspective.
In Spring 2003 a local cinema carried a 30-second Southwark.TV trailer blown up to 35mm; screening & discussion events began in September 2004; throughout 2005 CTVT with great volunteer support made SOUTHWARK HOUR, a TV discussion series for and by local people, filmmakers and Southwark.TV partners. There were ten one-hour programmes in all.
Community TV Trust formally decided to close down “Southwark.TV” in early 2014 and shift focus to another way of working. With the advent of local broadcast TV in London, CTVT has committed to working directly with three special groups of people: the disabled, mental health service users, young people at risk of exclusion. Whilst this focus does not preclude working with others, our emphasis lies here.
CTVT will shortly publish a Southwark.TV Report on this website, documenting the project which we believe remains a template of potential for communities of all shapes and sizes.