Technology Redefines Media

Technology has Redefined how we broadcast, technology has also redefined who broadcasts what to whom and when.

You can shoot on miniDV tape using a digital camera of modest cost and find someone who will broadcast it for you. It no longer makes sense to continue the debate about PSB without altering the parameters.

Ergo, PSB if rechristened PSM is no longer the preserve of one-way broadcasters but is seen in new and broader contexts as belonging to us all. We may not all shoot HD but who cares if you have something to say ?

That is where it starts. Media training makes no sense if you do not ‘wire up the individual’ in a holistic manner. Get the head talking to the heart. It’ll flow from there.

Mainstream Media And Public Health

When I had set out on my career in TV, British television was an elitist world of three channels (C4 started in 1982) in some ways it still is elitist, but access has been revolutionised by technology, and technology has given rise to growth and opportunity in community media.

I am appalled sometimes at the quality of material broadcast on mainstream media. Not all of it of course, but the infatuation with celebrity rages on, as does the tendency towards negativity.

News is seduced by the availability of pictures, by celebrity, by shock and awe, by death, killing, violence and tragedy. Government ministers herald the public service value of TV inventions like Big Brother.

In absolute terms this may be right, but that is not where we are at. Would you talk to your child at breakfast each day about such bloody aspects of humanity’s approach to life when there are golden stories plain to see and ready to share ?

I believe that mainstream news is creating a public health issue by its relentless pursuit of negative content. This is not an argument for censoring the nasty bits, but let there be balance.

Not Just PSB (Public Service Broadcasting) But Also PSM (Public Service Media).

– time to shift the debate

I set up Community TV Trust [CTVT] in 1997 (it was incorporated in 1999, registered as a charity 2000) in order to pursue social and community aims and personal empowerment for people on a local basis.

My career in broadcasting stood me in good stead as a facilitator and trainer, I saw I could deal with anything.

I had worked on early access TV programmes at LWT and Granada TV. Once the power and potential of community media became clear to me, the direction was obvious.

Community Radio and TV Funding

– Parliamentary Debate

On Tuesday 24th April 2007 Parliament, via Westminster Hall, debated funding strategy and Parliamentary responsibility for community media. One of the first observations made was that community media builds the individual’s self esteem, as well as encouraging social engagement, political understanding, and the acquisition of basic IT skills.

‘Our Mission’ underlines our own understanding of why this is both achievable and relevant to community media practice.

Community TV Trust [CTVT] is keen to reach policy makers and to exert influence where it can. We have been consulted by the Liberal Democrat Party and by KEA, a Brussels based organisation working for the European Commission.

CTVT applauds the broad consensus achieved across the three main parties in this debate, all seeing value in funding on a sustainable basis the range of work undertaken by the community media sector. Benefits are now being widely understood at Parliamentary level.


Media students, under the guidance of Chris Haydon, CTVT Director, launched a local media website in Hertfordshire along CTVT lines.

hertattack01In September 2008 media students, under the guidance of Chris Haydon, CTVT Director, launched a local media website in Hertfordshire along CTVT lines. The notion of twinning local life with a ready-made unpaid student workforce is an obvious ‘BIg Society’ gambit. No wages to find, but the trick is building the relationships that make this do-able. Here are sample comments from the second year National Diploma students who clearly responded to the idea of using the classroom to produce material that had a role in the real world outside:

– “I would love this production to last” – Tulin, prod mgr

– “I am very happy with the style of the video and its success on YouTube” – Adam, producer

– “It was a good idea to get experience from creating something real in the media world” – Chris/Dez Hunter, reporter

– “I am enjoying this project and would like “Hert-Attack” to be well known and very popular in the near future” – Melissa, research & marketing

“This whole project has been a learning experience for me, I have never been part of something as big as this. I feel proud and privileged to be a part of it” – Lisa, researcher

Hert-Attack used assessable FE college National Diploma course work to build and run a live site that is intended to inform, entertain and link local people. That’s the trick that is ‘beyond the mainstream’. Students have used video well – filming at Leicester Square film premieres, shooting around town centres and across the college. A spoof journalist has been born who has TV potential, look out for Dez Hunter, the world’s Number One reporter.

The URL is:

Take a look.

DDR – Digital Dividend Review Reviewed

Ofcom’s determination to auction off spectrum released by Digital Switchover has been evident for a long time.

media001The local TV lobby has pushed and pushed and frankly got nowhere. Ofcom’s determination to auction off spectrum released by Digital Switchover has been evident for a long time.

ofcom-logo-lgIn recent times the CMA, Community Media Association, has engaged energetically with the world of community and TV; Community TV Trust has lined up with the CMA lobby on behalf of those promoting local TV (in the broadcast model) despite its own clear preference for the broadband option of delivery; even Parliament has started to pipe up with a growing understanding of what community media can offer to the individual … yet to no avail.

At a meeting held at Ofcom’s riverside offices in Southwark on 14th January 2008 it was clear that local TV while supported in statistics as a clear preference of the surveyed public was not to be favoured by the regulator or Government.

Whether spectrum is considered as an asset to sell for money or as a resource to treasure, share and ensure, local TV will not be supported in real terms by Ofcom.