Community Channel – funding drive

The national platform that is the Community Channel via crowdfunding has found a way forward, not least due to Sky giving 50% of the target figure of £300,000. Congratulations to Caroline Diehl and her team!

A Community Channel owned by the community offers a tantalising prospect: local media organisations together with local radio/TV stations could create a network across the country that feed a national platform as well as their own individual outlet. Campaigning anyone?

When you consider the disconnect shown by the Labour Party’s current difficulties over working with a leader whose popular mandate is not mirrored by the Parliamentary Labour Party, social media plus local broadcasting becomes a real player for change.

 

Southwark.TV Report available for download

“An open-minded, fun and accessible community ‘TV’ service, run as a forum for debate, the supply of information and promotion of local initiatives, talent and needs, has a vital role to play in multi-cultural, multi-faith C21st century Britain. Digital/cable TV and new media will be playing their part in urban regeneration and social cohesion.”

Community TV Trust from its launch in 1999 sought ways to innovative in community media. How might engagement be achieved?

Southwark.TV – a ‘horizontal’ community project – ran from a pilot in early 2003 to 2014 when the site was archived. You can find it under the CTVT Projects menu or click HERE to read it. Once you have read the report you can also browse the Southwark.TV website from HERE

It foresaw the rise of social media and online activity, shifting away from mainstream media to portable/mobile devices and citizen journalism.

 

“SOUTHWARK.TV”

In late 2002 Community TV Trust launched its flagship project “Southwark.TV” which is PSB-nouveau … media by the people of the people for the people.

In late 2002 Community TV Trust launched its flagship project “Southwark.TV” which is PSB-nouveau … media by the people of the people for the people. Public service media par excellence. It is a web-based venture and has so far drawn together over 50 community organisations and schools across the Borough of Southwark in a focussed project to provide training and project support that may also turn consumers into producers. This is what technology has made possible and what efforts at empowering the disadvantaged desire.

New media must be involved in any consideration of PSB. Ofcom thinking has opened out – ‘national’ debate now includes ‘local’, broadcasting sits side by side with the internet and broadband. And mobile telephony too.

The public are involved, we are all media producers now. From what I see, communication is multiple, multi-faceted and multimedia. Media is, after all, the content offered in a communication, whether to broadband, a telephone or the post office, for delivery as a service …

I think we are on the edge of integrated PSB operating across traditional and new media platforms to serve in a focussed and educational way those who we know are ‘hard to reach’. What is better for PSB than to work side by side with PSM ?

Broadband And Internet

CTVT sought to launch a meaningful attempt at ‘TV by the people for the people’ but made no progress in conventional areas such as cable for delivering content.

Media debate must include broadband and the internet. CTVT sought to launch a meaningful attempt at ‘TV by the people for the people’ but made no progress in conventional areas such as cable for delivering content.

Only when the internet fully arrived did the answer reveal itself, wrapped up in the internet’s local-global conundrum. For me, from then on local TV was dotTV, free from regulation and at bewilderingly low cost.

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.