The government has launched a new inquiry into the future of local and regional media – and there’s just six weeks to have your say on the subject.
None of us (yet) have the answers to the question of new journalism business models, and the local and regional press is suffering some of the hardest hits. But ideas and initiatives are presenting themselves everyday. And now the Culture, Media and Sport Committee is looking for views on a range of tough issues, including:
- The impact of newspaper closures on independent local journalism and access to local information;
- How to fund quality local journalism;
- The appropriateness and effectiveness of print and electronic publishing initiatives undertaken directly by public sector bodies at the local level;
- The opportunities and implications of BBC partnerships with local media;
- Incentives for investment in local content;
- Opportunities for “ultra-local” media services.
We’re thinking about a collective response from journalism educators and OJB readers to the key questions, coordinated from here. So to begin with, what are your ideas, links to the best think pieces you’ve read or examples you’ve seen? Do you agree with the call to relax competition laws to allow local newspaper publishers to merge? Or what about Andy Burnham’s statement that there will be no bailout for local papers.
Let’s use this as a starting point to develop a collective, crowdsourced response to the inquiry.
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Alex, I certainly support the idea of a collective response from educators (et al?).
With that in mind, I’ve been shopping around an idea to support innovation through an investment in knowledge development across the organisational charts as it’s clear that it’s not only those at the bottom rungs that need to know how to do new things; those higher up need to know what new things need doing (as Patrick Smith has also recently pointed out).
In short, my argument is that while the starving industry certainly needs some fish if it’s to survive these (particularly) lean time, it also needs to learn new ways of fishing.
To support the learning at a time when those budgets that did exist are being/have been cut, I’ve proposed a tax rebate on training of up to 1% of payroll. The idea has been given some air on the World Editors Forum blog (via journalism.co.uk) and also echoed by the Society of Editors in toproposal to Andy Burnham.
My original blog post is here.
Let me know what you think – and if there’s anything else I can do to pitch in.
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I was honestly amazed with how well this blog was done, beautiful layout, professional writing, great job
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