Friday, March 05, 2010

DEMOCRACY WITHOUT JOURNALISTS : THE CRISIS IN LOCAL NEWS

You are invited to the following event -

Local news media are in crisis. The Newspaper Society notes that 101 local
newspapers closed down between January 2008 and August 2009 while ITV has
said it can no longer afford to provide a regional news service. Buffeted
by the recession and the impact of the internet, the current business
model for local news is facing collapse and, perhaps with it, the pursuit
of local news that is in the public interest. The government has responded
by setting up pilot Independently Funded News Consortia (IFNC) while the
Conservatives have promised to scrap the pilots and to relax local
cross-media ownership rules to safeguard the provision of local journalism.

A pre-election meeting in Parliament to highlight local journalism and
democracy
Wednesday 17 March, 2-4pm, Thatcher Room, Portcullis House, Westminster,
Bridge Street, London. SW1P 3JA.
Map: http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/colmap.pdf

Speakers include: Jeremy Dear (General Secretary of the NUJ); Steve Hewlett
(broadcaster, R4 The Media Show and Guardian columnist), Professor James
Curran, (Director of Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre), Natalie
Fenton (editor of New Media, Old News), Angela Phillips (founder, East
London Lines), Professor Stephen Coleman (University of Leeds).

This event aims to make the future of local news an election headline. It
will highlight the importance of robust news coverage for local democracy
and propose concrete steps to halt the decline in local news, such as those
contained in the NUJ's economic stimulus plan to reinvigorate local
journalism. , such as those contained in the NUJ's economic stimulus plan
that aims to reinvigorate local journalism. Speakers will address:

• why politicians and the public should care about local news
• the significance of local news for meaningful local democracy
• the viability of the Independently Funded News Consortia scheme
• the need for public policy action to ensure a future for local news
• possibilities for new initiatives in the provision of local news

Attendance is free but places are strictly limited. Please contact Joanna
Redden (cop01jr@gold.ac.uk) to reserve a place.