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June 09 2010

09:47

Jeremy Hunt: No local TV is one of biggest gaps in British broadcasting

In his inaugural speech on the media and digital economy yesterday, new Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt tied his colours firmly to the local TV mast:

New York has six local TV stations – compared to London which has not one.

Birmingham Alabama, an example some of you may have heard me use before, has eight local TV stations – despite being a quarter the size of our Birmingham that, again, doesn’t even have one.

Paris, Lyon and Marseilles have local TV. Why not Glasgow, Sheffield and Bristol?

Unfortunately even as politicians have paid lip service to localism, our broadcasting ecology has pursued the polar opposite model – with a large proportion of news beamed shamelessly from the centre.

In his speech, Hunt said he would:

He also outlined plans for the roll out of superfast broadband in the UK. His speech is available in full at this link, but a Wordle of the top 50 words used gives an overview of his priorities for media:

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April 08 2010

08:15

Media Guardian: Regional news consortia will miss election contract deadline

Attempts to rush through plans for Independently Funded News Consortia (IFNC) to replace regional news provision by ITV ahead of the general election on 6 May have failed.

The winning bids for the IFNC pilots in Tyne Tees/Border region, Scotland and Wales were announced on 25 March, but contracts for the scheme will not be signed before the election date, a spokeswoman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport confirmed to the Guardian.

Those involved will now have to hope for a Labour victory on polling day as the Conservative party has said it will scrap the IFNC plans.

Full post at this link…

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January 06 2010

15:44

IFNC pilot will launch Newcastle University’s events on journalism

Newcastle University will this month hold the first in a series of seminars exploring ethnic diversity in the news industry workforce.

The seminar Widening Ethnic Diversity in the News Industry Workforce: Towards Solutions will coincide with the launch of the Independently Funded News Consortia (IFNC) pilot schemes; an initiative in which interested parties are invited to bid to produce local content to replace the ITV regional news network.

Newspaper and broadcasting companies, independent producers and universities have formed Independently Financed News Consortia (IFNCs) to bid for around £21m to run three multi-platform pilot news services in Wales, Scotland and the Tyne Tees and Borders region.

But the news industry as a whole has a poor record of reflecting in its workforce the cultural and ethnic diversity of British society – and minority communities are entitled to expect changes if they are sharing the costs of this project.

Speakers at the event on 20 January at Newcastle University include International Federation of Journalists president Jim Boumelha and Bob Satchwell of the Society of Editors.

The two-year series of seminars, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, will take place at six universities across England and Wales.

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January 04 2010

15:12

IFNC update: CN Group, STV, ITN and Bauer in race for news consortia pilots

Following news at the end of last year of new bids from partnering media groups for the independently funded news consortia pilots (IFNC) in Wales and the Tyne Tees and Borders region, Scottish broadcaster STV has confirmed its bid in partnership with ITN and Bauer Media for the scheme in Scotland.

ITN now has its hat in the ring for all three of the proposed pilot projects for the consortia, which will form a replacement service for ITV’s regional news network. ITN will work with Johnston Press, Newsquest, Metro Radio and the University of Sunderland on its Tyne Tees plan and ITV, Northcliffe, Newsquest and Tindle Newspapers on the Wales bid.

In competition for the north east pilot it will face a tender from UTV and a separate bid from a partnership of Trinity Mirror, the Press Association, TV production company Ten Alps and now additionally newspaper publisher CN Group. The TM/PA consortium will announced further partnerships for its bid, a press release from Trinity says.

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November 27 2009

08:36

Media Release: Tyne Tees and Borders for regional news consortia pilots

The Tyne Tees and Borders television region has been selected as the English pilot region for the Independently Funded News Consortia (IFNC) proposed by the government’s Digital Britain report.

Additional trials in Scotland and Wales will also take place and the tender process for all three pilots was opened yesterday.

Full release at this link…

Several local media groups have already outlined plans for IFNC bids. ITN has proposed a ‘grand alliance’ between local media groups.

Responding to the announcement of the English pilot region yesterday, John Hardie, ITN CEO, said in a statement:

“We’re excited to be joining forces with the talented staff who provide the current service in the Tyne Tees and Border region and in Wales to create the backbone of our bids for the pilots announced today. We are building a coalition with newspapers, radio and community groups to bring together the best in commercial journalism in each of the regions to offer a compelling multi-platform news service for viewers, listeners and readers.

“IFNCs provide an opportunity to re-invigorate local and regional newsgathering across broadcast, print and online and to ensure that there is an innovative and comprehensive alternative to the BBC. We look forward to playing a key role in this bright new future for local news.”

Trinity Mirror, Press Association and TV production company Ten Alps have announced a joint bid for the IFNC pilot.

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