We present you another interview related to citizen journalism. This time it is a new project by Media Trust – newsnet, coming from UK. Newsnet will of course be of great help to citizen journalists and members of local communities who have something to report. Also, newsnet is the place for citizen journalism and citizen media work, development and accomplishments in this growing field.
This is NewsMeBack’s exclusive interview with Alex Delaney, Community Outreach Manager for Media Trust’s newsnet project :
Q: What is Media Trust, how and when did it start?
A: Media Trust is the UK’s leading communications charity, which works with media organisations and charities to enhance their communications and enable communities to find their voice and make it heard. The Community Channel is a Media Trust initiative.
Q: Tell us what is your mission and what is your vision.
A: At Media Trust we believe in the power of media to change lives. We work with the media industry to empower charities and communities to have a voice and be heard. This is achieved by:
- providing communications skills and resources through expert-led training courses and events, free professional support, film production, free online guides and resources;
- helping access audiences through Community Channel on TV and online, national news distribution and media partnerships;
- harnessing creative industry talent through media volunteers and media partnerships;
- Supporting communities and young people to develop their own media projects
Q: Do you have partners?
A: Media Trust’s corporate members include BBC, Channel 4, Daily Mail and General Trust, Google, Guardian Media Group, IPC Media, ITV plc., MTV Networks UK and Aegis Group. Media Trust harnesses the skills and experiences of these companies to help communities across the UK.
Q: How is Media Trust related to citizen journalism?
A: Media Trust received funding to deliver a three-year project enhancing the knowledge and skills base around citizen led media due to our experience of working with communities. We want to provide communities with a unique opportunity to connect learn and share their stories. The ultimate goal is a strengthened citizen journalism community.
Q: What is newsnet and what is UK360, how they work?
A: Newsnet is a unique online community where you can connect, share and learn about citizen journalism and community reporting. UK 360 is the Community Channel’s local news magazine show. It showcases the most inspiring stories from communities, made by community news reporters. The aim is to inspire people to take action in their local area through video reports.
Q: Do you think it’s possible to achieve regular cooperation between mainstream and citizen media?
A: Media Trust’s belief that citizen journalism can go some way to filling the gap left by a diminishing local media is underpinned by research we commissioned from Goldsmiths Leverhulme Research Centre last year. We believe newsnet will be a catalyst for truly local community led news and content being distributed locally and across the UK.
Q: How do you see citizen journalism in your country?
A: There are many very active citizen journalism communities in the UK and newsnet wants to connect and support them. The idea of hyper local independent media is gaining traction as traditional media ceases to serve their local communities. Due to technology it’s never been easier for communities to report their own stories and we want to see more people achieve the skills and confidence to participate in citizen media.
Q: Importance of education and training for citizen journalists.
A: We believe education and training is really important for citizen journalists. Not only does it help with skills, but it also builds confidence and stimulates debate around what communities really want from their media outlets.
Newsnet will be a great resource for training citizen journalists who can return again and again to pick up something new, as well as participate in the community and learn from their peers.
Q: Do you think that citizen journalism is closely related with local communities?
A: There is a lot of interest around hyper local news driven by an interest in bringing benefits to a local community. We see lots of people experimenting with models to create sustainable local media outlets for the community. People are motivated by a variety of different things, but they want to give it a go because they can serve a need locally that mainstream media isn’t fulfilling.
Q: What are newsnet plans for the future?
A: We will continue to make the resources and materials on newsnet available to citizen journalists across the UK. We hope the newsnet community will stay active and will take the lead in ensuring newsnet continues to grow and develop beyond the first three years.