Bridging the News Gap – Addressing the Democratic Deficit for Communities
There’s a problem with our local news. In many areas, the capacity of local newspapers is withering and standards are declining. This is leaving a democratic deficit across many regions and making accountability a long-forgotten dream for many communities.
But there are some organisations working to address these problems, building new local news outlets that have different relationships with their audience: more transparent, more collaborative and more like a genuine community than a readership. They’re building sustainable new democratic business models that rely not on advertisers or corporate owners but on regular donations from a community of members or co-owners.
Advances in both transparency movements and tools and platforms for investigative research are making it easier than ever for active informed citizens to hold power structures that affect their communities to account.
Join this workshop to hear from Tom Sanderson of the Centre for Investigative Journalism and Dr Tom Sykes, the co-founder of one of these outlets pioneering a new way of building independent local journalism, and learn the skills, tools and techniques that can help you advance accountability in your own local area, whether you are a journalist, researcher or just a member of a community that wants to take some power back into your own hands!
Tom Sanderson is Project Manager at the Centre for Investigative Journalism, an educational charity that specialises providing training to journalists, researchers, producers and students in the practice and methodology of investigative journalism. For the past two years, Tom has been running projects across the UK aimed at increasing the capacity of community-led news outlets to conduct public-interest investigations.
Dr Tom Sykes is the co-founding editor of Star & Crescent, an oppositional news and analysis website focused on the Portsmouth area. For the site, Tom has written about the democratic deficit in local politics, the influence of the military-industrial complex on higher education and many other topics. Tom is also a literary historian, author and foreign correspondent whose latest book is The Realm of the Punisher (Signal Books), a ‘political travelogue’ of the contemporary Philippines. He has written extensively about world affairs for Private Eye, New Statesman, New Internationalist, The Scotsman, Monocle and other outlets. He is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth.
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