GlobalNet21 hub to boost Newsnet coverage

The Media Trust’s Newsnet is following up its commitment to feature a wider range of community media, on a number of fronts. Earlier stories here.

There’s an offer of five awards of £500 for “inspiring stories from across the UK of how community media, citizen journalism and community reporting have contributed to positive change in local communities”. A couple of interesting pitches are in the forum already.

In addition there’s a great demonstration of the potential of community media by Newsnet staffer Adam Perry:

I made a short video this weekend with Kirkbymoorside supporters of Safe and Sound Homes, a York-based charity that I volunteer for that works to prevent youth homelessness.  Supporters were holding a sleepout to raise funds and you can see the resulting video about their experiences here.  As well as the video my son, who has an interest in photography took the photos, and the weekend became a good example of using all the free tools we could find to get the message out to the community and to SASH’s supporters across North Yorkshire; Clare Usher from SASH put together a summary using Storify which you can see here.
During the course of the weekend I also had the good fortune to meet Kirkbymoorside resident and newsnet member Gareth Jenkins who runs The Kirkbymoorside Town Blog, and is setting up blogs for Helmsley and Pickering as well.  We didn’t get much of a chance to chat as the work for the sleepout took up most of the time, but I’m looking forward to catching up with Gareth very soon to find out more about the work he’s doing in these communities and the challenges of building an audience.

I posted a rather provocative piece in Newsnet forums following my post on this blog about the apparently narrow focus on citizen journalism … and I’m glad to welcome new developments, and a promise there from Alex Delany of improvements to the Newsnet site.

An even more interesting development could be the linkage with Globanet21, being launched on March 28 at an event at Channel 4.

Francis Sealey, Christina Wiltshire and supporters have built Globalnet 21 to a membership of 3,800 through a mixture of events and webinars and other activities. I took part in a webinar the other day on Strengthening Civil Society through social media, and was very impressed with both organisation and contributions. The March 28 event intro says:

Ensuring people have a voice in the public square of debate and discussion is vital in any democracy. We try to enable this through our meetings, webinars and podcasts.

We are now taking this one step further.The Media Trust has now invited us to become a Beacon Hub for their lottery funded Citizen Journalist project. This will link us to a Single Publishing Interface to enable those stories that members want to distribute more widely to be published to media partners (BBC, ITV, local and national press.) They will also be available on our own Blog Podcasting Channel and through the Media Trust.

At this meeting we will learn what it means to be a Beacon Hub and how our members can get their stories into the public domain whether they be blogs, photojournalism or podcasts. Not only will we find out about Beacon Hubs and the work of the Media Trust but also we will discuss Blogging and how this is an important tool of citizen journalism and Photojournalism and our plans for an Exhibition of this in May.


We bring a special dimension to the work the Media Trust does by offering material through our members who are interested in the big issues of the present century, want to discuss them, give stories and case studies to illustrate them and create a socially responsible society that holds those who take decisions to account.

If Globalnet21 can encourage network members to post, it should provide a rich source of content for Newsnet.

Meanwhile, over at the RSA, we are discussing how digital champions and reporters can animate online networks for the 27,000-strong Fellowship. Maybe there will be a chance to share experience.


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