Session 3 - Does Regional News Have a Future?
What are the new approaches to sustain Journalism in the Nations and Regions?
Despite the public saying how highly they rate news from where they live the last few years have been grim ones for newspapers and commercial broadcast journalism outside the M25, with job losses and closures. But the recent contest to find Independently Financed News Consortia (IFNCs) to run parts of the ITV News network in Scotland, Wales and North East England showed plenty of ideas and new alliances prepared to try new approaches to regional news.
The IFNC idea did not survive the change of government, but news in the National and Regions needs to adapt to prosper, if journalism’s grassroots are not to suffer terminal decline.
Ben Brown (Conference Chair/Presenter) is a BBC News presenter on BBC1 and the BBC News Channel and a senior correspondent. After Oxford University and a Postgraduate Diploma in broadcast journalism at Cardiff University he went into independent radio, working on Radio Clyde, Radio City and IRN before joining the BBC in 1988 as a reporter.
For more than 20 years he has been one of the BBC’s top foreign correspondents, covering all the world’s major conflicts as well as a period in Moscow as the BBC correspondent there. His journalism from Chechnya won an RTS award.
Alan Edmunds, who has been Editor of the Western Mail since 2002, is also Publishing Director of Media Wales. As such he has overall editorial responsibility for WalesOnline, the South Wales Echo, a host of weekly titles as well as Wales on Sunday and a portfolio of free magazines.
He studied law at Bristol University before taking a Postgraduate Diploma in journalism at Cardiff University. He joined Media Wales in 1986 and became Editor of Wales on Sunday in 1998.
Clive Jones CBE was until 2007 the Chief Executive of ITV News and Regions and the longest serving senior executive in ITV. During his thirty two year career in television he has been Managing Director of the ITV Network, CEO of Carlton Television, Managing Director of Central Television and Managing Director of London News Network. He began his broadcasting career on the news desk of Yorkshire Television after eight years as a newspaper journalist.
He is the Chairman of Netplay, the interactive television company and of the Wales IP Fund. He is the sole non-executive director of S4C, the Welsh public service broadcaster. From 2005 to 2010 he was also chairman of GMTV.
Ron Jones is Chairman of Tinopolis, one of the UK’s largest independent production companies. He founded Tinopolis in 1989 and it has grown rapidly into one of the leading independent producers of broadcast and multi-media journalism, from news to current affairs and documentaries. Earlier this year Tinopolis and its newspaper partners were awarded the contract to provide Channel 3’s news service in Scotland under the proposed IFNC scheme. He was founding Chairman of Real Radio.