First beacon hub plus an innovation centre for Newsnet

The Media Trust – which is a partner in People Powered Change – have announced the first Newsnet beacon hub in their £1.89 million plans to develop a network supporting citizen journalism: it is Citizen’s Eye in Leicester. Here’s an earlier interview about Newsnet with Adam Perry.

Gavin Sheppard, director of marketing and communication services at Media Trust, now writes on the Newsnet blog about last week’s workshop.

The Big Lottery Fund, our major funder for newsnet, hosted an event last week on ‘people powered change’ and how we might empower communities to come together to achieve great things locally.

It was attended by a diverse mix of Big Lottery partners and community organisations and I was struck by how much agreement there was in the room about the power of stories and the importance of sharing.

Our vision for newsnet is that we play a part in inspiring and supporting communities to come together to tell their own stories, report the news that matters to them and share their opinions and views to inform and inspire others. And if we get it right, we’ll hopefully find that the inspiration spreads far further than the community boundaries, the premise being that you don’t have to be part of a community to be inspired by what they’re achieving.

The question is, how compelling is citizen journalism as a mechanism for connecting communities? And how do we identify the existing inspirational citizen journalism activity and encourage others to have a go? We’re starting by identifying and appointing beacon hubs around the UK – Citizen’s Eye in Leicester is our first – so if you know of anyone we should be talking to, we’d really love to hear your ideas!

Earlier interview with Gavin on my personal blog.

Newsnet will launch its site early in the New Year, with  an innovation centre. Nic Jones writes:

One exciting area of the site is the Innovation Centre, a place for like-minded souls engaged in local storytelling to share any new tools, sites and inspiring content that they’ve come across – or created.  It would be great to know what ideas to highlight when we launch, so if you have any burning questions about community reporting, citizen journalism and the like, let me know in the comments below.

You can register your interest in citizen journalism and community reporting with Newsnet here.

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