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23 DECEMBER 2013

Comux: sustainable local TV based on a community ownership model

"Comux UK was created in 2011 by Ed Hall. In 2013 it was awarded the licence by Ofcom to operate the digital transmission infrastructure. Comux offers an equitable, cost–efficient and community–driven approach to provide a wide range of services to local TV broadcasters in the UK.

We believe our approach creates a commercially sustainable and robust solution to the unique challenges facing local TV operators, and has the potential to provide an attractive return to the licence holders, and to the local TV industry as a whole. In particular we believe our model addresses the key challenge that local TV faces, which is the financial barrier to launching and successfully maintaining a local TV channel."

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2011Birminghambroadcast media • broadcast media network • broadcasting • Canis Media • community ownership model • Comux UK • digital infrastructure • digital switchover • digital terrestrial television • distribution infrastructure • Ed Hall • EPG • Ericsson Ltdfreeviewlocal audienceslocal televisionlocal television stationlocal TVlocal TV station • multiplexing • national network • network modelOfcom • playout • television networktelevision productiontelevision programmingTVTV channelTV stationUK

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
28 NOVEMBER 2012

Notts TV: new local television for Nottingham

"Notts TV Ltd is a consortium led by Confetti Media Group, Nottingham Post Media Group, Nottingham Trent University and Inclusive Digital Ltd. Together the group has the skills and experience needed to run a TV station for Nottingham – including expertise in TV news, launching and managing TV channels, local journalism and programme production, technical and engineering issues, advertising and marketing, education and training.

Notts TV provides Confetti students with a great opportunity to work in a real TV environment, providing content and programming for news, sport, business, politics and a range of issues that matter to local residents.

The station will utilise the news reporting expertise of the Nottingham Post Group and involve students from both Nottingham Trent Universities' Centre for Broadcasting and Journalism and Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies."

(Confetti Media Group, 2012)

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2014BelfastBirminghambroadcasting • broadcasting licence • Cardiff • Centre for Broadcasting and Journalism • Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies • Confetti Media Group • consortiumdigital terrestrial televisionfreeviewGlasgow • Inclusive Digital • Inclusive Digital Ltd • Jeremy HuntjournalismLeedslocal audiences • local journalism • local televisionlocal television productionlocal television stationlocal TVlocal TV station • locally relevant • LondonManchester • media training • Nottingham • Nottingham Post Group • Nottingham Post Media Group • Nottingham Trent University • Notts TV Ltd. • Ofcom • press release • Sheffield • skills and experience • studentstelevisiontelevision productiontelevision programmingTV channeltv newsTV stationUK

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 APRIL 2011

Five myths about the future of journalism

"There are few things journalists like to discuss more than, well, themselves and the long–term prospects for their industry. How long will print newspapers survive? Are news aggregation sites the future? Or are online paywalls – such as the one the New York Times just launched – the way to go? As media organizations plot their future, it's worth discarding some misconceptions about what it will take to keep the press from becoming yesterday's news.

1. The traditional news media are losing their audience.

Many predicted that the rise of the Internet and online publishing meant that mainstream media organizations would lose their readers and viewers, with technology breaking their oligarchic control over news. But that's not the overall picture.

Yes, people are migrating online. In 2010, the Internet passed newspapers for the first time as the platform where Americans 'regularly' get news, according to survey data from the Pew Research Center. Forty–six percent of adults say they go online for news at least three times a week, as opposed to 40 percent who read newspapers that often. Only local television news is a more popular destination, at 50 percent.

But online news consumers are heading primarily to traditional sources. Of the 25 most popular news Web sites in the United States, for instance, all but two are 'legacy' media sources, such as the New York Times or CNN, or aggregators of traditional media, such as Yahoo or Google News. Of the roughly 200 news sites with the highest traffic, 81 percent are traditional media or aggregators of it. And some old media are seeing their overall audience – in print and on the Web – grow.

The crisis facing traditional media is about revenue, not audience. And in that crisis, newspapers have been hardest hit: Ad revenue for U.S. newspapers fell 48 percent from 2006 to 2010.

2. Online news will be fine as soon as the advertising revenue catches up.

Such hopes are misplaced. In 2010, Web advertising in the United States surpassed print advertising for the first time, reaching $26 billion. But only a small fraction of that, perhaps less than a fifth, went to news organizations. The largest share, roughly half, went to search engines, primarily Google. The newspaper industry illustrates the problem. Even though about half the audience may now be accessing papers online, the newspaper industry took in $22.8 billion last year in print ad revenue but only $3 billion in Web–based revenue.

Journalism thrived in decades past because news media were the primary means by which industry reached customers. In the new media landscape, there are many ways to reach the audience, and news represents only a small share.

3. Content will always be king.

The syllogism that helped journalism prosper in the 20th century was simple: Produce the journalism (or 'content') that people want, and you will succeed. But that may no longer be enough.

The key to media in the 21st century may be who has the most knowledge of audience behavior, not who produces the most popular content. Understanding what sites people visit, what content they view, what products they buy and even their geographic coordinates will allow advertisers to better target individual consumers. And more of that knowledge will reside with technology companies than with content producers.

Google, for instance, will know much more about each user than will the proprietor of any one news site. It can track users' online behavior through its Droid software on mobile phones, its Google Chrome Web browser, its search engine and its new tablet software.

The ability to target users is why Apple wants to control the audience data that goes through the iPad. And the company that may come to know the most about you is Facebook, with which users freely share what they like, where they go and who their friends are.

4. Newspapers around the world are on the decline.

Actually, print circulation worldwide was up more than 5 percent in the past five years, and the number of newspapers is growing. In general, print media are thriving in the developing world and suffering in rich nations. Print newspaper ad revenue, for instance, rose by 13 percent in India and by 10 percentin Egypt and Lebanon in the last year for which data is available. But it fell by 8 percent in France and 20 percent in Japan.

The forces tied to a thriving print newspaper industry include growing literacy, expanding population, economic development and low broadband penetration. In India, for example, the population is growing and becoming more literate, but a substantial portion is not yet online.

By and large, American newspapers are suffering the most. Roughly 75 percent of their revenue comes from advertising, vs. 30 percent or 40 percent in many other countries, where papers live and die by circulation. That means the collapse of advertising is not hitting papers elsewhere as hard as it is hitting them here. It also suggests that the need to charge for online access may be even more important abroad.

5. The solution is to focus on local news.

Going 'hyperlocal' was the war cry of Wall Street to the news industry five years ago. The reasoning was simple: In the Internet age, when users can access content from anywhere, it didn't make sense for local operations to compete with the big national news providers.

The problem is that hyperlocal content, by definition, has limited appeal. To amass an audience large enough to generate significant ad revenue, you have to produce a large volume of content from different places, and that is expensive. On top of that, many hyperlocal advertisers are not yet online, limiting the ad dollars.

Now we are entering what might be called Hyperlocal 2.0, and the market is still up for grabs. Google, which garners two–thirds of all search advertising dollars nationally, doesn't exert similar control over local advertising. Locally, display ads – all those banners and pop–ups – are a bigger share of the market than search ads.

But how to produce local content remains a mystery. Can you put paywalls around it? Can you build a 'pro–am' model, in which professional journalists work with low–paid amateurs to produce a comprehensive report? Or will the winner be something like AOL's Patch, in which hundreds of hyperlocal sites are owned by a single company that can connect those readers with major advertisers?

So far, no one has really cracked the code for producing profitable local news online.

Tom Rosenstiel is director of the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. He is the co–author, with Bill Kovach, of 'Blur: How to Know What's True in the Age of Information Overload.'"

(Tom Rosenstiel, 7 April 2011, The Washington Post)

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201021st centuryadvertisingaggregatorAOLAppleaudienceauthorship • Bill Kovach • broadband penetration • CNNcontentcontent is kingconvergence • death of newspapers • digital cultureeconomic developmentEgyptFacebookforecasting • fourth estate • France • future of journalism • Google Newshyperlocal • Hyperlocal 2.0 • Indiainternet ageiPadJapanjournalism • Lebanon • legacy media sources • literacylocal television • low-paid amateurs • media organisations • new media landscapeNew York Timesnews • news aggregation • news media • newspaper industry • newspapersold mediaonline publishing • patch.com • Pew Research Center • population growth • print circulation • pro-am model • professional journalistssearch engine • television news • Tom Rosenstiel • traditional media • Wall Street • web advertising • Yahoo!

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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