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BIG grant opens up community news journalism networks

26 May 2011

Media TrustThe Big Lottery Fund is enabling Media Trust to create an innovative UK network of local community news hubs that will support and empower local groups to tell their stories for online, broadcast and print media.

The Media Trust today receives £1.89 million to support citizen journalism and aggregate, package and distribute community news stories across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A TV and online platform will be supported by professional journalism, UK-wide news distribution and a new online Academy of Citizen Journalism. The new Academy will provide community news hubs with the tools, online training and resources to support and develop the skills of the Active Citizen Journalists who will be at the heart of the hubs.

The Community ChannelMedia Trust will provide structure for the thousands of local community news outlets that exist throughout the UK including on websites and newsletters. Through the Academy, training will provide communities with the power to deliver quality journalism, whilst the existing Community Channel online and on television will form a national platform that aggregates community news, stories, blogs and videos. The local hubs will be supported by an amazing network of media volunteers and mentors and the Media Trust’s Newswire and Community Channel platforms

People Powered ChangePeter Wanless, Chief Executive, Big Lottery Fund said: “Media Trust’s plans to empower people to drive their local news agenda, inspire community action and build their media skills, are a great example of the ethos of BIG’s People Powered Change  BIG looks forward to seeing many more citizen journalists sharing their new skills with other local communities.”

Caroline Diehl MBE, Chief Executive of Media Trust said: “This funding is fantastic news for communities and charities throughout the UK. Together with Big Lottery Fund and Media Trust’s partners and corporate members, we will be able to connect communities to share their stories with each other locally, regionally, nationally and throughout the UK in a way that inspires us all to create positive social change.”

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