Region's media debate their future
Released: Wednesday 22nd February 2012 at 17:09
THE future of the region’s media will come under the spotlight by leading industry figures in the North East at a conference next month (March).
Hosted by the University of Sunderland, it will bring together editors, media executives, regulators, policy makers, academics and leading journalists to highlight the challenges facing the newspaper, radio and television sector outside London.
Subjects include the economic impact of digital media convergence, the Government’s plans for local television and the Leveson Press Standards Inquiry.
Labour’s Shadow Media Minister Helen Goodman MP is one of the Keynote speakers.
“I welcome this conference as an opportunity to raise my concern about the economic threats facing regional and local media,” she said.
“There is a clear need to look again at media ownership rules. It is ironic that the Kent Messenger merger of local papers could not get the go ahead while News Corp/BSkyB deal was almost waved through.
“Clearly we need to set rules that prevent the domination of the media by large multi-national corporations, while at the same time facilitating viable business models to flourish at local and regional level.
“Local and regional media are vital for our democracy. They hold local authorities to account and support local identity and culture.”
The event will be held on Friday, March 9, between 9.30pm and 4pm, at The David Puttnam Media Centre, at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s. Entry to the conference is free but places must be booked in advance.
Other confirmed speakers include: ITV Political Correspondent Gerry Foley, Sky News Associate Editor Simon Bucks, Johnston Press Editor Rob Lawson, Chris Jackson of BBC’s Inside Out, The Journal Editor Brian Aitken and Chris Lloyd, Deputy Editor of The Northern Echo.
Graeme Thompson, Dean of Arts, Design and Media at the University of Sunderland, said: “The national headlines are obviously dominated by the crisis facing the national press in the wake of revelations around phone-tapping and the investigations of the Leveson Inquiry. But outside London, much-loved and trusted local papers and radio stations are struggling to survive as a result of falling circulation and competition for advertising revenues.
“This is a watershed moment for the press outside London. Picking up and reading a newspaper is no longer a daily habit for many people. If the regional press don’t find new ways of engaging with consumers by fully embracing the opportunities of digital media, they face extinction.”
Conference places are free but must to be registered in advance by
Lunch and refreshments will be available to purchase.