April 2023 Update

Be the Media, Know the Media, Change the Media.

April 2023 Update

Hello! Rowan here, Campaign Coordinator at Better Media, back with an update on what we’ve been up to in April. You can read the last update here.

As usual, I’ll be breaking down this update into sections based around the four main strands of Better Media’s work:

  • Amplifying and participating in campaigns around media policy
  • Acting as a link between trade unions and the media reform movement
  • Supporting and promoting community media outlets
  • Collating and platforming resources relating to media reform

I was away at the start of the month, so this will be a slightly shorter update than usual, but a few of the things I discussed last month have continued to develop. So, without further ado:

Amplifying policy campaigns

When I wrote the March update, the government’s draft Media Bill had just been published. The DCMS committee has now put out a call for evidence in its pre-legislative scrutiny of the bill. We are working with Better Media members and other media reform organisations on putting together a response, and will be seeking an opportunity to give evidence to the committee when it sits. Details are still being ironed out for now, but we will be publishing our response after it is submitted, so keep an eye out for that.

We are also working on a response to Ofcom’s Impact Assessment Review consultation. The regulator’s procedures for impact assessment could be greatly improved, especially when it comes to evaluating impact on underserved economic and ethnic minority demographics. We will be outlining some firm proposals for change, which will again be published once our submission is complete.

Linking with trade unions

As I write this update, I have just spent most of my afternoon working on a presentation we will be giving at a meeting of a particular union branch in a couple of weeks’ time. We have ambitions to make connections with several other unions and branches this year, and I’m really looking forward to taking this first step and building up a head of steam in this area of our work. More on this once some of these meetings have taken place!

Supporting community media

Our project to develop a guide to and for Local Community Media Co-ops continues apace. I have been arranging more interviews with new and established media co-ops, and starting to draw out the content of the previous interviews. Relistening to and reflecting on the excellent conversations I’ve had so far has really helped to start crystalising the overall shape of the guide, but I have plenty more people to speak to, so we’re still in the early stages!

In more specific news, I did speak to the fine folks at The Canary recently on this topic, as they have been working on developing some training materials of their own around co-operative organising for media organisations. I am hopeful that there will be some space for some really fruitful collaboration between these two projects as they develop. Incidentally, if you haven’t read the rather dramatic tale of how and why The Canary became a workers’ co-op last year, it’s very much worth your time.

Collating and platforming resources relating to media reform

When I wrote the last update, the Media Democracy Festival had just taken place in London. Since then, several of the sessions have been published in recorded form on youtube. There are five in all, covering themes including big tech, trade unions and media, and the future of public service media – check out the full playlist here. I’d particularly recommend this talk by Lexie Kirkconnell-Kawana, the new CEO of independent press regulator IMPRESS:

That’s all for this month! I’ll be back in May with another update. As always you can contact me on contact@bettermedia.uk – my working hours are Thursdays, 8.45-4.30.

Rowan Gavin
Better Media Campaign Co-ordinator

One Response

  1. […] Hello, and welcome to another Better Media monthly update. I’m Rowan, the Better Media Campaign Co-ordinator, here to report on what has been a pretty exciting month! You can read the last update here. […]

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