June 2024 Update

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

June 2024 Update

Hello and welcome back to a bumper monthly update from Better Media. I was away on leave last week, so this June update is coming to you slightly late and we have plenty to catch up on after a dramatic month ahead of the country going to the polls today. You can read the last update here.

In this update I’ll be looking back at the work we’ve done this month in three areas:

  • Amplifying and participating in campaigns around media policy
  • Supporting and promoting community media outlets
  • Collating and platforming resources relating to media reform

Platforming media reform resources

This election has been about many things, but unfortunately media reform has not been very high on the political agenda. As the Media Reform Coalition (MRC) point out in this excellent blog, the major parties make very little mention of media policy in their manifestos. In fact, as research by Who Targets Me shows, judging by the content of the ads they’re buying online Labour and the Tories are barely talking about policy of any kind in their campaigns.

Nonetheless, the MRC are doing an excellent job of highlighting the major issues in media that our prospective leaders should be talking about. Their Media Manifesto 2024 is essential reading for those looking to understand the current UK media landscape and how policy changes could lead to reform. They also recently released recordings of the sessions from this year’s Media Democracy Festival on Youtube. Though it was recorded back in March, the panel on ‘Election 2024: Priorities for media reform’ is worth watching for a more in-depth discussion of the state of play.

Participating in policy campaigns

As discussed in the last update, the Media Act was passed through parliament in a rush before the start of the election period. As part of the Public Service Media Forum, we will be looking at the ramifications of the Act and developing plans to lobby the new government for further reforms. For now, this briefing note from Forum conveners the Voice of the Listener and Viewer (VLV) provides a very useful outline of our concerns around the Act.

Elsewhere in campaigning news, our work with Decentred Media on a response to the Ofcom consultation on Key Commitments Reporting for Analogue Community Radio wrapped up in June. Thanks as always to our member Rob Watson for leading on this work. We produced a very comprehensive response to the consultation, drawing on several listening sessions with civil society organisations, academics and community radio participants. We hope Ofcom will take some of our findings on board in their ongoing work, at what is a pivotal time for community radio in the UK. You can read Rob’s detailed thoughts about the consultation in this blog.

Supporting community media

Earlier in June, I attended an excellent event in London: an away day for media infrastructure organisations, hosted by the Public Interest News Foundation (PINF). It was a very productive day, building connections between around 20 organisations that work to support local, community, independent and public service media through training, funding, lobbying and other activities. Together, these organisations are developing a strategy to push the new government to improve support for independent media producers, and I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to make some good ground in this area in the coming months.

That’s all for this month – except to remind you to get out and vote today! I’ll be back at the end of July with another update to look at how things are going under the new government. 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


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