A passion for for photography and digital communication with a background at the BBC and ITV.
Currently director at the School Media Club making cinema films for schools and working for Oblong Leeds a community development organisation. Also a member of All Saints Church in Ilkley and involved with communications in the parish.
This blog features posts about photography including some of my photos, while the media posts will include thoughts about filmmaking and online media - particularly to do with PR activities.
School Media Club
Category Archives: ITV
I’m not sure what this does for the brand image of ITV as a big player, but it may be seen as a means of making the service feel more accessible and “ordinary”. I don’t have a problem with this especially if the journalism stands out as being excellent. ITV‘s great strength in Yorkshire is its approachability in my view.
The great news is that for any aspiring journalists, you can create a news website which follows this model and uses these very tools. The next step, I imagine, is to encourage the participation of citizen journalists in ITV’s news coverage – a step we began to take when my team established ITV Local Yorkshire a few years back but proved too expensive at the time.
Another interesting aspect is that if you have a Vimeo account you can get statistics about how many people have viewed the videos and for how long – introducing a daring competitive element.
The following quotes are a response to the notion of one converged and
combined newsroom from a document called Convergence calls: Multimedia
storytelling at British news websites By Neil Thurman and Ben Lupton
“A website has to be constantly worked at … If you have people who
are in their heads in both places, the website doesn’t get the
attention it needs.” Anne Spackman Times Online Editor
"A website needed a separate team—one whose role is to innovate. “We
feel you need a small vanguard group who are learning new technology or
thinking about new types of journalism” FT.com editor James
As an online editor myself I have found that the theatre and excitement of a live TV news show overshadows the web requirements. Partly because there are no dramatic deadlines and audiences are smaller.
TV Editors are sometimes reluctant to break news on the web because they don't fully accept it as a primary output. I also think there is a fear of interactivity and a feeling of being out of control.
Traditional journalists often see the online world as dangerous; Blogging particularly so because it involves opinion and is seen as a world populated by citizen journalists (a disputed term) and crackpots. There is also the real possibility that the public could start to dictate the agenda! Heaven forbid.
So my feeling is that the two way, conversational, 'go with the flow' world of the Internet is at odds with the highly controlled world of the newsroom. Let's see if we can loosen things up a bit
A lot of people are leaving ITV right now as a result of the cutbacks. The three of us working on ITV Local in Leeds will eventually be disbanded but we don’t have dates yet. Many people working in ITV Local in other parts of the country have already gone. The expectation is that we’ll have more clarity on March the 4th.
The process of cutting back and rationalising ITV is leading to some technical changes and re-ordering of physical spaces. A proposal on the table is that the BBC and ITV should share some facilities and media. One reporter said that he could imagine we’d all be working out of a shared telephone box!
As this process moves forward I am taking some photos – along with other people – and thought it would be a good idea to upload some of them to a flickr group which I’ve called ITV Turnaround
In the last week or two I have been contacted by a number of media students wanting to know how ITV works in the regions and how they can equip themselves for future employment. It comes as a shock when they realise that much of what they are learning is subject to the same amount of uncertainty as the professionals are facing.
Regional ITV News continues to be under pressure as the company tries to find ways to cut costs. The staffing cuts in the Leeds newsroom have been among the most painful in the company’s history (we are in the middle of them).
Public service on ITV is at serious risk unless the industry can come up with a creative way of making it viable. Only today ITV has been communicating with staff on future proposals for making ends meet. One idea is that the BBC and ITV should share some media and facilities – maybe working out of the same buildings. Never before has there been such a real possibility that the BBC could be the only regional TV news broadcaster. The newspapers are of course including video on their websites but this is a long way from being established as an alternative to regional TV news. (Personally I think collaboration and partnerships are a good idea and much more in keeping with the way new media is heading)
Today we learned that advertising budgets have been revised down by the greatest amount ever, according to the latest Bellwether survey (a quarterly survey of marketing spend). Online accounts for almost 10% of all advertising spend but it suffered a record reduction in spend, dropping 7%. However this was a smaller drop compared to other media. And so even the ITV’s online services like ITV Local are under pressure.
Competition between ITV and the BBC has in the past been very strong but as the commercial realities unfold the financial contrasts between the BBC and ITV are significant.
Re-inventing ITV under these conditions is extremely difficult with the company (in my opinion) reluctant to take risks and gamble any new cash on innovative services without guaranteed financial returns. ITV Local, held to be important to the future of ITV, is being run on a relative shoestring with many of the staff who pioneered the service becoming victims of the cutbacks.
Technology, it is hoped, holds the key to the success of ITV in the regions. Like many broadcasters, staff are becoming multi skilled. To give you an example reporters are now becoming video journalists (VJs). For simpler stories reporters will operate as a one person crew taking with them a lightweight camera. They will do their own shooting, their own reporting and their own editing. While a theoretical solution, implementing the technology and training required is expensive and time consuming process.
The inclusion of user generated content, citizen journalism and more localalised information are not just a strategies for engaging with audiences, they are things the audiences are coming to expect. So as well as finding a way though this business challenge the whole culture around how we consume and use the services is changing.
Newsroom staff everywhere are working across a number media. Radio, TV, Online, text & design are being handled by staff who where previously specialists. As well as technical experts they will also have to perform as managers and content editors safeguarding the integrity of the output. And so the challenge is to improve the service, cut the costs and move quickly.
None of this is intended as a criticism of my employer who I think is putting some genuine energy and creative thinking into reforming its activities. All this bodes well, i'm sure.
But there is an equation which says that of quality, volume and speed you can only achieve two of these without compromising the third. It’s a tough one.
All this has been prompted by a damaged wind turbine which the Sun reported as being the victim of a UFO. It certainly says something about news values and what inspires viewers most. read just a few of the contacts here