Event looks at journalism co-op model

cooperativesYou may remember a long time ago in a galaxy far far away (well, New Year’s Day) that I wrote about journalism co-ops and how a handful have been successful across the British Isles. Could 2013 be the year of news co-ops? I asked.

Well Co-operatives UK and Carnegie UK Trust have joined together to organise a series of meetings across the UK showcasing alternative types of media in a bid to stimulate people to take action to ‘save’ local media. The events go under the title ‘Make Your Local News Work’.

The series of events are billed as an “opportunity to make local media work as a sustainable business and help to protect democracy through local accountability”.

Apparently there’s the chance to learn from media experts, practitioners about alternative ways to own and run local media through co-operatives. You could also win £2,000 to help you develop your ideas or project.

There’s an event in Manchester on July 9 which I’m going to attend – tickets are still available along with more details here.

Here’s a video explaining what a co-operative is:

Casting your minds back to January again, I also asked if Leeds should start its own news co-op. To be honest, I added it as a throwaway line at the end of the post without any real thought.
There was, however, quite a response – tweets, email came in by the bucketload. I had over 30 responses.

It caught me by surprise and I have to confess I haven’t publically acted on them. Yet.

I’ve been chatting to Quentin at Leeds Citizen blog about him someone doing something from a civic point of view and really getting to grips with council reporting, public transport, health etc. A few different ideas have been kicked around, from setting up a Leeds civic news agency to developing an online platform and print product. Co-operatives seem like an interesting business model and it could loead to employing some freelance journalists.

We’re hoping to meet up with some likeminded people in the city next month to set up a steering group. I’ll keep you up to date.

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