This mail is to tell you about a new local blog which aims to start a debate about the future of news, current affairs and issues reporting in Bristol.
Local newspapers across the country are having problems with declining readership and recession. In Bristol, the Evening Post and Western Daily Press are making almost a third of staff redundant, while ITV West’s local coverage is now almost non-existent.
At the same time, we have seen the rise of DIY news on the web with sites like Bristol Indymedia and various bloggers and newsgroups. I thought it would be interesting to get lots of informed people talking about the future of news reporting in Bristol, so I’ve started this blog.
In coming weeks I plan to post a series of short articles addressing various questions and hopefully will get some debate going. It might be a complete waste of time, or it could fire some really interesting ideas. We might even create some wonderful new media models for other cities to emulate.
I am a Bristol-based freelance journalist, working for local and national organisations, mostly in print. I am not an employee of any media firm and have no ulterior or financial motives in doing this. It’s simply that the future of news is something that colleagues and I discuss constantly in the pub and something which we all assume, rightly or wrongly, is an important issue.
So let’s open the debate up beyond the pub. I’m doing it under a pseudonym for now, not because I have anything to hide, but because some of you know me (at least by name) and I don’t want anyone’s feelings about me and my work (which I hope would mostly be good!) affecting the debate or comment.
Please take a look, please make lots of comments, please tell any friends and colleagues you think might be interested and please link from your blogs and websites.
It’s at: http://felixfarley.wordpress.com/
FYI, this mail is being sent to a couple of dozen local workers in old and new media as well as some bloggers, councillors and business people.