Local TV in the UK came one step closer to being a reality today as Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that a series of individual stations could be more feasible and faster to deliver.
“The Government is committed to localism - putting power in the hands of citizens and neighbourhoods,” said Mr Hunt. “Local TV will be a key part of that, giving people the local news and content they want and helping local democracy to flourish.”
Also published today is a summary of the 140 responses to the Local Media Action Plan Consultation which looked at local TV proposals. One of the key issues in the consultation was the model for delivery - a national ‘spine’ or individually licensed stations. In parallel with the consultation, ministers have also been looking at issues on technical capacity, feasibility, implementation, costs and the overall timetable.
“The consultation showed that there is incredibly strong support for the principle of truly local TV. I have been particularly struck by the large number of local groups - particularly outside of London - who are keen to deliver this for their own communities. I have also met local community groups and media organisations up and down the country and have been impressed at their enthusiasm for delivering their own local TV,” Mr Hunt added.
As a result of this consideration and the consultation responses, the Culture Secretary is now considering a ‘bottom up’ approach of individual licensed stations rather than a centralised ‘top-down’ approach, although he has not yet taken a final decision.