Talk About Local has been calling for a new relationship between the BBC and other local news providers for some years: one based on sharing stories and news assets paid for by the tax payer but that have no commercial value and a more mutual approach And now the Guardian has joined in.
Andrew Miller says of BBC content:
‘Where there’s no commercial value, it should be made freely available for national, local and hyper-local organisations to explore.
It would mean more detailed storytelling. It would reinforce the BBC’s place as an authoritative global news source. It would also provide commercial news brands with the opportunity to innovate around content that we’ve all funded through the licence fee.’
We have had many meetings with the BBC nations and regions over the years to help them understand the way informal local media is produced and is growing. At the Revival of Local Journalism event at Salford on 25 June I called for the BBC to give their local content away for free under a creative commons licence. The BBC were open minded enough for this to be blogged on their college of journalism website. If you will forgiven the intellectual Onanism I said:
‘The BBC spends about £200 million a year on its nations and regions activities, much of which must go on local news and information (the BBC won’t say how much – nor where, nor on what). The BBC also has a huge archive of local news and information that just sits there 99% unused.
I’d like the BBC to explore and experiment with making its local public service output available for free under a creative commons licence, allowing it be reused commercially and non-commercially. This would add to the stock and flow of credible, well-sourced local journalism in the local media ecosystem; freely and legitimately sharable.’
I could pretend that this Guardian’s position has come about after a series of power lunches with Talk About Local, but that isn’t true. I do talk to people there and maybe someone picked up on the blog and tweets. Let’s see how the BBC responds.
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