A list of 20 cities and towns which could get their own local TV services in the next couple of years has been revealed by the government today.
The stations, which will broadcast using transmitters and be available on Freeview, are likely to be on air in late 2013 or 2014, providing a possible source of graduate-level employment for current first year journalism students.
This new Local TV framework is the big idea of Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt. After my experience of doing web bulletins for Saddleworth News (above) with the students from The Oldham College, I’ve been invited to a couple of events with Mr Hunt in recent months where he’s discussed the plans. I was impressed by his passion, if not the detail of the proposals.
I favour avoiding the traditional TV paraphernalia and investing the available cash, which is coming from the BBC licence fee, in improving broadband. Soon enough, IPTV technology should allow 200 or 2,000 ultra-local TV stations delivered to your telly over the internet rather than over the airwaves. I’m worried the Freeview-based services may become obsolete not long after they’re established.
Anyway, I can’t say ‘nobody asked me’ because they did. And they ignored me. Sucks to be me, eh?
I wrote about this in a bit more detail earlier this year, and you can read my article on Ed Walker’s blog by clicking here.