Day 4: Tony Randall

When newspapers began, they were the only way to get quick information for the people who were worried about what was happening on the street, but this original reason diverged into different directions. Nowadays when someone tries to set up a newspaper they are probably only thinking in profit and not in the needs of the readership, said Tony Randall from Cumbria University. In fact, journalism is believed to have a function with democracy, accountability, the watchdog role, and objectivity, but these functions are on danger of disappearing at grass roots. One of the possible answers Randall found to this loss of identity found in journalism was to focus on local journalism and its function in society. Nowadays, local journalism is done to satisfy the needs of international conglomerates, not the local readerships.

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At this point we can talk about “the global village” to which we can sell everything to everyone because we are not addressing to a specific audience and so specification of local journalism is being lost. The global village arrived with the electronic media age, but the digital media has accelerated its process. In order to solve this problem, in Cumbria they have designed a plan consisting on a competition to develop new ways of producing local news. The plan was a support training program for community journalists that was thought to improve local community news in rural Cumbria, by gathering local news and information and disseminating them around in order to make the newspapers be interested in the local level of communication.

Begoña González.