Roy Greenslade writing in the Evening Standard hails yesterday's local media summit in the House of Commons as a "breakthrough moment."
He says an industrywide expression of a new spirit of participation was evident in a presentation by Ofcom's chief executive Ed Richards, who argued that as ITV retreats from its commitment to providing a regional news service, independently funded news consortia should be established.
Greenslade writes: "What was so fascinating was to witness the apparent acceptance of this idea from a range of TV, radio and newspaper representatives, whether they were employers, editors, or trades unions or politicians. The reason, of course, is that no one else has anything like as good an idea that has the slightest hope of working.
"It was noticeable that none of the contributors, whether from the Newspaper Society, the National Union of Journalists, the Society of Editors or a variety of television and radio organisations, were able to explain how to fund a revitalisation of local journalism. All, however, agreed that there is a crisis.
"Most crucially, and this is what I mean by it being a historic meeting, all appeared to agree that they must work together to do something positive to sort it out."
Greenslade concludes: "So participation, at both industry level and in acts of journalism, is the new watchword. It could well prove to be the silver lining in the present dark clouds hanging over the media."
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