Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Channel M-local channel or a mini version of Granada

There has been quite a debate going on over at the controversial Chris Paul's Labour of Love.
It started with Chris's comments on David Cameron's appearance on Channel M earlier today but has turned into a debate about whether the local channel fulfills its role as a truly local community based station.

According to Chris

Why did GMG stick £15 M into this Granada-lite effort? It could hardly be more different from real, relevant, refreshing community TV? Just a tired, pale imitation of grown up ITV. And thus doomed to fail its brief. And indeed fail its commercial desires. As part of GMG convergence and concentration business plan.
and later asking

What's it for? What is it achieving? Is it worth the investment? Does it fulfil the purpose of Community TV?
And is the concentration of media ownership with GMG a good thing at any level? Even for GMG itself soul-wise and journalism-wise?

Dave Ottewell,the Manchester evening news correspondent disagrees

I personally think Channel M did a superb job staging a live debate. I think that for a local TV station - with a fraction of the budget of certain rivals - to get the leader of the opposition to answer viewers'/readers' questions for an hour is a real coup.
This is exactly the sort of thing that anyone who believes in local media, political accountability, etc. etc., should support.

Personally I tend to side with Chris who believes that a truly independent local channel would provide more of an independent voice for Manchester.Practically though it is difficult to see how the economics of funding would work.
I suppose that we are lucky to have a local channel at all.

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