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MyNewtown on board with national news body

 
Created on 13/01/2018 @ 10:08
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MyNewtown has helped launch a new body established to represent the interests of independent news organisations across the UK.

The official launch of the Independent Community News Network took place at The Senedd, home to the Welsh Assembly, on Thursday.

The ICNN supports and champions community journalists and the hyperlocal news sector, working to create 'a level playing field' with established media

ICNN aims to support and champion sustainable forms of digital and print journalism on a local level, providing help and guidance such as specialist legal support to its members.

“The network has been active since the summer and already has 70 members, but this week’s official launch means ICNN is now able to consult with its advisory board to map its future and choose the issues to focus on,” explained Emma Meese, director of ICNN.

As well as offering access to legal support, the network is currently in discussions with the National Union of Journalists to gain access to press cards for its eligible members, and is exploring the readership and combined reach of its membership.

"We are aware that we have many challenges ahead of us if we are to get the community and hyperlocal news sector on a level playing field with the more traditional local news sector," Meese said.

"A number of legislations aimed at local news publishers, such as publishing statutory notices, were created when the local news landscape looked completely different.

"If we are to succeed in getting fair opportunities for our members we will have to look at these issues and fight for fair access for all."

ICNN’s current members include MyWelshpool, MyNewtown, Wrexham.com, The Bristol Cable, The Ferret, The Hackney Citizen, Caerphilly Observer, Shetland News and the Lincolnite.

As well as Meese, the network has two other members of staff, working directly with members: Matt Abbott, communications and project officer, and Professor Justin Lewis, chairman.

"We think we can achieve things together that we couldn’t achieve individually," Lewis said at the launch at the National Assembly for Wales Senedd building.

MyWelshpool and MyNewtown will be represented on the board.

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