Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Mediawatch: The revolution has happened, get over it...

  • Comment

It is somewhat bizarre to be writing a piece on media coverage after spending six glorious days in Rome well out of spitting distance of the traditional British media. 

Yet sipping cappuccinos outside the Coliseum does focus the mind on what is really important, so here are some home thoughts from abroad:

  1. The traditional media is dying – part one: In the old days you would be surrounded by Brits abroad trying to track down 3-day-old copies of the Daily Mirror to check the football scores – now they are carrying iPads as they dodge the tour guides at the Trevi fountain;
  2. The traditional media is dying – part two: In my distant youth when landing at Birmingham airport I would have rushed to buy a paper to see what was occurring.  Now as my bag gets itself lost in no-frills hell, I log on to twitter to check on the latest;
  3. If fewer people are consuming newspapers – and the on-line availability of media becomes infinitely fragmented - then what matters more is a resident’s or visitor’s actual experience of the local council and not their consumption of the latest mock moral panics around salaries or surveillance. The clean, poo-free streets around Roma Termini told me more about the good work of the city’s authorities than any amount of PR in La Repubblica;
  4. In this new world the role of the humble, old-style council press officer has to go. Colleagues, please move away from your press releases and start working out how you provide information, access and involvement to local people (and journos as long as they exit). And how you do it increasingly using digital tools;
  5. Journalists, the revolution has happened, get over it.  If citizen reporters are faster and more relevant, and bloggers more entertaining, you have got to find new ways of holding local government to account? And we have to find new ways of engaging with you to make this work;
  6. In the world of UK media nothing changes.  Before I went it was Olympics success, senior manager pay offs and naked royals.  On arriving back: Paralympics success, senior civil servant pay deals and………

Paul Masterman, head of communications, Staffordshire CC

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.