Internet TV will be 'renaissance' for local media is the future, says former ITV chief

The internet will lead to a “renaissance” in local media and will fill the void left by the demise of local television, according to a former head of ITV West News.

Steve Egginton, who set up

The former ITV news head Internet television will soon fill the void left by the demise of local television, according to the former head of ITV West News Steve Egginton.

the former head of ITV West News Steve Egginton.

A director for the Society of Editors, Egginton that new technology and the decline of national media groups will lead to a ‘renaissance in local media.

Eggington is managing director of Somerset-based publishing and internet TV company Worldwide Media, and believes that every town and city in Britain will soon have it’s own internet TV platform.

Pointing to the declingin local newspapers, ITV’s decision to abandon the regions and the BBC’s scrapping of the Nations and Regions directorate, he said: ‘The time is ripe for a new golden age of local media, run by local people, supported by local businesses, which will support local communities, rather than milk them for profit which is the problem with current national monopolies.”

Former BBC manager Egginton launched free quality magazine the Mendip Times three years ago, which he followed up with internet TV channel Mendip TV and is planning expansion in Bristol.

He said: ‘The movement of content and advertising to the internet is inexorable and I believe expansion is going to come at a local level. Nationally, we are already seeing overkill in terms of services and I can’t really imagine that Times Online and Telegraph TV will ever compete with the BBC and Sky.

‘But there is a huge vacuum developing in local markets and I think local advertisers are more likely to support new ventures than failing newspapers, which have largely abandoned local coverage. ITV is desperate to get out of its regional commitment and BBC News merely regards the regions as tiresome country cousins. Robert Peston is morely likely to get a new suit than Radio Bristol to get a new microphone.”

Egginton added that if the BBC goes ahead with its plans for local video, it will speed up the process in the same way that the BBC originally paved the way for ITV.

He added that he believes new local internet platforms will serve the whole community and provide news, information, advertising space, advice and a local voice for all local organisations, winning the support of local communities, ‘disillusioned by national monopolies

Egginton has been a director of the Society of Editors for six years. The Society of Editors conference starts in Bristol this Sunday.

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