Small Gloucestershire title has big video aims

Small paid-for Gloucester weekly The Forester has launched its own video news channel FTV.

The Northcliffe-owned paper’s new service can be accessed through the www.thisisgloucester.co.uk website which it shares with daily titles Gloucester Echo and Citizen, and hosted by youtube.com at www.snipurl.com/ forester.

Based in Cinderford, The Foresterhas a paid-for circulation of 10,674 and three reporters.

FTV delivers a mix of live news, sports reports and weekly round-ups of news from the area.

Editor Viv Hargreaves said staff were enjoying the challenge but admitted they have been given more to do.

‘There is more work. It’s very important to maintain that balance. But the staff love it, seeing themselves on screen. The next thing will be to have [extra] staffing,’she said.

‘I asked Lord Rothermere [chairman of Daily Mail and General Trust, owner of Northcliffe Media Group] at an event in Bristol how much investment there would be in the area [for multimedia journalism] and he was very positive.

‘With what’s happening with ITV, folding in many regions and shrinking the others into nothing, I think that the BBC is looking to do more community TV, and we want to be in there first.”

The Forester has invested £2,000 in a Sony A1 camera and training for staff and now sends reporters out as often as possible to film as well as report what they see, though Hargreaves said the project was still in its early stages.

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