Birmingham – the new-media centre?

On the back of the BBC moving more of it’s traditional broadcasting to the North West leaving Birmingham as a “broadcasting backwater” The Stirrer has some interesting speculation about what might come next.

“Our sources suggest that later this month (probably at a media conference in Oxford on January 18) the chief executive of Ofcom, Ed Richards is likely to formally announce the creation of a new kind of “public service publisher” which will generate online content, internet TV, and podcasting.

“The budget from the new venture will be in the region of £350 million – and we have to make sure that it’s based here.

“Birmingham has the location – the new learning quarter at Eastside – and if the speed with which next year’s digital film festival was put together is any guide, it also has the political will.”


Interesting stuff. In the long term you could say Manchester is welcome to the sorts of media production that are going to become more and more niche. While I wouldn’t like to speculate on what form it’ll ultimately take the distributed and fractured models exemplified by YouTube, Flickr, MySpace and blogs is only going to get more prevalent over the next 5-10 years and the traditional institutions are going to play a part in that no matter what. If that sort of infrastructure is based in Birmingham it can only be a good thing.


  1. “public service online content’ ? don’t the bbc and the governement already do that (without mentioning all the local councils and other funded organisations)? it’ll be funds that are already out there re-badged i’m sure.

    i don’t thing most bloggers would want to be beholden to the public purse anyway.

  2. “Public service publisher” has me a bit confused too. Thinking about it, I wonder if it’s a way of doing that stuff the BBC got in trouble for a while back (remember the closure of Cult?) under a different remit.

    I seriously doubt bloggers as we know them will be involved in this though, at least not directly.

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