Funding for Media Trust secures future of communication charity

Funding for Media Trust secures future of communication charity

The Media Trust, home of the Community Channel, has had its future secured by funding from the Big Lottery Fund and pledges of support from companies and government.

The Big Lottery Fund has committed to spend £1.89 million over three years to establish “news hubs” around the UK to support citizen journalism and to help communities and charities get their voices heard.  Community Channel will continue to broadcast community content and Community Newswire will carry on distributing community and charity news.

Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow (of the colourful ties) is the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Media Trust, and said;

“These funding pledges are absolutely wonderful as it will allow important real-life stories from across the country to continue to be told.  Community Channel is an essential platform for marginalised voices and is dedicated to showcasing issues that inspire action and encourage involvement.”

Other pledges of support for the Community Channel, which broadcasts on Sky, Virgin and Freeview, came through further funding from the government’s Cabinet Office and donations of bandwidth from Sky, Virgin Media and the BBC. Google and YouTube have also pledged support to develop the Channel’s online and television reach.

Caroline Diehl MBE, Chief Executive of Media Trust, said:

“This funding is fantastic news for communities and charities throughout the UK. Together with Big Lottery Fund and Media Trust’s partners and corporate members, we will be able to connect communities to share their stories with each other locally, regionally, nationally and throughout the UK in a way that inspires us all to create positive social change. The power of voice should be a universal entitlement, and this funding, supported by our amazing network of media volunteers and mentors and our Community Newswire and Community Channel platforms, is a significant step forward in realising that vision.”

Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of Big Lottery Fund, said:

“Media Trust’s plans to empower people to drive their local news agenda, inspire community action and build their media skills, are a great example of the ethos of BIG’s People Powered Change. BIG looks forward to seeing many more citizen journalists sharing their new skills with other local communities.”

We also caught up with Daniel Land, Managing Director of Studio B, who commented:

I’ve been working with the Media Trust for the best part of a decade, ever since advising them to redesign their old, inaccessible “frame” based website. They took a while to process the feedback but they’ve since developed an amazing online presence. Through their website and events all around the country they’ve become a real active charity, engaging so many community groups and active citizens in all corners of the UK, so it’s great to see their funding secured.

In recent years the Media Trust has been instrumental in Studio B’s ability to engage charities that want our help with making, managing and marketing websites. Through their Media Matching service I’ve had the experience of helping some very interesting and respectable charities like the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, BASPCAN and OxFizz. Our work with OxFizz has led to the launch of Studio B’s latest national project – Oxbridge Students – an e-magazine to highlight the tribulations of Cambridge and Oxford university life.

I’d like to congratulate the Media Trust on their own recent acquisition of support, and I look forward to the prospect of many more years of successful charity work with them.

Whilst the Media Trust’s love of buzzwords and media-speak may baffle newcomers to its website, in relation to its output and reach the numbers are impressive. In 2009-10, Media Trust trained 2,016 charity professionals in marketing and communications skills, distributed 10,259 charity and community stories to news desks across the country via Community Newswire and supported more than 600 disadvantaged young people through it youth mentoring scheme.

By the way, look out for the next Media Trust Speedmatching event, in Birmingham on 22nd June 2011! Charity places are already full but more media & communications professionals are needed!

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