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Latest Bill: Culture Minister acknowledges Local TV achievements
This week I and members from the Latest were invited to parliament as the DCMS minister Matt Hancock highlighted the progress made by Local TV in the UK. He told MPs, peers, and industry leaders, that local stations had made impressive strides since the first station was launched three years ago.
Twenty-two stations are now on air with a further dozen scheduled to launch in the first half of 2017. Here at the Latest we were one of the first stations to be granted a licence and to launch, and have been on air for over two years.
Mr Hancock praised local TV stations for their output – referring to the hundreds of hours of original content currently produced each week by city TV licence holders. In Brighton alone, we have produced thousands of hours of local content since we started. This covers news, current affairs, football, both Brighton & Hove Albion and non-league games, other sports, films, entertainment, local property, cookery and music. We are sure everyone in the city will know someone who has appeared on our channel, if you have not graced our screens yourself. And the beauty is that every resident is welcome to appear on the channel.
Local TV stations are now broadcasting more original programmes than the similar combined output of BBC2, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. The regular viewership across the UK is 7.5 million with over a hundred thousand per week in our city.
This is an amazing achievement and one of which we are rightly proud. But we are not complacent. It is a responsibility for all business leaders in the city, to champion our city and to make the most of opportunities to promote localism, to promote tourism for the city and to promote the huge range of great businesses and organisations that are homegrown creating local jobs and wealth.
Alongside creating jobs, training is hugely important, and at the Latest we are privileged to play a part in training many young people in television production and media. Students from local colleges and schools are able to learn how to write the news and sports and present on camera, using an Autocue and the latest TV equipment.
If you would like to know more about any of our media: TV, magazines, social media, websites, then contact us. If you turn over to Latest 7, you’ll find out more about what’s on in the city. And we are shouting out for local historic footage to make into films.
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