The Business Model for Hereward Television has its roots in Community Radio - doing good work in our region and addressing real issues

The digital revolution has brought media production into the hands of many people, but not always the opportunities to create, share and consume content on community owned, not-for-profit platforms. Not content with simply being the audience, or subject matter, communities around the UK want to tell and distribute their own stories.

Hereward Television, a member of the Community Media Association, is a platform through which the training activities of Hereward Media will have an ancillary output. It will help those taking part how to tell a story, best relay valuable information to other, and unite the local community behind a series of good causes.

The Community Media Association has underpinned the democratisation of media for 33 years. Thanks to funding from Big Assist (NCVO) awarded in November 2015, they have been able to work with the Foundation for Social Improvement on an in-depth process of member consultation and review of community media, and the role and direction of the CMA.

In a rapidly changing digital and economic landscape, the CMA recognise the need to reassess how they can best continue to support its members to thrive, in the most efficient and effective way they can.

In order to do this, the CMA needs to encourage and facilitate collaboration, and improve how they measure and celebrate the benefits to society that community media in all its forms brings, with as much emphasis on the processes as the products.

Over the last year, discussions at CMA Council meetings have often been about how they could help to change public perception of community media.

Are the participants just amateurs, playing at radio, TV and print? No! They are professionals, working in community development. The CMA has found the 'magic bullet' for transforming the lives of individuals, and improving things for their town or area. It is all about getting people together to create and distribute their own media. Those involved have seen the incredible changes that have taken place, and they dedicate their lives to making it happen, often underpaid, under appreciated and over-worked.

As their Council has worked on a new strategy for the CMA, with the tag line 'Community Media Changing Lives' they have thought about how to get the message across to stakeholders and the general public. Whilst acknowledging the many problems, challenging those with influence and improving skills to help all organisations become more sustainable is very much a key to further success. There needs to be many groups being part of the conversation - not just those rooted in community media, but also representatives from the BBC, Ofcom, PRSfM/PPL, funders and others.

Many involved in community media feel underwhelmed by presentations delivered by someone high up in their profession in mainstream media. They may not really understand what community media does, and no-one likes being talked down to. Everyone must work to avoid such situations, and instead, invite all kinds of people to discuss things together, and share skills..

The theme of 'Creativity, Diversity, Well-being' sums up all that is best about community media. Creative risks can be taken, with people making content that wouldn't be found anywhere else. Some of these amazing ideas gradually seep into mainstream media. Diversity here isn't just tokenism - some of the most marginalised and misunderstood groups have real ownership and control of media platforms. And the well-being of many people around the UK is being transformed by locally owned, non-profit, grassroots media outlets.

Hereward Television is already pushing the boundaries by looking to do for television what has been achieved via community radio. It is a bold new frontier, a small screen revolution at the beach-head of implementation. If you have ever wanted to be involved right at the beginning of something innovative, get in touch with us now.