Ian Hargreaves says citizen journalism has big role in Wales

Person typing Hyperlocal journalism can connect Wales if the technology is in place, said Prof Hargreaves

Citizen journalists have a big role to play in the future of the Welsh media, says the leading journalism academic Professor Ian Hargreaves.

Speaking to the BBC Sunday Politics Wales, the professor of digital economy at Cardiff University said that there were good examples of community journalism in Wales.

"I think that we're in an experimental phase and we will discover what the value of this new community journalism is," said Prof Hargreaves.

"But what we can be sure about is that there is a lot of it and the technology makes it very easy for people to get started."

Prof Hargreaves, who has given this year's BBC Radio Wales Patrick Hannan Lecture, said that Wales had got more chance in the new media configuration than it had in the old one which was dominated by traditional print media.

Start Quote

Prof Ian Hargreaves

The attractive idea behind the new online community journalism is that it can be anywhere”

End Quote Prof Ian Hargreaves Cardiff University

"The attractive idea behind the new online community journalism is that it can be anywhere," said Prof Hargreaves.

"So long as you've got the communications infrastructure, good mobile networks decent broadband, people can do things that previously they haven't been able to do so."

He said that the Welsh and UK governments had set some ambitious targets on getting competitive quality infrastructure on broadband and other communication technologies by 2015/2016 and this was vital.

"It's even more important than you hear government ministers saying it is, because this is technology that can really work in Wales.

"It will work in a way that we're never going to get a railway that properly connects north and south; we're never going to get fast roads that can do that but we can make this technology work in spite of mountains and in spite of a sparsely spread population".

Cardiff University has just set up a Centre for Community Journalism "to help build capacity among these new hybrid or citizen journalists".

Prof Hargreaves is a former head of BBC News and Current Affairs and former editor of The Independent and The New Statesman.

You can listen to the BBC Radio Wales Patrick Hannan Lecture on the BBC iplayer.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Wales stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Woman standingMysterious miracle

    It's extremely unusual and shouldn't give false hope, but what makes the body beat cancer on its own?


  • A cyborg cockroachClick Watch

    The cyborg cockroach - why has a computer been attached to this insect’s nervous system?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.