Transmit-Transform Internews Research Project

Transmit-Transform (TT) has been commissioned by Internews Europe, and is being undertaken in collaboration with the Community Media Association and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. The investigation aims to identify in what way community media organisations in the UK can improve their editorial offer and their financial sustainability.

Report: When-The-Goal-Is-Not-To-Scale-001-2019-10-13

The community media sector in the UK is well-placed to fill the void created by the collapse of local news in the UK. There are compelling examples of innovation taking place, in which diverse groups from different communities are able to come together to create media and information that addresses local issues, holds leaders to account, engages fellow residents in discussion and debate and shapes their environment in positive ways. The aim is to identify a five-year strategy which can guide the community media sector in the UK to realise its potential.

This report is being commissioned against the backdrop of rapid social change facing community media, with expanding and transformative technologies, the widespread use of social media to fuel misinformation, the economic challenges of international corporate monopolisation and consolidation, and the aggressive extraction of private data as the bedrock of economic exploitation by a few global corporate tech giants, as well as a seeming political disinterest in community media as a potentially transformative social practice.

Community media, we believe, needs strategic support to find a proper place in the wider social, cultural, community, media and information landscape, and is seeking to do this in ways that help to address deficits in local accountability and community capacity.

The report will be produced collaboratively by Clare Cook, Dr Rob Watson and Dr Jennifer Jones, who will focus on the issues affecting community media, civic journalism and the economic development challenges that need to be fostered to give community media a sustainable future outside of government control and free from market speculation.


The report investigation, research and writing will be Completed in four stages:

  1. Planning & Scoping (May/June 2019)
  2. Data Gathering & Part One (June/July 2019)
  3. Part Two Analysis & Strategy Pathways (August/September 2019)
  4. Synthesis & Document Production (October 2019)


  • Draft findings from Part One July 2019
  • A presentation ready for dissemination and publication for the CMA Annual Conference on 28th September 2019.
  • Workshops to validate and finalise strategy pathways at CMA Annual Conference and other appropriate forum
  • A future-focussed report with recommendations and accompanying five-year timeline to help guide change management practices and policy development directions October 2019.
  • Internal recommendations for Transmit Transform and Internews Europe for next-step projects and research including for example mapping the sector with accompanying visualisation.

The report will be disseminated to policy development organisations, such as: DCMS, Office for Civic Society, Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly, NI Assembly, Ofcom, Nesta, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Carnegie UK Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, BBC Local News Partnership Review, Reach PLC, Omidyar Network, NCTJ, Centre for Community Journalism, in addition to the networks and partners of Internews and the Community Media Association.

Internews – UK

Rosie Parkyn

43 – 51 New North Road, London, N1 6LU

+44 (0) 207 566 3300


Dr Rob Watson




Skype: rw_uk67


Clare Cook

Media Innovation Studio ME413, Media Factory, UCLan, Preston, PR1 2XY



Skype: cook.stafford


Dr Jennifer Jones



Skype: j3nnifermjones

The task of this project is to coordinate and collate links and resources relevant to the study, practice  and policy development process associated with community media in the UK. This includes forms of practice-based and academic-informed learning; approaches to research that identify the strengths and areas for improvement of community media, and the dissemination of this information, analyses of outcomes and evidence-based recommendations. The emphasis will be on optimising the social and economic value of community media as it is derived through these activities, and as they are appropriate to the diverse media practice approaches associated with all forms of community media.

All parties to this report take seriously, and will considers fairly, all concerns about the conduct of research that is raised in good faith. We believe that all researchers, partners and participants should be able to raise legitimate concerns without fear of their professional role or social position being risked. As well as the internal governance processes of Internews and the Community Media Association, this project is being undertaken in line with the ethics and research accountability standards of the University of Central Lancashire. Any concerns that might be raised about the practice of research and investigation by the project team, which cannot be resolved initially with the project team, should be addressed to the project commissioner, Rosie Parkyn at Internews.  

Open Research & Creative Commons

Work undertaken in this project, where possible, will adhere to the conventions of Open Research and Creative Commons attribution and non-commercial use principles. This means that work will be published in the public domain, unless a specific request is made not to include direct reference to any statements or issues that participants might wish to refrain from sharing publicly. These principles are further subject to the GDPR guidelines of the organisations that are associated with the project.