Guest article from The Salford Star:

This Saturday, 24th June, the NUJ Manchester and Salford Branch is screening the short Pulitzer Prize-winning documentary about journalists, Below the Fold, to be followed by a discussion on Greater Manchester’s alternative media with editors from The Meteor, Salford Star and Real Media. After Grenfell Tower, the need for alternative media has never been greater.

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act” George Orwell

Austerity, cuts, increasing poverty, privatisation…does the mainstream media cover this? Does it ‘eck. It’s the slave of advertising, profit and keeping elites sweet. Did the mainstream media pick up the Grenfell Action Group’s concerns before scores of people perished in the horrendous tower block fire?

Nope. It’s only after the event they can get bucket loads of online clicks for stories that are barely readable they are so covered in ads, and print sales to feed profits through sensationalism.

The alternative media has no such agenda. It is not led by profit, offshore billionaire barons and advertising. Good alternative media has no agenda other than what is moral and right for the community…and doesn’t give a shit who it upsets in the process.

Next Saturday, 24th June, the Manchester and Salford Branch of the National Union of Journalists is holding a discussion on alternative media, open to everyone, with editors from The Manchester Meteor, Salford Star and Real Media

“Manchester [and Salford] has a range of alternative media sources that seek to challenge and to contribute to local news delivery” states the branch “Journalists with experience on mainstream media work alongside citizen journalists to produce print and online newspapers. Do we need them?

“The Meteor, the Salford Star and Real Media will join a discussion to explain the reasons why our city benefits from a range of alternative media in approach to news-gathering and in terms of delivery” it adds…

“The Meteor is a group of journalists and activists who offer media training alongside producing alternative news” it explains “…Salford Star was ahead of the pack and has been producing award-winning news for over a decade…

“Real Media is a national organisation serving London, Birmingham, Scotland, Leeds, Bristol and Tyneside as well as Greater Manchester” it states “It intends to shift public debate, to impact on national policy on media ownership, while providing challenging public interest journalism…Can not-for-profit media organisations contribute to local news? Does news need to be challenged? Who works on alternative media?”

The discussion will happen after a screening of the short Pulitzer Prize-winning documentary about journalists, Below the Fold, about journalists who challenged the racist stereotypes peddled in 1980s Los Angeles Times.

The NUJ will also be showing its short film to publicise the branch’s Reporting Poverty campaign, made my young people at the Reporters’ Academy in Salford, challenging the stereotypes and demonisation of people experiencing poverty.

Originally published in The Salford Star on the 18 June 2017

NUJ Manchester and Salford Branch
Alternative Media
Saturday 24th June from 2pm
Three Minute Theatre, Afflecks Arcade
35-39 Oldham Street Manchester, M1 1JG

There is a charge of £4 entrance to cover licence fee and venue costs

For further details see the NUJ website – click here

Featured Image: composite logos of Salford Star, Real Media and The Meteor

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  • Co-editor and co-founder of The Meteor. Conrad came to journalism following his move to Manchester after a period working in scientific research in Scotland. Since then he has concentrated on reporting on issues around social justice, the environment and human rights. A staunch advocate for the scientific method and rational debate for understanding the world - he believes only greater public understanding and engagement in the problems that face us all can produce progressive societies, from the local to the global, that can combat the multiple crises we face.

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