Ten questions for GBSLEP, Heseltine and George Osborne

A post by me originally published on my political blogMy colleague Kevin Johnson argues elsewhere on this blog that the GBSLEP…

via The Chamberlain Files » Marc Reeves http://www.thechamberlainfiles.com/ten-questions-for-gbslep-heseltine-and-george-osborne/7478


Waseem Zaffar gets the POTY!

A post by me originally published on my political blogSo congrats to Labour councillor Waseem Zaffar, on his landslide victory in…

via The Chamberlain Files » Marc Reeves http://www.thechamberlainfiles.com/waseem-zaffar-gets-the-poty/6271


Some Storify fun in the silly season

I had a little downtime over the Christmas / new year holiday, and found myself idly playing with Storify on my Ipad, and learnt such a lot I'll be making more use of this tool in 2013.
I've already put together a 'top ten posts' post for +The Chamberlain Files , and done some tinkering to better integrate Storify into this self-hosted Wordpress blog.
Anyway, here's the piece I did over the hols, which got a more


‘It’s the newspapers I can’t stand’

In Tom Stoppard’s Night and Day, Milne, an idealistic journalist, describes the limitations of newspapers, and then gives the best argument for press freedom I know of. ‘You don't have to tell me,’ he says to Ruth, the bored wife of a mining tycoon. ‘I know it better than you — the celebration of inanity, the way real tragedy is paraphrased into an inflationary


Six months on from the riots, where to now?

So, six months on from the riots, looting and lawlessness that prompted a heartfelt blog post and a desire amongst a lot of people to ‘do something’, where are we?

I remember writing that that the memory of the events of August 2011 would very quickly fade and the city and its citizens would return to the normality of life with a sort of unspoken acceptance that the divisions exposed by the violence could be ignored once again.

Well, a lot of energy was expended in those first few weeks, and a germ of an idea did start to come together.

A compelling one, and one full


Why 'business as usual' is a fatal response to Birmingham's riots

Birmingham city centre and New Street StationImage by marcreeves via Flickr
There have been riots in Birmingham at regular intervals throughout my life, and I’m sick of it.

It's like a simmering pot that occasionally boils over, but instead of taking it off the flame, we just force the lid down ever tighter.

I grew up in Handsworth and saw the impact of the 1981 riots at first hand. I reported on the 1985 Handsworth troubles as a cub reporter, and after living and working away for more than a decade returned to my home city in the still-raw aftermath of the 2005 disturbances.

I remember someone remarking to me then what fantastic changes I must have seen in the city after my years away. They meant the city centre sheen of the ICC, Brindleyplace and the horizon of budding skyscrapers, all taken as symbols of Birmingham’s progress. I saw and liked these developments for


Jeremy Hunt's field of TV dreams

SAIL Amsterdam 2005 Local TV (2)Image via WikipediaThis was published originally on TheBusinessDesk.com on August 19. I republish it here for archhival purposes.

THIS week I found myself chairing the first ‘Local TV Summit’ organised by the government as part of culture secretary Jeremy Hunt’s mission to get a TV station in every town and city in the UK.
Hunt has set his DCMS civil servants a pretty ambitious goal of creating sustainable markets for local TV where there currently is none, within a timetable that demands that at least some of the new stations are up and running in time to cover the next general election.

With all the engineering and techie stuff paid for by a £25m ‘gift’ from the BBC, and owned by a single ‘multiplex’ company, the belief is that shoestring local stations will come forward to run services for as little as £500k a year, covering local news, sport, and culture at a community level that existing regional TV stations can’t reach.

At this point I should declare my various interests and prejudices that together probably disqualify me from making any sensible observation on these latest plans for local TV.


Talk on social media to Martineau seminar

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase
I was invited to speak this week at an event on social media organised by Birmingham law firm Martineau. This is what I said.

Social media throws into exceptionally sharp relief what will be seen as the death throes of traditional media. And by traditional I’m not referring solely – if at all – to the decline of print.

I’m not talking about the physical format of the media – I’m talking about the approach, mindset and