Category: Citizen Journalism

What – if anything – will replace the old politics in a digital city?

If you’re interested in this topic there a good read at the Community Architect blog from Baltimore. Read here.

Can tactical urbanism, Internet journalism, direct action, “open data“, crowd-funding and social networking replace the comfortable business-as-usual model  in which the various casts of the power elite scratch each others back within an established system of power-play and paybacks? Can these various types of free form action provide a solution that is at once local and complex and accessible and less corrupted?

Hat tip Tessy Britton.

How advantaged thinking helped Fiona help herself to help her organsiation help itself.

We get to work with some brilliant organisations.  Foyer Federation has been developing approaches around what it calls Advantaged Thinking and talent –  intended to allow foyers and the young people they work with to use an emphasis on finding positive ways to view the world and focus on talent (rather than deficits) to improve how young people work with foyers to further their lives.

Today I bumped into Fiona McCance who describes herself on her blog:

My name is Fiona and I am 21. I have been living at the Northampton scheme run by Mayday Trust since 4th February 2013. When I arrived at Mayday I was very concerned about having to build a relationship with someone new and was very reluctant to communicate with the staff but after meeting my then Key worker I was challenged with the patience of a saint. After a while the barriers I had set up slowly disappeared and I was able to communicate what help I needed and what ambitions I had in life. Well, that’s where the fun started and my life changed completely

Fiona came across some of the Foyer’s work and was so inspired by this positive approach that she encouraged the people who run here Foyer to get more involved with the advantaged thinking as a way of working.  It has changed all sorts – seeing the first Learning Abilities Foyer established by the Mayday Trust and also changed Fiona’s life – as she tells you in  the video above.



Can I video my local council meetings?


It is often very helpful for local community groups or hyperlocal blogs to be able to record what happens at council meetings. It allows them to capture and share a record of what was agreed – and hold politicians to account in the future.  It can also help them celebrate success and show good local government in practice.

Some local council’s have had problems with this and today the Department for Communities and Local Government have clarified things for us all.

many councils across the country are still refusing to allow people to film public council meetings. In some episodes of TV programme Grand Designs, viewers have been perplexed at cameras being stopped from filming meetings of the planning committee considering the self-build projects.

The new guidance explicitly states that councillors and council officers can be filmed at council meetings, and corrects misconceptions that the Data Protection Act somehow prohibits this.

The Health and Safety Executive has also shot down the suggestion that ‘health and safety ‘regulations’ also bar filming, which Wirral Council used to justify a filming ban last year.

The new rules do not apply to Wales, as they have not been introduced by the Welsh government who have devolved responsibility. This led to the situation of a blogger being arrested and handcuffed by the police for filming a council meeting in Carmarthenshire. Wrexham council also banned a journalist from the Daily Post from tweeting a council meeting. Eric Pickles has today challenged Welsh ministers to introduce the new rights in Wales too.

Here’s the document and any and all active citizens and local bloggers should keep this in their back pocket.

BloggeYour council’s cabinet: going to its meetings, seeing how it works – a guide for local peoplers and V…

Be considerate, don’t disrupt, get those cameras out, share what you shoot.

So the short answer is yes.  hat tip Will Perrin and Talk About Local.