Media, community and the creative citizen.
is a Project

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Has principal investigator Ian Richard Hargreaves
Has co-investigator
Impact Our ambition is for this work to provide a reference point for evaluations of the scale and potential of the UK creative economy, considered in the light of contemporary media ecologies. Our target audiences for impact include: UK Government; the Governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; local government; local enterprise areas; political parties; Creative England; the British Council; the Arts Councils; think tanks; representative and member bodies like the Community Media Association; journalism networks. We will use a range of conventional and more novel communication channels, including: - a website and blogging platform; - a range of media products, including best practice guides, platform interfaces and media applications (i.e. mobile phone video noticeboard), targeted to communities; - academic papers, targeted to academics and policymakers; - a scholarly book, summarising the research findings in comparison with other research and experiences, targeted to policymakers, academics and practitioners; - three briefing papers, targeted to communities, practitioners and policymakers; - two network events - targeted to communities, academics and practitioners; - three strand-based exhibitions - targeted to practitioners, academics and the general public - one conference, targeted to communities, academics and practitioners. The research team itself is rich in impact-generation expertise. Hargreaves (PI) is a former national newspaper editor and respected commentator on media and other issues. His recent (May 2011) review for HMG on intellectual property has given him prominence in the debate about the relationship between the creative sector, regulation and growth. This builds upon his work for the Welsh Government (March 2010) on the creative industries. Dovey (CoI) is a leading academic practitioner in knowledge exchange, through the Digital Cultures Research Centre at the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol. He also has a professional background in media production. Harte (CoI) is a leading figure in the Midlands blogosphere. Greene is an experienced collaborator with high profile companies (e.g. Research in Motion/Blackberry) and has her own diverse influencing network, as is Alexiou. Chapain's strongly interdisciplinary background positions her well in delivering academic impact, including through her work as co-organiser of the Creative Regions in Europe Network ( and Summer School ( We have selected partners who have a strong route to market in terms of impact, namely Ofcom, the UK media regulator and provider of much core data on UK media markets; Nesta, the UK's leading innovation-practice body; Talk About Local, a pioneer in scaling up and propagating hyperlocal journalism networks with proven expertise at Cabinet level; and Glass-House Community-Led Design, which has admired expertise and substantial influence in its field. The partnerships involved in the third strand of the project (communities of creative practioners) are South Blessed, Knowle West Media Centre, and the Moseley Exchange. These partners provide channels of impact of a different sort where we are experimenting with behaviour change with our collaborators. South Blessed, a highly informal but innovative video channel based in Bristol, is largely self-generating and self-funded. Documenting its reach and potential will provide a high impact and motivational illustration of what can be achieved by an informal community of creative citizens; this aspect of our work will be influential in communities which lack strong connections to mainstream media and indeed higher education. Moseley Exchange is an urban creative exchange in Birmingham: many other networks like it can be influenced by well researched insight into the way it generates value using the networks that exist both within and between such exchanges. Our partners are our medium.
Status Closed
Identifier AH/J005290/1
abstract Every day millions of citizens do something creative, from knitting and genealogy to photography and choirs. These creative citizens, some organised in groups and networks, some not, are the bedrock of the creative economy. As such, they underpin the intangible assets of the "knowledge economy" upon which the UK depends for its prosperity. At present, there is much that we do not know about our creative citizens. Why do they do what they do? What is the value of their creativity, to them as individuals and to their communities? How is their potential changed by the emergence of communications technologies which permit on-line social networking? Does inequality of digital access undermine this new creative citizenship? Are today's creative citizens capable of providing more local and flexible services, previously delivered by more remote public and private sector organisations? If their work is valued, what interventions and policies would facilitate their growth? This research seeks to answer these questions by examining three manifestations of creative citizenship: - hyperlocal publishing groups, writing neighbourhood news most often as a blog site have started to emerge in scores of communities around the UK, sometimes in response to the scaling back of traditional media; - community-led design, which is increasingly deployed as a means of ensuring that new buildings and other products reflect the needs, creativity and aspirations of the people who will use them; - creative practitioner communities, which take many forms: here we explore the value-creation that arises between relatively formal communities of this kind and the growing highly informal networks of individual creative citizens, many built around online communications platforms. Our aim in studying these cases is to generate data and insight about each case, but also to answer the more general questions set out above: what is the value of their work, to these citizens as individuals, to their communities and to wider civic goals? The background to our interest in creative citizenship arises from the way that on-line communications have enabled inviduals and small groups of individuals to engage more frequently, deftly and in greater depth with many types of organisation. Today, many companies design their products and services in close dialogue with users: this is routine for, say, video games developers, but it is also increasingly true of "smart" manufacturers of cars, toys and other consumer-focused industrial products, using Web2.0 technology. This shift from a "user pays" to a "user makes" approach supports the possibility of a growth in smaller-scale, more flexible and voluntary community services. Nesta, one of our partners in this project, has a laboratory for public service design based upon these principles. Glass-House Community Led Design, another partner, specialises in connecting designers and the widest possible range of stakeholders. The research will produce:- - improved data on the value, scale and potential of UK hyperlocal publishers and how they interact with traditional media; plus working with our partner (Talk About Local) sharp insights into the conditions likeliest to support the development of successful hyperlocals and the tools needed to achieve this; - understanding the value, potential and practicalities of community-led design, with a particular focus upon understanding the potential and limitations of digital media; - an evaluation of everyday, "at home" creative citizenship which provides an indication of its scale and potential, along with insight into the most effective ways of providing gateways between the work of these lone or loosely networked creative citizens and more formal organisations and structures. Our findings will be of value to policy-makers concerned with the development of the UK creative economy, along with strong communities of place and interest.
Type Project
Label Media, community and the creative citizen.
Title Media, community and the creative citizen.

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Subject Property
Cardiff University Of
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