Positive Changes from Rural Media
25 Nov 2008
Positive changes come about in many shapes and forms. Day-to-day problems faced by ordinary people often require practical solutions and an organisation in Hereford is proving exactly that.
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The Rural Media Company, an award winning media, education, development and production organisation, has a reputation for powerful, socially-aware media. They enable rural communities to learn about and use media, by participating in practical activities. There are several projects being run by the organisation. This page highlights some of the work currently being undertaken.
Nic Millington, Chief Executive of the Company, explains why there is a need for their work. ‘Rural life and the coverage of rural communities is often through the prism of a metropolitan point of view,’ he says. ‘By locating ourselves in a rural area and allowing local people to have an input, it gives a platform for alternative points of view.’
Nic believes that creative and media industries could play a vital future role in the regeneration of the countryside. ‘Our rural areas are undergoing a huge demographic change and many people from the digital and media industries are relocating to the countryside,’ he points out. ‘They choose to move here for the quality of life and the new technologies allow it. Media is a high value industry and so it provides a tremendous opportunity for regeneration.’
To create less urban-dominated media would mean developing a Rural Media Company in every rural region in the UK ñ an idea not lost on Nic and indeed, one that he would love to see happen.
In the meantime and testament to the work of the organisation, are all the long-term partnerships that it builds. Not just that but the high number of individuals who have been trained by them and then gone on to get jobs in the industry. Some have even returned to the area to establish their own media businesses.
One of the reasons that Rural Media can develop long-term partnerships is down to the company’s ability to reach out into so many, often overlooked communities ñ a fact that Nic is particularly pleased with. ‘We have a strong social inclusion agenda and have done projects with gay and lesbian groups, migrant workers and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities,’ he says.
Nic reveals his interest in film comes from his own childhood experiences. ‘I could see the power in communication,’ he says. ‘Particularly if it’s put into the hands of ordinary people.’
Young media students shoot a scene for the film Restless’
Photo: © Rural Media Company
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