There are so many media
platforms in Liverpool today. From newspapers, online news and blog sites, the
media representation of Liverpool has transformed beyond recognition.
At this month’s
Platform event in Liverpool Science Park, I was delighted to
attend and listen to an interesting debate, which looked at Liverpool’s media
community. Led by representatives from the Liverpool Echo, BBC Radio Merseyside and Radio City Talk, this was a debate
that was informative and engaging, with the panel and audience each having
plenty to say. It was a lively discussion and at times very feisty!
Because media is a broad subject, this debate focused on how Liverpool is represented locally, where resources can be applied, the fairness of media coverage, and if any improvements can be made. The panel included Ryan McKernan from Agent Marketing, Paul O’Connor from Hit Search, Rosie Kenyon from Kenyons, Susan Lee from the Liverpool Echo, Pauline McAdam from BBC Radio Merseyside, Mick Coyle from Radio City Talk, and Liam Fogarty from the University of Central Lancashire.
I have learned plenty about
the local media in Liverpool. For starters, print media is declining due to the
fall in circulation, and fierce competition from online platforms. This means
smaller print titles face a difficult and uncertain future, meaning some will
cease to exist.
As a long-standing local
newspaper, the Liverpool Echo continues to adapt and buck the trend for print
media. This is through a combination of advertising revenue and their continued
coverage of news representing all aspects of life in the city, including crime,
politics and football. Indeed, I have learned the Echo recently saw a 60% surge
in paper sales due to Liverpool’s recent dramatic Champions League semi-final victory
over Barcelona, which shows how popular topics such as football helps to
attract and grow audiences.
Advertising is also
crucial for both traditional and digital media platforms. Whilst BBC Radio
Merseyside is funded by the licence fee, others are reliant on revenue
generated by advertising through audience growth, from the popularity of
content created that connects and resonates with people. Therefore, to create
and market content, it is important to know the target audience, and how to
deliver and connect with them.
Despite the popularity
of online platforms, I was also interested to learn that radio is still
popular. Radio is a very simple concept that makes a connection with people and
is also second to none when producing and delivering news, that relates to people
in Liverpool. It also has the advantage of being continually able to rapidly adapt
and produce content to fit the changing tone of these current times.
I also learned other
interesting points related to Liverpool’s local media, which include the
with people to get messages across.
to be digitally literate and know how to use platforms properly.
what a campaign needs to do.
marketing is a very broad term.
how to deliver content to a targeted audience.
needs to tell stories that resonate with the audience.
negative stories, look for the positives.
Does Liverpool have the
media it needs? Reflecting on what I have learned, I believe the media in
Liverpool serves the city reasonably well. Platforms such as the Liverpool
Echo, BBC Radio Merseyside and Radio City Talk produce content relevant to the
city and its people, from local politics, public and mental health,
environment, knife crime, government cuts, to other subjects such as football.
However, I also believe
they can cover more stories related to the good things happening in Liverpool.
These can include stories related to people, businesses, tourism and other
topics. Indeed, there are several news websites such as Liverpool
Good News Liverpool, My Planet Liverpool and The Guide Liverpool, which produce good
quality content about positive things happening in the city.
I appreciate and
respect that topics such as crime, local politics and football needs to be
covered with limited media resources, as they are popular and helps sales. However,
it is surely worth taking an occasional risk in covering other subjects, that
may not get as much attention.
any harm in trying?
In conclusion, I would
like to thank all the panel members for their contribution to a lively debate, and
to the members of the audience for their participation. My thanks also go to
Liverpool Science Park for sponsoring the event. Finally, I would also like to
thank Amanda Follit, Mick Ord, Garth Dallas and Steve Dickson, for organising a
very thought-provoking discussion.