"In the UK, a handful of giant corporations control the nation’s TV channels, news outlets, radio stations, search engines and social media platforms.
This has given wealthy individuals and organisations huge political and economic power and enabled them to distort the media landscape to suit their interests and personal views...
Urgent reform is needed to reclaim the media in the interest of the public and to provide media free of bigotry and capable of holding power to account."
(Media Reform Coalition)
Increasingly, people in the UK feel disempowered, disenfranchised and disengaged as a result of the social changes and politics of contemporary Britain. Unfortunately, far from reflecting this reality, the media, all too frequently, simply reflect the interests of government and corporations, and has been complicit in under-representing or mis-representing other views and analysis of our society as well as the positive alternative ideas and solutions that are being offered. This is potentially damaging as well as dangerous; the media has a significant influence on the perceptions and behaviours of the population, and therefore, a responsibility to use its power in a socially responsible way.
We want to help those less-heard, alternative and positive voices to come together to find a wider audience and encourage positive social change.
Founded in 2015, Progressive TV is a small independent media company, created to try and help provide an alternative media solution and build greater awareness and understanding of the social issues, challenges and achievements in communities across the UK. The three directors, Chester Yang, Marcus Relton and Ian Noah met whilst all three were members of the management committee of the Writers, Producers and Directors branch of BECTU, the national trade union for the media and entertainment industries. During union discussions about media bias and the need for improved media democracy, Chester proposed the idea of creating an alternative television channel that broadly supported trade union, labour movement and community values. This was endorsed by the Committee and Marcus and Ian offered their support in helping to explore, and, if possible, develop the idea. Later, the project was formally presented to members of BECTU at the following AGM, where it won official support. We are a social enterprise, registered as a company limited by guarantee, and self-organised as a co-operative.
We seek to help promote progressive views and values to challenge the existing bias in mainstream media that maintains and promotes the interests of a privileged minority. Based on our belief in the important roles that media and information channels play in informing and changing opinions, our aim is to provide media and content solutions that connect socially-conscious filmmakers and content providers with fresh audiences. By creating an internet TV platform, free from external commercial, investor, newspaper or broadcaster interests, it will be able to help bring together and amplify the voices of the labour and community movements, building and connecting audiences to strengthen the voice of all. By so doing, we can make our own creative contribution to help increase social awareness, social engagement and social collaboration and move us all closer towards a more equal, fair and thriving society; both locally and globally.
Our primary focus is the development of a new type of community-owned TV platform. The planning and creation of this type of media project has involved an interesting learning curve, working through a variety of business, technology and policy (political) issues, across a range of topic areas, including Finance (e.g. accounting, capital, business models, investments, software); Technology (e.g. proprietary, open source, custom made); Organisation (e.g. traditional, non-hierarchial, flat, matrix, hub, open, distributed); Legal (e.g. ownership, voting, copyright, licensing); Distribution (e.g. satellite, freeview, IPTV, Web TV); Policy (e.g. editorial, curatorial, stakeholders, remuneration); People (e.g. volunteering, employee structures, partnerships).
Our approaches and solutions were guided by our focus on the following aims:-
- Uncomplicated technology framework that is easily accessible, replicable by other groups, and easy to maintain.
- Content that does not advocate violence, but rather, offers peaceful alternatives
- Editorial independence, with fact-based and reliably sourced content, reflecting the professionalism and dedication of filmmakers.
- A common resource of multi-platformed access to scheduled, live and on-demand programming, created, curated and shared by its community of members,
- To be collectively owned and managed by its stakeholders - staff, filmmakers and content owners, as well as the audience, and freely accessible to potential viewers.
- To create a financially viable business model that is scaleable, whilst being free from investor control or dependence on commercial advertising
These aims are being diligently pursued to form the basis of our platform project - Deepview.
Find out more
Please support us by following us on Twitter, or subscribing to our newsletter. In addition, if you would like to be invited to participate in our planning and development meetings, please get in touch via our contact form or send us an email.
We look forward to collaborating with you.