Today the Talking News Federation (TNF) are happily launching TalkInfo, a new concept in the world of Talking Newspapers which builds extensively on the lessons learned over these challenging past few years.
TalkInfo takes the best of everything that TNF has learnt (internally and via member feedback) from the creative practices employed during the COVID-19 pandemic and harnesses that experience to create a service which allows just half a dozen local volunteers to create a vibrant, interesting and diverse fortnightly audio publication containing a mix of local and national content for their VI and print disabled population, available via this website, BWBF Talking Newspaper app, Bumblebee, Alexa & Google.
The service has been running as a pilot in Sevenoaks and Medway Kent for the last few weeks and content from those areas is available to listen to right now. We would like to thank the volunteers in those areas for their commitment and patience during development, along with all those involved in the national team.
TalkInfo delivers a truly practical way in which TNF can seek to establish new services in areas which currently have none, and a new fallback to help ailing TNs continue service where they have too few remaining volunteers to run conventionally.
The service revolves around a central online hub which takes in content from a number of sources, some of it shared nationally across all TalkInfo areas and some used only in specific locations. Local readers record local news in their homes and upload tracks as they are completed which are then automatically collated and published by the TalkInfo hub. This arrangement means that in each locality only a co-ordinator and readers are needed. Audio post-production, editorial oversight, governance and financial matters are managed centrally by TNF greatly simplifying the local operation.
It is important to stress that everyone at TNF, including the TalkInfo Project Team, strongly believe that independent local Talking Newspapers are the best way for local news and information to be delivered to local VI communities, however, there are some localities where such organisations have not proved sustainable, especially in recent years.
TalkInfo is not a move to nationalise Talking Newspapers, nor is it intended as a “retirement plan” for active and engaged organisations. The intention is simply to provide a practical way by which TNF can further support TNs on the brink of closure to continue serving their local VI community, and by facilitating production by those wishing to begin their journey in a new location with no current TN service.
For more information, please contact us.