Wavertree TV: Community-Led Local Public Service Television

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This paper will introduce a pilot research project on community-led, public service-focused, local television in the UK. Local television was rolled out as a commercial service in the UK in 2010s, with individual licensees providing locally relevant television. These licensees have now largely merged into two main franchises: That’s TV and Now! TV which are largely reduced to providing news coverage and talk shows. At the same time, public service television is again under significant strain, not least the BBC which is now headed by Tim Davie, a controversial director general due to his close links with (and indeed former career in) Conservative politics.
The research project is based around the development of a community-led local television station that is conceptualised around key ideas of public service, and in particular bringing the community together, or as John Reith called it, ‘Making the nation into one man’ (Scannell, 2005). Rather than imagining the nation in its traditional paternalistic way, however, the paper will adopt a framework that emphasises the post-national (Sassen, 2003) by homing in on local community work. Drawing on theories of public service broadcasting, as well as theories of participation and the media (Carpentier, 2011), the paper will outline the theoretical framework of the research project as well as present some first work developed for Wavertree TV, the local community station of the Love Wavertree CIC, a local community group, aiming to regenerate a forgotten and underserved area in Liverpool. As such it will be largely a think piece which will hopefully provide the beginnings of a conversation about public service television in a post-national context.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2022
EventBritish Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies Annual Conference 2022 - St Andrews University, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Apr 202222 Apr 2022


ConferenceBritish Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies Annual Conference 2022
Abbreviated titleBAFTSS Conference 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CitySt Andrews
Internet address


  • television
  • climate action
  • community

Research Institutes

  • Institute for Social Responsibility

Research Groups

  • SustainNET


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