Ten years after its launch, Dorset Eye has won the Independent Media Awards for Citizen Media, Regional/Local Outlet of the Year and Political Reporting of the Year. The awards which were officially announced on 26th March where some of the hundreds of independent media were recognised for their tenacity in bringing to the public’s attention many of the news… stories that the corporate media either seeks to ignore or distort.

Dorset Eye was a founding member of The Media Fund which has since morphed in to the Independent Media Association. Both were set up to create a cooperative culture within the media and to raise vital funds to help all members to grow and to be sustainable. Many have now joined the regulatory organisation IMPRESS created out of the aftermath of the Leveson Inquiry.

IMPRESS is the Independent Monitor for the Press and is an independent press regulator in the UK. It was the first to be recognised by the Press Recognition Panel. Unlike the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), IMPRESS is fully compliant with the recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry.

As a result of membership of both the IMA and IMPRESS Dorset Eye is fully compliant with the standards of media content in the UK and along with all other members is held to a higher standard than the corporate media are under the IPSO.

The recognition bestowed on Dorset Eye as a leading Citizen Media, in which the public are empowered and respected for their voice, is part of our journey to hopefully becoming normalised across the UK and beyond. Unlike the top down corporate media model that tends to propagandise and distract, citizen media is the only route to democracy in its definitive sense.

Citizen Journalism - Independent Media Association

We all experience information and we all impart our own prerequisite conditioning on to our perceptions and narrative. This must be understood as a given. For those who denigrate citizen media it is vital to remember that humans are not and never will be above subjective interpretation. Citizen media accepts that interpretation in all its complexities is the norm and does not seek to deny this. It also accepts that by publishing news and other content it is up to the reader to do their own research and that this is merely a starting gun for more knowledge and enlightenment.

We are also exceptionally proud to be recognised for our award as Regional/Local Outlet of the Year. Approximately half of all of our content comes from local people and local places and with nearly eight thousand contributors signed up to the site we consider that our first ten years has been a remarkable success.

Regional Local Outlet of the Year Award

At a time when the corporate regionals are struggling in terms of revenue and the quality of their provision the independent sector is very much on the rise. We are extremely grateful to the local people and organisations who are supporting us in ever increasing numbers. Their dedication to being part of the news media in a proactive sense is changing the landscape in a very positive way. The dramatic fall in sales of corporate newspapers reflects a culture in which many people refuse to be ignored and silenced.

Dorset Eye is also very proud of its recognition for political reporting and helping to uncover many of the clandestine elements of society that powerful figures and again the corporate media attempt to hide or obfuscate. A significant amount of our content is about political enlightenment and helping people to remove the smokescreen.

Dorset Eye also have a TV channel that celebrates its first anniversary in April in which it delves in to local, national and international issues with those in the know. Entitled ‘Ten By Six’ it explores those issues that the corporate media tend not to.

However, besides of all the positive news the main obstacle is funding. The government and the establishment generally perceive independent media as a threat to their grip on power and people’s consciousnesses and therefore financial support is very much more hard to come by than for the corporate media. With this in mind we reluctantly accepted advertising on the site but going forward we would much prefer to be a publicly funded non advertising experience. This leads us to finding ways of raising funds. We very much need to get to a thousand people who are prepared to support us by donating £2… a month. If we can get ten thousand people supporting us we can set up a news desk, training courses and many of the other exciting projects.

Finally we would like to say a Big Thank You to our readers and contributors. The effort and energy that they put in to creating content in particular helps shape what little democracy the state allows us. Without you we are nothing xx

The Dorset Eye Team

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Dorset Eye is an independent not for profit news website built to empower all people to have a voice. To be sustainable Dorset Eye needs your support. Please help us to deliver independent citizen news... by clicking the link below and contributing. Your support means everything for the future of Dorset Eye. Thank you.