From 23 September, there’s a new television channel you won’t want to miss. At last Sheffield will be televised. Cue Sheffield Live TV. You’ll be able to turn on, tune in and see TV relevant to your life, to our city.

Crowdfunded and community-owned, it will broadcast on Freeview channel 8, cable, the web and mobile. Programmes will cover the local music, filmmaking and arts scenes, and hyper-local news, views and sports. Local places, events, businesses, people and their activities will be featured. Underground music masters like Alex Deadman and Cool Beans are onside. Local film projects Deranged Industries and Zero Budget Film Festival are in the picture. An online video also gives a taster of regular slots for new music, Loxley Valley Community Farm, and Nice Out Innit, taking viewers around some spectacular historic places in the area.

There are even ideas about mixing the formats of radio and TV, making it a real genre-shifting, interactive digital platform. This is possible because it follows in the footsteps of long-running sister project Sheffield Live Radio, with its slogan ‘Made in Sheffield, Made by You’. Fine words that really mean something, because almost everyone involved is a volunteer doing it for love, fun and commitment to Sheffield.

There will be no ignorance of the North. There will be no wondering why a new car park in Leeds is the big local story of the day. There will be no repeats of 70s Hollywood B-movies. Our city and our people will be televised. Sheffield Live Radio is quirky, sometimes imperfect, but it’s real. Not in the sense of ‘Real Radio’, carefully blanded out to smooth the advertisers. Not in the sense of ‘reality TV’ and its hyped up celebrity-hungry nonsense. Sheffield Live comes straight-talking from a studio in our city. People you might walk past on the street are planning and broadcasting their words, their music, their creativity. It’s totally diverse in what it covers and the people involved.

If running a volunteer radio station sounds easy, TV adds whole new areas of complication. Sangita Basudev, one of the team working like gremlins to get on the air, seems to be energised by sheer enthusiasm. Broadcasting doesn’t have to be a spectator sport, she says. Cambridge Community Radio, which grew out of a pirate station, first opened her eyes to how empowering it can be to communicate on the airwaves, and she hasn’t stopped fighting for this ever since.

If you or your group have something to contribute, the station is open to new ideas, volunteers and collaborations. Fancy reporting on what you know, the inside story in your area? Got a talent or a concept in the back of your mind? Mentors, trainers and production groups will work with anyone who’s got something worth putting on the air. It could be you, your business, your voluntary work, your interests. Why not?

It will be a learning experience all round. Sheffield Live TV will start with glitches, no doubt, but it will be good. It will be what everyone’s talking about. And it will get better and better, especially if you get involved. The local media revolution is here. Sheffield will be televised. Sheffield will be live.

sheffieldlive.org
alt-sheff.org

Alt Sheff