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18 Doughty Street: UK's first online political broadcaster

* Updated *

18 Doughty Street, the UK's first online political TV channel launched this week and it's very, very good indeed. It is avowedly "anti-establishment", and basically comes from a Conservative / right of centre / free market point of view, but even if not all your sympathies lie in that direction, the content is engaging, challenging and useful.

Here's what the site says about itself:

10th October will see the launch of Britain’s first political Internet TV Channel.

18DoughtyStreet Talk TV will broadcast for four hours a night, Mondays to Thursdays, from studios in London’s Bloomsbury with a mix of live and pre-recorded programmes. It aims to break the mould of current affairs television with a mix of opinionated and controversial programming.

In a groundbreaking initiative the station is building a network of 100 nationwide and worldwide citizen journalist reporters, each equipped with their own camcorder, which they can use to film reports for 18DoughtyStreet to broadcast.

I'm actually really enjoying some of the discussions and am playing them in the background as I work - the talking heads are less to my taste, but there you go.

Let's see who follows the Doughty Streeters into online TV  battle. Anyone in Labour? Anyone, anyone...? If any Liberal Democrats wanted to get out there with this sort of thing you would think it was a massive opportunity for them to start defining themselves to UK voters a little better.

Someone at the Technorati /Edelman thing the other day said that the new social media forms were more suited to a party in opposition than one in power - Suw Charman, I think - which is true. You've less to lose and everything to win, so issues of control are easier to let go on.

But the other UK political parties should take note: there may not be many official policies for the Conservatives yet but there is a vibrant and healthy grass-roots debate and community taking shape online.   

Here's the 18 Doughty Street blog and the YouTube trailer for 18 Doughty Street:

: : Richard Sambrook, BBC Director Global News, said just a few days ago that live internet broadcast was going to be the Next Big Thing in 2007 and linked to 18 Doughty Street:

If 2004-5 was about blogs and citizen journalism, and 2005 - 6 has been about podcasting and videocasting (and the phenomenal growth of YouTube) it seems to me 2006-7 will be about live TV on the internet. Technologies to deliver pictures over VOIP and DVBH are about to break through. There are of course already major channels streamed on the net, new commercial services about to arrive and independent start ups.

: : * Update: Jeff Jarvis hasn't had much luck with trying to watch stuff though... *

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» It's politics but not as we know it Jim from The Obvious?
Antony Mayfield points to 18 Doughty Street the new online political channel which as he says looks bloody good (whatever the political views expressed!) He also quotes Suw Charman as saying that these new tools are likely to appeal to [Read More]


I hope you will cover the massive dislike of the EU and all it stands for. The vast majority of people who I meet want our independence as a sovereign country and a return to the trading arrangement which we voted to join in the first place. We have never been consulted about subsequent developments.

Yeah, er, no I won't be covering that. I expect some Doughty Street contributors will be though.

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