Media Release: Birthplace of Baird makes TV history with online broadcast of hyperlocal parliamentary hustings


URTV, considered the first internet television broadcaster in the UK, is to provide a hyper-local hustings for a parliamentary election.

On Saturday April 23, prospective MSPs for the Scottish Parliament – Jackie Baillie (Labour), Ian Robertson (SNP), Graham Smith (Conservative), Helen Watt (Lib Dems) and George Rice (Independent) – will make history when they take part in an online televised debate of the issues that matter specifically to people living in and around Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute.

The event will be recorded at the Royal Northern Yacht Club before a selected audience and chaired by experienced former BBC correspondent Andrew Cassell to be shown on in the run up to the Scottish Parliamentary Elections on May 5.

Helensburgh is the birthplace of television pioneer John Logie Baird and is the first of a network of online URTV stations planned for towns across the UK, providing a daily diet of news, features and information for local communities.

Says a spokesperson: “A team of experienced reporters and broadcasters with a background in national, local and broadcast media have partnered with highly-skilled IT people to create a new visual platform for quality hyper-local news and entertainment.

“Privately funded, and with the support of a consortium of entrepreneurs, the project uses the latest online technology to deliver top quality streaming video as devised by VMIX, the preferred online-video platform for more than 50 per cent of the US newspaper market, over four million consumers and major international organisations such as NASA.”

Said Jo de Sylva, director of URTV and a former BBC radio and television presenter: “Since we started producing daily news bulletins, features and local sports coverage at the beginning of the year has attracted a regular and rapidly growing audience as word of the channel spreads throughout the area.

“As a community station we have been tremendously encouraged by the enthusiasm and feedback received as we build the kind of online channel people want to watch and interact with.

“We are committed to providing news, views and entertainment to communities at a hyper-local level most traditional broadcasters cannot compete with. It makes perfect sense that we provide a platform for those seeking to be elected to the Scottish Parliament to be questioned by the very voters they will represent.”


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