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  • Writer's pictureMarcus Smith

From community media to a stronger democracy

Marcus Smith, our new Development Manager, writes about his background in community media and how he hopes to help PINF's mission towards a new era of public interest news in the UK.

Back in 2022, I first encountered PINF’s work at a forum in Bristol discussing the potential of community health reporters, similar to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Ever since, I have been impressed by their commitment to ensuring everyone in the UK should have access to news and journalism that speaks to them, for them, and with them.


In times of polarisation and inequality, journalism can inform and empower audiences, helping to build thriving communities and a stronger democracy.

I’m delighted to be part of this mission.

Bringing my skills to the table

In recent years I have been Development Lead at BCfm, an award-winning community radio station in Bristol, and also a freelance journalist and producer at Bristol Cable and Bristol 24/7.

I hope to use these ‘on-the-ground’ skills and experiences in helping PINF make a positive impact in communities across the UK and beyond.

Areas of passion

I'm particularly drawn to PINF's focus on the complex relationship between independent news outlets and big tech firms, as well as their recent guidance on the use AI in journalism.

I believe that, just like content creators on YouTube and TikTok, news organisations deserve fair compensation for their work on popular digital and social media platforms.

I also see AI as a powerful tool for journalists, as long as it is used ethically and transparently.

Look forward

In this new role, I’m excited to work with the PINF team and partners in empowering independent news providers, including both for-profit and non-profit organisations across various media formats – print, digital, and broadcast.

Together, with the support of philanthropists, government, and businesses, I believe we can kickstart a new era of accessible and sustainable public interest journalism.

Connect with me on LinkedIn to stay in touch and find out more.

Marcus Smith is Development Manager at PINF.

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