New Internet TV service launched for young people

A new Internet television service launches today for young people in the UK and Europe as part of a major €3.3 million project led by the University of East Anglia (UEA).

SeaMe.tv has been created by the SeaMedia project and serves the coastal regions of the East, South East and South West of England, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. The cross-border collaboration sees young people working with professional broadcasters and academics to create programmes reflecting their interests and showcasing their skills. Content includes short films, discussion shows, music and documentaries.

Partners in the project are UEA, Epic Studios in Norwich, Howest University College in Belgium, West Flanders production company Focus TV, and two major entertainment venues – DeKreun in Kortrijk, Belgium, and Le Grand Mix in Northern France.

SeaMedia is an EU Interreg 4A Two Seas collaborative project, and has received 50 per cent of its funding from the EU programme, which encourages co-operation between member states in the North Sea area through the development of economic and social activities. Other funding and contributions ‘in kind’ are coming from the partners.

The SeaMe.tv platform will be launched in Belgium today as part of a government conference in Ghent on young people and the media. Project manager Mark Wells, from the School of Political, Social and International Studies at UEA, said SeaMe.tv aimed to create a way for young people in the different countries to communicate and share experiences, and to provide an outlet for material that might otherwise not be seen. It will also enhance employability skills by offering work experience and production opportunities, student internships and exchanges between the partner organisations.

“SeaMe.tv provides an opportunity for students and young adults around this part of Europe to express themselves, to learn more about each other, and to hone industry skills which will stand them in good stead should they look for a career in the media,” said Mr Wells, a journalist, TV producer and the initial director of Epic.

“Young people are often thought to be difficult to reach, particularly by traditional media. SeaMe.tv is giving them a forum to develop ideas, skills and personal confidence, as well as online space to discover and enjoy everything from the latest music to short films about the issues that matter to them.”

Initial content for SeaMe.tv has been created over the last few months and includes films by UEA students. Now the project team are keen to hear from other organisations and young people in the areas it serves who are interested in getting involved and producing programmes.

The site is made up of three channels. Music & Entertainment features concerts and performances by bands as well as interviews and backgrounders. Student Life & Work includes films on the issues that concern students and young people, from cheap ways to travel the world and what parents think of tattoos to cross-border job opportunities and language challenges. The Issues & Impact channel gives young video makers the chance to look at the wider issues facing society. Productions include investigations of the role of women in Islam, reflections on the World Wars in the North Sea region, engineering designs for a greener world and an award-winning report on homelessness in the UK.

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