Since that time however, one of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated in Irish media history has taken place in Derry. The fraud was initiated in the year 2000 and it continues to this day. It is way past time that this story was exposed and this Blog is the first ever public attempt to do so. The perpetrators of the fraud have tried to silence people in the past with both threats and bribes, but they cant silence everyone. This Blog will be updated on a regular basis and I welcome comments and/or information from anyone who can shed more light on the subject. Did you ever work in Channel 9 ? Did you ever have business dealings with the station ? Do you have information to share that might help uncover more facts ? If so, just comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Better still, sign the ONLINE PETITION at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/shutdownchannel9/ and help to bring this fraud to an end.
Channel 9 Television started out as a unique local TV broadcasting service, when it first went on air it had wonderful LOCAL programming which was very popular with the viewers inside its transmission footprint. Channel 9 served a geographical area encompassing much of the north west of the Province of Ulster including parts of Donegal. On a daily basis the channel broadcast a full local news and sport service plus current affairs programmes and studio shows. In addition the station even produced local documentaries and special interest content the like of which had never been seen in the area before. The station was a commercial one and 95% or more of its income and revenues came from advertising and sponsorship.
For the first six months of its existence with a staff of less than twenty five people Channel 9 TV was producing more original local programming than the regional broadcasters at Ulster Television who had a staff of three hundred plus at the time ! This was truly revolutionary television in an Irish context. How times have changed. Today the station produces NO local content whatsoever nor does it broadcast ANY local programming. Instead it airs a Sky News feed plus music videos 24 hours a day. It also gives saturation advertising coverage to a new nightclub which is owned and run by the fraudsters who gained their broadcasting licences by deception. It patently does not fulfill the terms of the licence granted to it by OFCOM.
So that is the position at the time of writing but to understand how this sorry state of affairs developed we must first start off with a little history. Channel 9 developed out of a community based, publicly funded media training and production organisation called Derry Media Access which had been established at the beginning of the 1990s by local media practitioners. Throughout that decade " the DMA" as it became known trained hundreds of young people from all over Ireland in every aspect of media and later multi-media, producing dozens of productions annually and providing employment and internships in a geographical area which hitherto had provided very little opportunity for such activities.
The DMA tale is worthy of a re-telling in itself but that is a story for another blog perhaps. It is sufficient to say however that as the Millenium approached the project's directors in particular realised that some kind of self sustaining media project which could generate jobs and revenue in the Derry area would be the best way to fulfill the organisations community development remit. Such a project would also contribute towards making Derry Media Access a going concern with a solid financial future. Therefore from about 1995 onwards the DMA management worked towards this and hence the idea of a community based local TV station was born.