Imagine a world without local news from your surrounding area not covered by TV or radio when you are totally blind or your level of sight disables you from reading your local newspaper. This is where your local talking newspaper comes into its own with a weekly 45 minute digest of news from the geographical area in Birmingham in which you live. On top of this is a weekly magazine which covers a full spectrum of generally longer length items relating to the local, blind and visually impaired communities with interviews, quizzes, recipes and notice-boards to enhance the content. And every month there is an extra magazine put together by our friends from the Mount Players of Bromsgrove, a local amateur dramatic group.
Our present listeners seem to like what they receive:-
"One of your team members suggested that I could benefit from your help. And boy, have I realised how much information I have been missing. Please carry on your good work. I applaud you all.
Mrs. R. Sutton Coldfield
We have been "in business" since 5 November 1976 when you could say that as it was Guy Fawkes Night, we started with a bang. We sent out about 70 tapes in the beginning and today we have a database of in excess of 550 addresses. However, we do feel many who would be eligible for the delights of Birmingham Talking Newspaper have not yet joined our ranks, so we really welcome new listeners.
We have made arrangements with the Birmingham Mail, Sutton Coldfield Observer, Sunday Mercury andwww.birminghamnewsroom.com (the Councilís online newsroom) to use material together with a whole number of other newspapers, periodicals and magazines for our own magazine. We thank each and every one for their agreement and support.
We record weekly at South Parade Methodist Church in Sutton Coldfield for our North edition and our weekly magazine and at the University of Birmingham in Selly Oak for our South edition. Across the whole of Birmingham, about 20 teams of about five to nine people meet to prepare and record each edition. Two separate editions for the North and the South of Birmingham are recorded in the two locations each week on Fridays. The magazine is recorded in advance of the news not being so time critical in its production. There are around 120 volunteers on our books with quite a few belonging to more than one team.