A report published a year after the riots in London and other English cities has called for "more representative, balanced, rigorous reporting" as it outlined a series of recommendations for the future.

The report, which was authored by Dr Leah Bassel from the University of Leicester, followed a conference held by the Citizen Journalism Educational Trust (CJET) and citizen journalism website The-Latest.com late last year where views on the media coverage were discussed.

The report aims to sum up the "conference findings and other research" and makes recommendations for improving systems and relationships for the future.

It outlines a number of concerns raised by conference participants, which included academics and journalists, who were said to have been "angry and dismayed" by some of the reporting of the riots in August last year.

But the report added that "while participants saw challenges, they also identified the possibility for 'big media', citizen journalists, social media and its enthusiasts to collaborate effectively and for the voices of those involved and affected to be heard in new ways".

"This report insists on opportunities arising out of the fear and violence of August and the first-time discussion that took place at the Media and the Riots conference."

It adds: "The time is ripe for taking action. At this moment the culture, practices and ethics of the media are being publicly examined through the Leveson inquiry and the relationship of the press with the public, police and politicians is under scrutiny.

"A window of opportunity is open to make the connections between this public soul-searching and the lessons that can be drawn from August 2011. This is a chance for media’s social function to be fulfilled by providing more representative, balanced, rigorous reporting and to promote new forms of journalism and citizenship."

The report offers five key recommendations as a result of the discussion: to hold the media to account, to engage with journalists, to communicate with decision makers, to promote citizen journalism and to ensure access to journalism.

Looking in more detail at ways to promote citizen journalism, the report recommends that youth groups, charities and educators "provide and share information about possibilities for engagement in citizen journalism, especially for young people."

A copy of the report has been sent to editors and producers at major news outlets and those behind it will be contacting the culture and media select committee to try and raise awareness of the report.

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