Project information

Fitzrovia News community newspaper

Produce a local newspaper written by volunteers in Fitzrovia, London. Neighbourhood news, features, comment, analysis on politics, housing, environment, arts, history, culture, volunteering. Education and literacy, on social and economic issues, democracy, voting, citizenship, and social media.

June 2012 - May 2015

Charity information: Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association

Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association logo
  • Need

    Need

    Our neighbourhood is under pressure from commercial development and property speculation. The residential community needs to be informed about these issues and how they can understand and counter them through the democratic process.There is a need to develop literacy and engagement with local democracy, encourage more people to volunteer in their community, and to understand the many complicated issues of housing and planning. Digital media alone cannot provide a coherent community voice.

    Solution

    We will write, produce and distribute a free community newspaper for those who live in Fitzrovia. We will provide a forum through social media to encourage digital literacy and social interaction. The paper will include news stories about commercial planning and licensing issues and also features about the life and history of our neighbourhood. Produced and distributed entirely by volunteers to all residential addresses in our neighbourhood. A printed newspaper is tangible and accessible.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To inform, educate and entertain the people of Fitzrovia.

    Activities

    » Produce informative and thought-provoking news, features and reviews which cover a wide range of topics. Provide a mix of serious and light reading.

    Success will be people being informed about their neighbourhood and feedback we get from readers.


    Aim 2

    Encourage more people to volunteer in their community.

    Activities

    » Provide opportunities to write, produce and distribute the paper and provide information on volunteering in the neighbourhood.

    The number of people writing, producing and distributing the newspaper.


    Aim 3

    To increase participation in local democracy and citizenship.

    Activities

    » Write news and features about local political issues and consultations and encourage people to participate.
    » Encourage debate about environmental and social issues through letter writing and social media.
    » Hold regular editorial and social meetings to discuss local issues.

    The number of people attending meetings and taking up issues with local government and the number of people voting.


    Aim 4

    Produce a printed newspaper of 5,000 distributed every three months.

    Activities

    » Organise news gathering, production and distribution of the newspaper.

    Success will be the printing and delivering of all the newspapers.


  • Impact

    Impact

    Fitzrovia News will allow people to know more about their neighbourhood and contribute to discussion about its future. It will also give people a sense of community and knowledge of local issues.

    Risk

    The risks are financial. Printing and overhead costs need to be covered for every issue produced. Advertising covers most of these costs but donations are essential to mitigate against financial loss. As the project is relatively small compared to our other projects and we have no salaries to pay, any shortfall can usually be made up from surpluses made elsewhere. The organisation feels the project is valuable and is prepared to subsidise it if need be.

    Reporting

    We hold regular monthly meetings and send out a regular email news letter. We can send out a copy of the printed newspaper. We also produce an annual report which is available on the Charities Commission website.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £28,131

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £11,507 Production Producing and printing 12 issues x 5,000 copies.
      £15,124 Overheads Contribution to office overheads.
      £1,500 Computer Computer and publishing software.

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Advertising £12,000 Guaranteed
  • Background

    Location

    The project will be run at the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Centre, 39 Tottenham Street, London W1T 4RX. This is at the geographical heart of the neighbourhood. We hold monthly public meetings here and it is a central point to distribute the newspaper. The Neighbourhood Centre receives documents from City of Westminster and the London Borough of Camden and some local councillors hold their surgeries here.

    Beneficiaries

    Population of Fitzrovia. Approximately 8,000 . Most people live in rented accommodation. Every part of our neighbourhood has a very poor living environment, according to the Office for National Statistics. This is because there is very little garden or public open space available. The area is threatened by commercial property development with often very little affordable housing from planning gain. Housing and environmental issues are of great local concern in the neighbourhood.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    A long history of campaigning, providing information, and delivering services in Fitzrovia. We have in one form or another produced Fitzrovia News for nearly 40 years. We are secular and engage with all areas of life in the neighbourhood. We hold monthly public meetings

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Mike Pentelow - Volunteer

    Mike is a professional journalist and is editor of the paper.

    Linus Rees - Volunteer

    Linus is a fundraiser for and assistant editor for Fitzrovia News. He assists with the technical and business aspects of running the newspaper.

    Peter Whyatt - Volunteer

    Peter gathers news stories and overseas the production and distribution of the paper.

    Brian Jarman - Volunteer

    Brian is a lecturer in journalism and advises the newspaper on how to deal with difficult and contentious issues

Fitzrovia News is published quarterly.

Fitzrovia News is published quarterly.

I wish to express my appreciation to the editorial team for all the dedicated and devoted professionalism and community care.

Local resident