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New crowd-funded hyperlocal newspaper set to launch

A bi-monthly hyperlocal freesheet is set to launch in London after a successful crowdfunding campaign raised almost £10,000.

The Dulwich Diverter will be released every other month, with promises of “high quality” editorial and “no generic content.”

The Diverter is the brainchild of freelance journalist Kate White and Mark McGinlay, who works in book publishing.

The pair set up another hyperlocal newspaper in nearby Peckham, called the Peckham Peculiar, in January 2014.

Dulwich Diverter

They have pledged the Diverter, pictured above, will feature stories on interesting local people and places, with a strong emphasis on photography and design.

The paper will have a news section and there will also be daily news updates on our blog and social media channels.

A Dulwich-themed crossword will also appear, as well as an allotment column by Independent on Sunday columnist and local resident Jane Merrick.

Said Kate: “The first issue of The Peckham Peculiar was published just over two years ago following a successful crowdfunding campaign.

“Now that it is really well established in the area, we felt the time was right to launch a second newspaper. Dulwich seemed like the natural next step as we used to live in the area and know it well.

“We launched the Kickstarter campaign in January this year and hit our fundraising target of £5,000 in just under five days. We’ve now raised almost £10,000 from 140 backers and the campaign has one more week to go.

“The fact that so many people from the community have given us their support is really encouraging – it shows that a local newspaper is something people really value and want.”

8 comments

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  • March 1, 2016 at 9:21 am
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    This is the future folks!

    As the big publishers seek to squeeze ever more profit out of decreasing advertising revenues, they have abandoned vast swathes of the country.

    Fewer staff has resulted in an ever more demotivated reporting staff. Years of cuts to senior staff mean junior reporters have no one to guide them (this has been going on for some decades to be fair). Low wages mean reporters cannot afford to live in the patches they are meant to cover and have no connection with the area, other than via press release.

    Meanwhile online the big boys are encouraging meaningless clickbait and in the lucky cases reworked agency copy (often not even reworked).

    Little by little small publishers like these will spring forth, able to function with smaller overheads and profit margins and motivated by a sense of pride in their own work.

    So good luck to them…. hopefully it will encourage many others.

    Perhaps htfp would be good enough to post a masterclass in how to set up a newspaper and get advertising to make it pay.

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  • March 1, 2016 at 10:20 am
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    This is common across the country with more and more localised regional publications emerging and in almost every cases thriving as they do all the things the others with their high costs bases, top heavy management structure and high salary levels stopped doing long ago.

    The people behind these are usually the more talented ex regional press individuals from the editorial and commercial departments with good contacts ,good business awareness and the nous to see it through, with such a weak offering from the larger regional operators the field and with so few people buying or advertising with them its no wonder the new publications are doing so well

    You can only wish everyone making a go of it all the very best

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  • March 1, 2016 at 11:58 am
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    There have been a few informal ‘bids’ or discussions for some of the larger hyperlocals to be bought up or aquihired.

    The future will be interesting to see if hyperlocal types sell up (and out) to the forward thinking ‘big boys’ and it is all repeated…. or if people hold firm and stick with what they do!

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  • March 1, 2016 at 12:08 pm
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    That’ll never catch on ‘hyped up’ they’ve all tried that one but a new bandwagon had passed by called ‘page views’ and ‘unique users’ and they’ve all jumped on board, pity it’s going nowhere but at least it’s free and there’ll be another bandwagon along soon so no worries.

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  • March 1, 2016 at 1:12 pm
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    Good luck to them. But, bi-monthly? How infrequently can something be published and still be called a newspaper

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  • March 1, 2016 at 3:25 pm
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    If the book publisher is doing the subbing I hope he knows the difference between book editing & newspaper subbing! For one thing – one, or at most two, sentences per para…

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  • March 2, 2016 at 8:13 am
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    And I thought Dulwich Diverter and Peckham Peculiar were traditional London ales.

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