A quarterly magazine forced to cease publication and go online only 13 months ago could rise from the ashes to be a print product once again.
A 100-strong army of volunteers distributed around 15,000 copies of the free magazine to shops, door-to-door, doctors’ waiting rooms and local businesses.
Ironically, the Star’s readership trebled as a result of posting the magazine online but editor Stephen Kingston says the Star’s aim has always been to offer a print product because two thirds of Salford residents don’t have internet access.
The magazine, which last year won a Plain English Campaign award, costs £6,500 to produce every quarter before taking into account staffing costs with Stephen himself selling freelance stories and working as a teaching assistant to pay the bills.
An appeal for sponsors to back the magazine has prompted great support with a print product expected to be available sometime in the new year.
Stephen told HTFP: “The idea is, while we won’t get one out before Christmas, we definitely will have an edition out before the general election.
“With the commitments we’ve got at the moment I am pretty sure we will get it out. I am amazed at the support as I thought everyone was skint.
“One guy has pledged £20 a month while one of our big backers is Colin Byrne, the chief executive of PR firm Weber Shandwick, who is from Salford and has made a sizeable donation.
“We still have collection boxes which are filling up – we’re getting closer and I am absolutely confident that we will have an edition out by the election.”
Stephen said he believed community magazines such as the Salford Star should be publicly funded and was working on “four huge stories” when HTFP spoke to him, even though he could barely afford the petrol to get out and conduct the necessary interviews.