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Local politics website ‘will survive Lebedev axe’

The boss of a grassroots politics website which was partly funded by a soon-to-be-axed foundation has said the venture will continue.

Russian newspaper publisher Evgeny Lebedev is reported to have pulled the plug on the Journalism Foundation, set up by his family to promote “free and independent journalism” and expose corruption.

Initiatives backed by the foundation included the hyperlocal website, which covers local politics in Stoke-on-Trent.

However its editor, Mike Rawlins, has said he expects the site to be largely unaffected by the move.

He told HTFP:  “I don’t see this having a huge impact on PnP. The Journalism Foundation have been supportive of PnP over the last 12 months and it is a shame that it is being closed down.”

The Foundation was run by the former Independent editor Simon Kelner.  The Guardian reported yesterday that its offices in London were due to close this week and its staff are being laid off.

Former Archant London reporter Tim Dickens had also applied for funding from the Journalism Foundation for his hyperlocal project the Brixton Bugle.

And former Nottingham Post journalist Andy Done-Johnston was working with the Foundation to secure the long-term viability of Long Eaton Today, his attempt to provide a news website for the so-called ‘town without a voice’ whose local newspaper was axed in 2008.

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  • November 21, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Yes, Pits n Pots will definitely be unaffected – it was devoid of fresh content long before this announcement. Mr Rawlins’ backdated August 5 post on the site is fooling no-one. It’s another example of why The Journalism Foundation seemed to have no clear strategy about the projects chosen – or at least didn’t seem to keen to ensure they were in it for the long haul.

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