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Sturgeon welcomes opening of hyperlocal title’s first office

Nicola Sturgeon has welcomed the opening of a hyperlocal news title’s first office.

The Scottish First Minister had praised the launch of “Scotland’s first independent community newsroom”, which has been opened in Glasgow by Greater Govanill community magazine and investigative journalism platform The Ferret.

Greater Govanhill says the office will provide opportunities for training, workshops, discussion and drop-ins.

The title also hopes it will be used to host community events ranging from ‘town hall’ type meetings on local issues, to live illustrations of news stories on the front window, a Freedom of Information club and film screenings.

Members of the Grearer Govanhill and The Ferret teams with student journalists outside the office

Members of the Grearer Govanhill and The Ferret teams with student journalists outside the office

Co-working desks and a meeting room will be available for hire for the local community and others, as well as podcasting and video production facilities.

Greater Govanhill founder and editor Rhiannon Davies said: “This is a big step for Greater Govanhill, a magazine that was launched from my kitchen table during the pandemic.

“Already we’ve had so many interesting people stop by to say hello and share the issues that matter to them.

“Collaboration feels like the way forward to make local independent journalism sustainable and we’re excited to see what comes out it.”

The newsroom will also be the base of a year-long project – Mind the Health Gap – which is run by The Ferret and Greater Govanhilll to examine inequality when it comes to health.

Karin Goodwin, co-editor of The Ferret, said: “This feels like quite a momentous point to have reached and we’re really excited about the possibilities of this space.

“At The Ferret our mission is to produce high-quality, Scotland-wide investigations in the public interest. But it is also so important for us to be accessible to the public that we serve.

“We are really looking forward to seeing what more we can achieve with others. Finding ways to work more collaboratively has never felt more important than in these difficult times.”

Ms Sturgeon, who is MSP for the Southside Central constituency in which the newsroom is located, added: “I’m delighted to see the opening of The community newsroom in Govanhill in my constituency.

“At a time when local journalism has badly suffered, it’s great to see Greater Govanhill and The Ferret buck the trend and establish a space at the heart of this community.

“I wish the community newsroom every success and look forward to visiting.”