Govanhill is one of the most diverse and interesting places to live in Scotland. It has a wealth of community projects, independent retailers and a vibrant atmosphere. And yet, negative perceptions prevail, often fuelled by media coverage written by those who live outside the neighbourhood.
We want to produce a FREE community magazine to accompany the already existing website, to celebrate the differences that make Govanhill so special, shining a light on the people and projects at work in the area, and bringing them together. The publication, run from a community interest company is not-for-profit.
Workshops, training and events will also enable the residents of Govanhill to feed into the magazine, empowering people to tell their own stories in their own words and providing a platform for under-represented voices.
Recognising the multicultural make-up of the area, the magazine will also feature articles in some of the other community languages beside English.
We launched the website at the beginning of lockdown and have already had 20,000 visitors, reading article such as:
We also launched an online community noticeboard, where groups and organisation can share news and events.
We're so excited to bring you the first issue. We're aiming to print 5000 copies, which will be distributed around the neighbourhood to as many pick-up points as possible.
Solutions journalism is a challenge to the negativity bias that can dominate the media agenda. This doesn’t mean we plan to ignore difficult realities in favour of feel-good stories. It means taking a look at what people and organisations are doing to tackle an issue, and make things better.
The past six months have been tough for Govanhill, but even through the darkest days, there's been so much light in the way the community has rallied around to support each other. The first issue will be focussing on the post-lockdown future for Govanhill; what changes should remain, the silver linings, and how we build back better than ever.
Alongside the launch issue main stories, some of the regular features will be: a local history column; 'close connections' sharing stories of Govanhill neighbours; tips on how to use some of the more unusual ingredients you can find in Govanhill; restaurant reviews; and upcoming events not to miss. There will also be a news in brief section bringing you right up to speed with what's happening locally.
All our journalism will strive to be rigorous, balanced and open-minded. But above all, we hope it will be refreshing to read.
So far, the website has been run on an entirely voluntary basis and a shoestring budget. But we hope to make this a financially sustainable and long-lasting project by generating money through advertising from local businesses/social enterprise/charities, as well as event and workshop fees, a membership scheme and grant funding. However, in order to get things off the ground, we need to get a pilot issue out - to show people just what we can do.
We want this to be professionally designed with high quality images and content. While we we are applying for funding and will be approaching advertisers, we're asking for a little help from the community to give this project a really solid start. This money will be spent on printing, design, marketing and distribution costs. Any extra raised will go into developing the website, future issues and workshops and training for community groups.
Support this new magazine that will benefit the WHOLE community.
Greater Govanhill has been founded by Rhiannon Davies, a multimedia journalist working in the Scottish media. She previously worked as the arts & culture editor for an Istanbul-based magazine, and has freelanced for various publications. She is the co-secretary of the Women in Journalism Scotland group and teaches journalism at university. She has also worked in communications roles for third sector organisations, with a particular focus on community development. She is passionate about the power of solutions-focused journalism to inspire change and the idea that the media should serve the community it covers.