Reliable, accurate, and high-quality independent reporting in Brighton and Hove is seriously under threat. But, we won't give up on community journalism. We recognise the importance of our role in the Brighton and Hove community and we aim to invest in a new strategy that will allow us to withstand this industrial shift and achieve sustainability in 2020.
The value of independent journalism has plummeted over recent years. The onset of fake news has been turbo-charged due to digital media. As a result it is eroding the trust the public has for local news, which puts community-driven journals like ourselves, at risk. Furthermore, the dominance of the social media giants is sweeping localised publications aside. Because of this industry shift, the funding and consequently the quality of community journalism is decreasing. We will buck this trend if we succeed in our campaign.
We don't want you to be forced to compromise on the quality of your local news due to this unfortunate downward trend in the media landscape. We also don't want our journalists to be hampered in their career paths due to a plummet in funding, and therefore, wages. We have come up with a plan to go against the tide and make sure we continue to serve Brighton and Hove as your loyal community publication, as we have for the last 4 years.
We will withstand this attack on independent community press by investing in a new business strategy as well as bolstering our team of young writers and providing them with the skills and freedom they need to thrive. We have devised a multifaceted plan.
By investing in networking events and courses in skills such as media law and multimedia, our interns and staff will have the edge to provide the most accurate, dynamic news. We predict that our high-quality content combined with carefully managed marketing will result in organically increased engagement from the people of Brighton and Hove.
We will become more sustainable by developing new ways to generate revenue, such as commissioned articles and sponsorship from local businesses, whilst ensuring an ad-free experience on all of our platforms.
We also hope to be able to make changes to our website that will allow local businesses to upload their events to a community calendar for a small fee. By doing all of these things we will help Brighton Journal continue to deliver high quality news stories to our readers, with integrity and truth, and ultimately become more sustainable in the process.
Brighton is a city like no other: a unique ecosystem of diversity, creativity, charm, and strong political engagement. Brighton Journal is NOT affiliated with any political party, but we are affiliated with the humans and happenings of Brighton and Hove. We consider ourselves at the heart of the cultural landscape that makes Brighton so distinctive and we want to continue in this way this for many years to come.
We know that by delivering local news to Brighton and Hove, we help to strengthen and amplify the community voice, engage citizens and encourage diversity by shedding light on the services, opportunities, and activities our wonderful city has to offer.
- We give a platform to countless local businesses and charities including The Clocktower Sanctuary, Pier2pier, and Brighton's Cancer Research, by celebrating their successes and shouting about their events.
- Our 'What's on this Weekend' is a fantastic resource for the people of our city as well as visitors from afar to find out what's going on (by definition!) in and around our wonderful home. We often use this feature to give publicity and space to lesser known events that cater to marginalised demographics in the community.
- Our publication also shares announcements made by local councillors and policy changes to keep everyone in the know and provide space, freedom, and autonomy for the community to react.
- Our very popular 'Human's of Brighton' feature is a great way to empower local individuals. We recently interviewed Phillip, a local man who is homeless; having followed up with him a week after the feature was published he told us that the response he had received had been overwhelming - this had "improved his quality of life". In terms of communicating with our followers this interview was read by 8,000+ local residents. One example amongst many that shows Brighton Journal is a community publication for the people.
We have a team of 10 journalists writing for our publication at present; all of which are aspiring content writers at different stages of their career, from undergraduates and masters students to adults changing their careers wholesale. We give writers an entry point into this difficult industry and provide them with the flexibility and autonomy they need to learn whilst maintaining the high standards of content we pride ourselves on. This freedom is invaluable to our journalists and by disposing of strict brand guidelines we are able to authentically represent the Brighton and Hove community voice.
Our senior team is made up of our editor Lauren, Christy our head of PR, and our marketing and communications manager, Natalia. Just like the larger team of content writers we have on board, all three of them started as interns and have worked their way through the ranks and made themselves invaluable to the publication.
The pie chart below gives you a representation of where we intend to invest in Brighton Journal.
You will also see that one of our rewards gives you the chance to sponsor a journalist for a day, a week, a month, or even a year. These pledges are unique; you won't find a material gift at the end of your pledge, rather the reward for the sponsor is to show a huge level of support to budding writers and to endorse what we stand for in the most generous way.
We do not take our interns and employees for-granted, which is why we are running this campaign in the first place. However, this industry shift is making it increasingly difficult to ensure our writers are being paid fairly. This is not something we are willing to compromise on. Our writers deserve to be compensated for their valuable work. We are determined to pay fair wages whilst also applying the proposed changes to other areas of our enterprise.
Thank you to our neighbouring businesses for their generous rewards!
Our lucky dip experiences will secure you one of the rewards listed below. You are guaranteed to receive a tasty prize every time you pledge, but we are unable to take requests.
How about a trim or colour from Black Eye Hair? Or maybe a lazy Saturday lunch at The Breakfast Club? We also have a photography print from British Analog Collective if that's your bag. For the health-conscious out there we have Fitness First sessions and Revitalise classes. The luxury comes with dining experiences at The Ivy Tickets for the Krater Comedy Club at Komedia, cocktails at Drakes, afternoon tea at The Grand, dance lesson with Indi, a signed Peter James book as well as more!
Another huge thank you to everyone who supports our project!
We have received an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm from the public but without the active success of this project we may not be able to continue serving the community into the next decade.