The Charlton Champion is one of over 400 community news operations in the UK, which range from printed newspapers to small-scale websites like this one. The ICNN, which is based at Cardiff University, aims to champion and support journalism at the local and hyperlocal level, where news coverage is most at risk of dying out.
This website first appeared nearly seven years ago. Since then, we’ve seen deep cuts and a lack of investment cause serious harm to traditional local news coverage not just in Charlton, but across Greenwich borough and south-east London in general.
It’s a story that’s being repeated across the country as news organisations grapple with a bust business model – or simply keep squeezing titles for profit.
Our membership of ICNN gives us access to the expertise built up by Cardiff’s Centre for Community Journalism as well as the experiences of our fellow members. It also enables us to feed into their discussions about how the sector should grow.
The ICNN opened for business in July with just one member – West Leeds Dispatch. Now there are 30, including Love Wapping and Inside Croydon, two sites which have done brilliant work in informing readers and holding their local representatives to account, and the excellent Walthamstow-based Waltham Forest Echo.
Without exception, all members of ICNN are committed to working within and adhering strictly to the guidelines of the Editors’ Code of Practice.
We recently gave the site its first revamp since 2010 – it should now be a lot easier to read on mobiles and tablets (and see how many places in the header you can recognise!). But we’ll keep on doing what we’ve always done – bringing you updates from community groups across Charlton, and keeping a watch on how council and planning decisions will affect SE7. The site is run in our spare time so we aren’t able to cover everything, but we’ll give it a good go. Got a story? Get in touch.
(And we’ve a new email address – charltonchampion.se7[at]gmail.com.)
You can support The Charlton Champion by following us on Twitter and Facebook and sharing our stories with friends and neighbours. For those who want to back the site with something more tangible, we’re looking at options for how readers can do that and we’ll hopefully have something for you soon.
We’re also always on the lookout for new contributors – drop us a line if you fancy joining the team and writing something.
Or you can support us simply by keep on reading. Thank you for clicking on The Charlton Champion. We hope to keep on doing this for a good few years to come.