Enthusiastic residents look to boost Grangetown newspaper

22 January 2016

Grangetown’s community newspaper is set for a major shake-up in the New Year after nearly 40 years – and local residents have come forward to give it a boost.

Grange Community News has been landing on local doormats since 1978 but the current magazine/newsletter format is set to change – with a new design and a tabloid newspaper layout.

Thirty local people attended a meeting at Grangetown Library Hub to come up with ideas and suggestions. A further meeting is planned for February 18th, ahead of the new-look edition being produced.

Run by neighbourhood group, Grangetown Community Action, the free newsletter provides a vital information service, sharing events and news and connecting our community. But with the help of Cardiff University’s Community Gateway and Community Journalism teams, we’re hoping to widen the net to improve content.


The newspaper has had roughly the same design since the 1980s. Click on the right image for the online version of the winter edition

Some of the ideas put forward at the meeting include:

  • As well as door-to-door distribution, have copies more easily available at key points including local shops, pharmacies, the library etc.
  • Lots of positive news, success stories, charity events, community events, local developments, volunteering opportunities, environmental news, columns/blogs from police, doctors, youth workers etc.
  • Recipes from diverse communities, a lonely hearts page
  • Welsh language content and inserts on key community information in different languages.
  • More events, culture/arts, what’s on
  • More local sports coverage, more history articles, better links with schools and young people
  • A letters page; business profiles and articles on local personalities
  • Revamp the social media side to encourage more reader comments; more updates of the website.

With the new format – which will also link in more with this website – the idea is to allow for more articles/editoral content and for the paper to remain sustainable and continue to be produced for more years to come. Producing it as a full-colour newpaper allows us to do more at a more reasonable cost, while also boosting the content and getting a better balance between articles and adverts.

Emma Meese, from the Community Journalism team said: “On a freezing Tuesday evening in January it’s always a worry whether anyone will venture out in the cold but it was heartwarming to see more than 30y people gather to discuss how they can get involved with their community news service.”

She added: “The enthusiasm from those who turned up last night was contagious, with so many people saying: ‘I just want to get involved’. However, as we know only too well, enthusiasm and goodwill is not enough to run a community news site.

“It also takes time, effort and a variety of skills. The latter we can help with and will be running a variety of free training courses in the area for anyone who wishes to participate. These will include WordPress, filming and photography on smartphone, writing and social media sessions”.

If you couldn’t attend the meeting, it’s not too late to get involved. If you’re interested in boosting your skills and supporting your community in any way, a second public meeting has been organised for Thursday 18th February (7pm) at the Grangetown Library Hub. We want people to come along who might have ideas or would like to help in any way. You can also email grangetowncardiff@yahoo.co.uk or contact us via Facebook or @grangecardiff on Twitter

 

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