Hey I'm James, editor of Waltham Forest Echo
I had been a local news reporter for several years, on papers in London and elsewhere, when I saw a notice that a new community newspaper was starting up in my area of east London, and would be hosting its first public meeting. I went along, wrote a couple of stories for the first edition, and began making regular voluntary contributions. A year later, the paper had attracted significant advertising from a local estate agent and had enough income to hire an editor on a part-time basis. I was by now a freelancer, and the job was perfect for me. In the space of a year I had gone from disillusioned local hack to editing a terrific little paper and managing a vast pool of voluntary contributors.
Two years on, I'm still here, and Waltham Forest Echo continues to go from strength to strength with the 25th edition published this week! The social enterprise which initially launched the paper is now so confident in its not-for-profit model that it has launched a second paper, in nearby Tottenham. We are also hosting a networking event in June for London-based hyperlocals - get in touch if you've not received an invitation and would like to take part.
Editor, Waltham Forest Echo
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