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January 18, 2010

Gordon’s bid to save Camden Journal from ‘the big boys’

By Jon Slattery

Eric Gordon, editor and founder of the London weekly Camden New Journal newspaper, has asked solicitors to draw up a new constitution for the paper to stop it falling into the hands of big regional publishers.

Gordon bought the newspaper for £1 more than 20 years ago when it was the Camden Journal and was sold by its then owner North London News Group following an industrial dispute.

Speaking at a conference on “New Ways to Make Journalism Pay”, organised by the NUJ ‘s London Freelance Branch on Saturday, Gordon emphasised the difference between his paper and those owned by the large regional publishers.

“We don’t have any shareholders or have a managing director paid £50,0000 to £60,000,” Gordon said. This meant the CNJ could get by on far lower profit margins than the big groups which were closing papers and making journalists redundant, he said.

He revealed that he had recently been to see the West Highland Free Press, which is partly employee owned. Gordon, who over the years has turned down a number of offers for the CNJ, is looking at various models including a trust, charity or employee ownership as future options for the paper. “I wouldn’t want it to be sold to the big boys,” he said.

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