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January 4, 2018

Hyperlocal newspaper specialists launch third free title in south east London – the Lewisham Ledger

By John Reynolds

The entrepreneurial team behind two hyperlocal free London papers are to launch a third one in Lewisham, pledging  to hold the local “council to   account” and give the community “a voice and platform”.

Freelance journalist Kate White and Mark McGinlay, a social media manager, who live in Catford, Lewisham, are the brains behind the Lewisham Ledger, a title which will be published six times a year and run to at least 24 pages.

Like sister titles the Peckham Peculiar and Dulwich Diverter, the paper will cover a blend of local human interest stories, interviews, and endeavour to hold the local council to account.

One of the Lewisham Ledger editors said: “All papers like ourselves, we want councils to be held to account. Our pages will be filled with grassroots, on-the-ground reporting and unique stories and interviews that are 100 per cent about Lewisham and its people, rather than generic content driven by press releases.

“We believe that local newspapers play a vital role in the communities they serve, giving people a voice and a platform and, crucially, holding councils to account. They also celebrate the area and its people, helping to bring those who live and work there closer together.”

Existing titles in the area include the council-run Lewisham Life magazine and the News Shopper which covers the Lewisham area.

Circulation is hoped to hit between 12 and 15,000 copies and it will be distributed in more than 100 local businesses including pubs, cinemas and laundrettes.

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The first issue will be published in the spring and the publishers are now looking to lure in potential advertisers. Initially, they are hoping to raise £5,000 through a crowdfunding initiative.

As well as covering the area as a whole, each issue will also have a special focus on different parts of Lewisham.

The editor continued: “With parts of Lewisham such as Catford earmarked for vast amounts of change in the coming years, we feel now is the right time to launch a paper that will help ensure people’s voices are heard and celebrate what makes Lewisham special.”

Readers will also be able to keep up-to-date with daily local news, views and other stories online via its social media pages and blog.

The title will have a small number of journalists likely to be under ten, working on the title, likely to be freelances and people who want to be involved in the local community.

The editor said the Dulwich Diverter and Peckham Peculiar were both profitable, with the money made from each issued poured into the next issue.

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