We’re south-east London residents who are starting up a brand new local newspaper called The Dulwich Diverter in May 2016.
We launched another local paper called The Peckham Peculiar in January 2014. Watch the short film above to see us interviewed on BBC Breakfast.
You should get involved in this project if:
a) You love newspapers and print.
b) You want to help inspire the local community and read the fascinating stories of its people and places.
c) You want to be associated with a hyperlocal publication in one of London’s most-loved areas.
We will be a printed newspaper (of at least 24 pages) that is published six times a year.
We will write local news and in-depth features and we will be free so the whole community can read us.
The emphasis will be on real reporting and unique stories that are all about the local area and its people, rather than generic content driven by press releases.
As with The Peckham Peculiar, there will be a strong focus on design and lots of great photography.
The Peckham Peculiar has made a hugely positive impact on the local community since launching two years ago.
Here are just a few things the paper has achieved:
* We helped independent trader Gloria Douglas, who was upset that her hair salon and coffee shop were initially left out of a council scheme to improve shops on neighbouring Queen’s Road, get a new shopfront for her businesses worth £20,000.
* Many local charities and good causes we have written about, including Cocktails in Care Homes and Cafe on the Green, have gained new volunteers as a result of local people reading about them in The Peckham Peculiar.
* We have featured many community heroes, heroines and personalities on the front page and helped give them the recognition they deserve. They include Wendy Rother, who has tirelessly worked to bring her north Peckham community together for over 40 years; and CK Flash, founder of Peckham BMX who was recently awarded an MBE.
* We’ve uncovered many fascinating stories of people who have lived in Peckham and Nunhead for decades, whose tales have never previously been told. They include 95-year-old Vi Marriott, who co-founded the Young Vic; and Hugh Leach, a soldier, Arabist and circus impresario.
The team behind the project all work in the newspaper, magazine and book publishing industries. We are all experienced in writing about local London news.
We know we can do a great job creating a fun, exciting, informative and different publication that will truly reflect the local area it is produced for.
Since launching The Peckham Peculiar we have appeared on BBC Radio London three times. We were nominated for a national newspaper award in our first year.
We have broken many exclusives, including the Peckham Coal Line and the campaign to reopen Peckham Lido. Stories we have published have been picked up by other press including Time Out, the Independent and the Evening Standard to name but three.
We were also first to break the news that plans to build 11 flats next door to the Bussey Building – which CLF Art Cafe owner Mickey Smith said would “kill” his business – were dropped by the developers in favour of a commercial scheme. The story became the biggest ever on our blog, attracting thousands of views.
What our readers say
Here are just a few of the many comments that readers have made about us on Twitter:
Lydia Bell: “Congratulations on your first issue, a love letter to Peckham. You’ve done a stellar job.”
Simon Richardson: “Pleased to live in a place bound together by a good local newspaper – gives lie to the term ‘local rag’.”
Ruth Kennedy: “I love The Peckham Peculiar – what a great local newspaper: truly representing and celebrating all things Peckham.”
Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief of the Guardian, tweeted this about us in 2014: “Since I’ve been away my old neighbourhood has acquired a community paper, The Peckham Peculiar – it’s really good, full of fascinating things.
“I really like the way it’s in a range of places in Peckham, and the content felt like it reflects the breadth of Peckham life. Also I learnt a few new things even though I’ve lived here for 20-plus years. Bravo!”
She also said this about us at the end of 2015: “The latest edition of the Peckham Peculiar is excellent again… Lively, upbeat, thoughtful community paper; good reporting, great pictures. Bravo.
“It’s fantastic! Report on the Blenheim Grove hair salons a standout.”
What is the money for?
We want the paper to have excellent editorial and production values. £5,000 is the minimum we need to bring out the first two issues in May/June and July/August 2016. The money will cover production, photography, journalism and printing costs.
Should we surpass this amount, we will invest the additional money either into increased circulation and/or helping produce future editions, and keeping the project alive throughout 2016 and beyond.
We will then rely purely on advertising revenue to keep printing.
We thought about doing this on our own by seeking individual sponsorship and business advertising.
But the idea of enlisting community support and bringing a newspaper to life with the help of Kickstarter makes us completely self-sufficient from the off.
It also shares the ethos of the paper: community-based and totally independent.
What will the newspaper look like?
We will be (a minimum of) 24 pages from issue one.
The publication will be colourful, bright, lively, well photographed and designed, energetic and well researched with original and creative content.
The front page has been specially designed by award-winning artist and graphic designer Jake Tilson, who is based in south-east London. His work has been exhibited around the world in hugely renowned venues including the Tate, the Museum of Modern Art and Centre Georges Pompidou.
If we reach our crowdfunding target, we will launch The Dulwich Diverter in early May 2016.
In the run-up to that date, here is what we have planned:
January 2016: we are currently recruiting new team members who live in Dulwich. We are researching and writing initial stories and starting up the paper’s Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram accounts.
February/March 2016: We will work on the initial design for the internal pages of the newspaper, as well as editing copy and photographing stories.
April 2016: We will finalise the design, photography and copy; lay out the paper and send the issue to print.
May 2016: We will distribute the paper to over 100 stockists in East, West, North Dulwich and Dulwich Village.
For more of an idea about what we do, you can read all the back issues of The Peckham Peculiar online here: http://issuu.com/peckhampeculiar
Please do email us at [email protected] if you have any queries!