Independent Community News Network fights to keep community journalism alive during crisis

As part of your community Love Wapping needs to continue providing essential information to help you make sense of what is going on in your community, be that Wapping, Shadwell or the whole of Tower Hamlets.

But LW and the 110 community journalism publications across the UK need urgent help from the government.

It’s just a pandemic

Love Wapping was a founding member of the Independent Community News Network (ICNN) and is proud to display its logo on the masthead of our website.

For six years LW has been working unfunded to try and bring you the stories that matter which the mainstream media ignore.

During the coronavirus crisis we intend to do exactly the same thing.

If the 110 independent community news organisation that make up ICNN was considered as a single co-operative media organisation it would be the fourth largest news organisation in the UK. ICNN is over a third bigger than the fifth (Archant) and sixth (Tindle) news organisations combined.

Cool, huh?

ICNN needs three things

Emma Meese

Emma Meese, Director of the Independent Community News Network (ICNN) team at Cardiff University’s Centre for Community Journalism is working very hard to ensure independent community news organisations survive.

ICNN is currently asking the government for three things.

  • Getting access to any funding or support we can for ICNN members, to ensure they can continue running their publications during this critical time.
  • Getting access to any Government/Public Health/NHS advertising campaigns, alongside the NMA.
  • Ensuring ICNN members are included in the list of recognised journalists allowed out to carry on reporting in the event of a full lockdown.

The freedom to report

Love Wapping and other community journalism people need formal permission to, if necessary, be out reporting under a full lockdown. We ain’t no hero and do not want to be outside unless we have to but we cannot report from behind a desk.

We live in the East End. During the Blitz a reporter stuck in an air raid shelter would hear lots of very loud explosions. The only way to find out what the explosions were would be by leaving the air raid shelter. Dodgy but necessary.

Did journalists get killed in that conflict and the many others since then? Yes, lots. But report they did and you and your parents and their parents were informed at a time of national crisis.

Just like now.

Right to survive, right to inform, right to report.

Just mooching around – honest!

An example of this was earlier in the week when we had a tip that staff of a well-known supermarket chain were filching essential supplies. Out the back door, into their personal vehicles then sold on to corner shops.

We thought that was a very important story so we went out to check. No other way or doing it. Didn’t talk to anyone, didn’t go near anyone, just mooched around for a couple of hours.

Technically we were breaking guidelines unless we decided to make ourselves ‘essential workers’ but we haven’t worked on a building site in years…

True? Almost certainly

We could find no evidence to prove the truth of the story, we were probably a couple of days late, but our sources were impeccable and we have no doubt it was true.

That’s why LW and the other community journalism publications need the support proposed by the ICNN.

The amount needed is very small – we are basically talking about covering individual salaries in some cases, to keep an entire publication going. None of the money will go to shareholders or to cover large overheads.

Anyway that is another thing that is going on in the very weird world we live in. Now back to some reporting because there is a huge amount to do!

While we wait for ICNN to sort something out with the government Moley would be ever so grateful if you could make a donation to him using the link below.


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