Words & pics by Ed King / Newspaper design by Michelle Martin
On Friday 27th November, Erdington Local launches its monthly newspaper – distributing 20,000 copies around all the constituency wards, from Kingstanding to Castle Vale.
Leading with a cover story titled ‘Are schools safe?’, the first Erdington Local newspaper has gone in-depth into the impact of the COVID-19 across our schools and nurseries.
Also on the front page is a LOCAL PROFILE on Inspector Haroon Chughtai – the top cop for both Erdington and Sutton Coldfield, and a full page OPINION piece from Desmon Jaddoo – the Kingstanding campaigner who is saving lives by bringing bleed control kits to hotspots across Erdington.
The centre spread, on pages 10 and 11, are a map of LOCAL SUPPORT ACROSS ERDINGTON – giving information on organisations and support groups that cover the area.
This database of essentail services and local support has been hosted on the Erdington Local website since April, with plans to publish a broader directory before the end of the year.
With further stories on LOCAL NEWS and COMMUNITY NEWS, the 20 page tabloid will be delivered under COVID-19 safe conditions, from printing press to promotional staff, under the guidance of an official COVID marshal.
First appearing online in April 2020, Erdington Local has been covering news and stories from the heart of North East Birmingham for eight months – as a partnership project between Active Arts Castle Vale and Review Publishing.
From the campaign to Save Short Heath Playing Fields to the sudden death of The Charlie Hall pub’s beloved barman Paul Ralph, Erdington Local has been giving the area its first dedicated news outlet and fairer representation across the wider city.
“Erdington gets an unfair amount of ‘bad press’,” said Ed King – Editor-in-Chief of Review Publishing, “with other news outlets often only reporting on violent crime or anti-social behaviour in the area.
“But there is a strong and vibrant community spirit across Erdington, something truly inspiring and humbling.
“And whilst Erdington Local will challenge the issues that have a negative impact on people, such as unscrupulous HMO providers and distorted Council planning agendas, we will also celebrate the amazing achievements and endeavours that make Erdington such a beautiful part of the city.”
Released earlier than planned to report during the coronavirus crisis, and to support the work and outreach activity from the Erdington COVID-19 Taskforce, Erdington Local has a growing online readership of 5-10,000 per week – reaching a further 20-30,000 through social media.
Now moving into a regular printed newspaper editions, the hyper-local title will expand its audience – reaching a further estimate 60,000 people each month through targeted distribution and residential door drops.
Erdington Local’s monthly newspaper will also allow the title to reach those without access to the Internet, including Erdington’s more elderly residents who often don’t live online.
Erdington Local is also expanding its news team, with paid freelance and voluntary positions available from December 20202.
Training can be provided, as well as space in the Erdington Local news room to work from – anyone interested in joining Erdington Local should email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed King talking about Erdington Local at the Erdington Art Forum’s Evening of Creativity – Nov ‘20
For the Erdington Local Facebook page, visit www.facebook.com/ErdingtonLocal
To follow Erdington Local on Twitter, visit www.twitter.com/erdingtonlocal
For more on Active Arts Castle Vale, visit www.activearts.wordpress.com
For more on Review Publishing, visit www.reviewpublishing.net