By STEVEN DOWNES, Editor and founder of Inside Croydon
InsideCroydon.com has been reporting on news and events in and around Croydon since 2010.
When we started, there were two local newspapers based in the borough, and a dedicated reporter working the beat for BBC London. All of them have long since moved away.
But we remain, and with your help, we’ll continue for some time yet.
This is how you can help.
Creating the compelling content which has seen more than 1 million iC pages read in the first nine months of 2017 is taking an increasing amount of time, and we also incur some other costs along the way. Until this year, I had provided all of the resources for the site, but to continue to do so, and to expand and improve our coverage as I would like, needs greater resources.
Earlier this year, to fund a legal defence of our coverage – we were right, and we won, but it still cost hundreds of pounds – I was humbled at the response of our readers to our #BoxparkBallsFund. You raised the £1,600 required inside 24 hours. The comments which accompanied the financial contributions were really heartening.
Since then, I have rolled out some on-site advertising on a trial basis, and have redoubled efforts to find sponsors for the site. But colleagues elsewhere suggested that, with the co-operative model we aspire to having for our publication, a web-based service called Patreon might offer a suitable funding source.
Now I am not a great fan of digital begging bowls. I laughed when I saw the Grauniad, after two decades of making its USP available for free on the web, and then unloading countless fine journalists when the management couldn’t find a way of paying for their work, began asking for readers to chip in a few bob for reading its stuff online.
Nor do I believe that a paywall would work well for a publication such as Inside Croydon. In fact, no one has really come up with a workable solution of getting people to contribute for the journalistic value that they get from the web. Patreon may not be the ideal solution, but for now, it looks like the best solution we’ve got.
So I apologise, but I am asking for your help again.
I would be hugely grateful if you would consider supporting InsideCroydon.com with a monthly donation. The more people support the site, the more time I can spend looking at the stories and the issues that affect and interest you.We’re using an American-based online tool, so the amount is configured in US$. We’re asking for $5 per month, which depending on currency fluctuations, is around £4 – or barely half an hour’s worth of the London Living Wage. I promise that you’ll get more than half an hour’s effort from me in the month.
We will be having other benefits for our donors, too. Our Talking Inside Croydon events, so popular in the summer, will be returning with an entry fee for attendees. Inside Croydon donors will qualify for free entry – you’ll get the value of your monthly donation back simply by attending one of these events.
Special offers and competitions will in future be provided exclusively for Inside Croydon donors.
If you can afford to give half-an-hour of London Living Wage each month, then you’ll be registered as an InsideCroydon.com donor, and qualify for the regular benefits, as well as having a little warm feeling inside.
Please do your bit to keep real, and professional, local journalism alive in and around Croydon.
- Inside Croydon is a member of the Independent Community News Network
- Inside Croydon is the borough’s only independent news source, and still based in the heart of Croydon
- 1 MILLION PAGE VIEWS IN 2017 (January to September)
- If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or a local event to publicise, please email us with full details at firstname.lastname@example.org