West Leeds Dispatch awarded grant to produce pilot print edition

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West Leeds Dispatch is set to produce a pilot printed newspaper – just months after the Coronavirus pandemic led us to scrap our initial plans to move into print.

We are one of just eight news organisations (and 25 freelance journalists) across Europe to be awarded €5,000 each for specific initiatives to engage their communities during the pandemic. 

The funding comes from the European Journalism COVID-19 Support Fund, in partnership with the Facebook Journalism Project (FJP).

Editor John Baron welcomed the support and said:

“We’re thrilled to receive this funding, which will allow us to reach a new audience who may not have access to local news through the internet or other means.

“We were just a matter of days from printing our pilot edition in late March/early April when it became clear we wouldn’t be able to print. We were gutted to have to pull the plug, but determined not to let coronavirus stop us at a time when people need accurate local information more than ever.

“We’re pleased to be linking up with some of the incredible community hubs across West Leeds who have been supporting vulnerable people during the pandemic to help distribute the paper, alongside the marvellous neighbourhood networks helping older people.

“Keep your eyes peeled for more details in coming weeks!”

Mr Baron added his thanks to European Journalism COVID-19 Support Fund and the Facebook Journalism Project (FJP). See the full list of successful applicants and more information here.

Although the planned April newspaper didn’t make it to print, we did produce a virtual version which you can read here.

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