West Leeds Dispatch Forum – have your say on what we do!

west leeds dispatch board
West Leeds Dispatch board: (from left): Noel Akers, Jill Stocks, Diane Law, Iola Shaw and Anne Akers. Front row: John Baron

Thursday 20 October, 7-9pm, Bramley Lawn.

This month we are launching a new Forum to help improve the West Leeds Dispatch, whether it’s the stories we write, areas we cover or the training we run for our community reporters.

Since we started seven years ago, we have had hundreds of visitors to the website each day, with stories written by volunteers.

A successful bid to the Big Lottery 18 months ago secured us funding over three years to pay our editor John Baron part-time and support business development to help us raise money once the funding runs out. The Big Lottery award is also kick-starting print editions and funding community reporter training.

john baron west leeds dispatch community newsroom
WLD editor John Baron in our community newsroom. Photo: Sara Thornhurst

Governance and strategy is led by the Board, but, says Chair Anne Akers, we need to test out ideas with the people who write for, read and support the West Leeds Dispatch.

“We rely heavily on volunteers to make the West Leeds Dispatch happen each day, whether it’s writing stories, taking photos, distributing copies of our print edition, or just keeping an ear to the ground,” she said.

“We also reply on support from individuals and businesses in the community to keep us going so we can continue to report on local issues here in West Leeds.”

She said the new Forum, which will run quarterly, would be open to anyone interested in the West Leeds Dispatch, including the 65 community reporters and 60 or so supporters who help with funding.

The two-hour meeting will include:

  • Highlights of the most popular stories and what people are interested in
  • Update on support and how we’re trying to attract more supporters and partners
  • Round table discussions on what other stories we could be covering
  • Short refresher workshops for community reporters, with a different aspect covered at each forum
  • Profiles of our key partners

Tea/coffee and biscuits will be available throughout.

Let us know if you can join us via this Eventbrite link.

West Leeds Dispatch community newsroom
Venue: Bramley Lawn. Photo: John Baron/westleedsdispatch.com

Bramley Lawn is based at Rossefield Lawn, off Rossefield Approach, LS13 3TG.

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