Hastings Independent is a free fortnightly newspaper for the Hastings & St Leonards community. This month has been a milestone month as not only did the paper celebrate its first anniversary but on Saturday 21st February it began its long awaited training programme for people interested in journalism and newspaper production.
As a community newspaper run by volunteers, one of its aims is to provide opportunities for those considering a profession in the newspaper industry but experience is often very difficult to obtain. The Hastings Independent has developed an on-going training programme, starting with an introductory overview to be held at regular intervals and they will be making topic specific subject courses such as research, sub-editing, editing and production available over the year. These will be advertised on the website and in the paper (and in Business in Hastings!).
For the first introductory course Hastings Works kindly provided a suitable training space, and the workshop was run by the paper’s existing volunteers. This meant the group is able to offer training free to anyone interested, in line with its guiding principles of supporting all people in the community.
On Saturday twenty prospective reporters and editors attended and went through an introductory session. The first part introduced the newspaper production process from inception to distribution, the overview of the roles of the various people involved and the legal requirements that are specific to the business. The second part focused on journalism; how information is gathered, verified and then written. Those wishing to were offered a topic to research and prepare an article which they could submit for consideration for inclusion in the newspaper.
Hastings Independent is a not for profit organisation. Its income is from grants, donations and from limited paid advertising in the paper and on the website. Back issues are available to download from its website www.hastingsindependentpress.co.uk. Potential advertisers are welcome to discuss opportunities with us, particularly those with a community focus.
Hastings Independent is always interested in suitable stories and leads so please send any you are aware of to firstname.lastname@example.org.