The Great Central Gazette, a new co-operative newspaper launching next month in Leicester, is making waves for its innovative approach to journalism.
Co-founded by a team of three volunteers with full-time jobs, the Gazette aims to provide high quality journalism in the public interest and media literacy workshops in their local community.
What sets it apart is its membership-based co-operative structure, partly based on the model pioneered by the Bristol Cable, and it will focus on longer-form content such as investigations, features, and opinion pieces.
What's truly remarkable about the Great Central Gazette is its commitment to inclusivity.
Emma Guy, one of the co-founders, shared that they will be translating their newspaper into over 100 languages, making it accessible to a wider audience. With the use of digital accessibility tools, anyone, regardless of their grasp of English or any disability, will be able to read the newspaper online.
For anyone considering starting their own independent media outlet, Emma Guy advised taking the time to build a sustainable framework and finding a team of like-minded people. She emphasised the importance of balancing passion with practicality, a lesson that the Great Central Gazette learned after a year of planning and preparation.
When asked about the newspaper’s audience, Emma revealed that the audience is primarily people living in Leicester, but the newspaper has also received support from people who once lived in the area or have family members who live there.
As the Great Central Gazette prepares to launch, it joins the Independent Media Association (IMA) to connect with other independent media outlets and learn from their experiences.
Emma hopes to gain insights into how to run a successful membership-based cooperative and collaborate with other outlets to amplify their collective impact.
In a media landscape dominated by big corporations and sensationalism, the Great Central Gazette's co-operative model and commitment to long-form journalism offer a refreshing alternative. As it brings local news and stories to diverse audiences, it has the potential to become a powerful force for community-building and social change.
As the newspaper continues to grow and develop, it will be exciting to see how it helps to shape the local narrative and provides a voice for the people of Leicester.