16 November 2020

Two BA (Hons) Journalism students have worked with external partners to produce and launch a new community newspaper in Newham.

Michelle Harris and Jordan Jones, both final-year students at the University of East London, secured positions to help launch Newham Voices, a new community newspaper for the borough.

The students sourced and wrote content for the paper, helped run the social media accounts and hosted the celebratory launch event via Zoom which was live-streamed to the project's Facebook page.

What Newham Voices does differently to the other local papers around here is emphasise the strength of the community, and by giving that community a voice it also gives it the ability to change things for the better. Working with Newham Voices has not only developed my journalistic skills but also given me an insight into how to start up a new initiative,"

       Michelle Harris, co-founder of Newham Voices newspaper, said.


Dr Ian Pickup, pro vice-chancellor (experience and education), said, "A key mission of the University of East London is to teach our students how to think critically and how to make a real difference to their communities. I am delighted to see Michelle and Jordan taking the initiative to work on an important project, such as this. As a careers-led university, this experience will be invaluable for them once they graduate."

Newham Voices launched in September 2020 and recently distributed its second issue. The publication is primarily distributed through print but is also hosted online.

Aidan White, Newham Voices publisher, said, "Our cooperation with the University of East London has been excellent.

"It shows the value of community engagement and has allowed talented students to sharpen their skills by telling vital stories about life in Newham. We're looking forward to long and fruitful co-operation that will place the University at the heart of community life."

Newham Voices is a non-profit and independent community newspaper and online news portal. It launched pilot print editions in 2020 and will go monthly in 2021. Its online news service is also being strengthened during this time. It has won plaudits from UK media observers and is part of a growing movement of community news journalism that has seen more than 150 independent local news media launched in recent years.

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