Camden New Journal

THE Camden New Journal celebrated its 40th birthday this year with a commitment to the determined journalism which led to it being named the Free Newspaper of the Year in the previous version of these awards. No reporter jobs have been lost and we still have a fully functioning newsroom in the heart of the community. We distribute close to 50,000 copies of the newspaper each week and have an e-reader version. Camden Council, our local authority, has market research showing we reach one in every two people in the borough and we still attract a healthy advertising and sponsorship income. This has been spent on keeping the newspaper true to its core values of campaigning, informing – and entertaining. We are proud of our special 'CNJ food aid van' project which first helped get supplies to people who had found themselves isolated during the Covid pandemic, and then ramped this up by collecting donations to take to the edge of the warzone in Ukraine. People in Camden felt helpless at what they were seeing on the news, so we drove their gifts and messages of solidarity to the refugee camps in neighbouring Poland.

Investigations included several that gained national attention including unmasking a local councillor as the author of poison pen Twitter account in which anonymously criticised colleagues and others. He resigned from the council after our revelations. Meanwhile, after the murder of a mother-of-four, we escalated the debate on safety by running an issue written exclusively by women. It is included as one of the full papers in our submission. The following week, the coverage meant a councillor decided she felt safe to talk for the first time about her own experience of being raped and how she felt survivors needed more support. We also ran our 'Lonely In London' features in a bid to provide a link for people who have been feeling just that, lonely – as the world woke up from lockdown, and recently ran a special issue on what we call the 'cost of surviving' crisis signposting people to help as bills go up. Every Christmas we also raise money to send hampers to residents suffering hardship. Another campaign had a far lighter theme, but it looks like we are about to succeed in getting a plaque installed for Barry Cryer and Tim Brooke-Taylor at Mornington Crescent station. Our patch has many famous faces and so many authors, artists and musicians see the value in the paper and are happy to be interviewed by us. This makes for a review section fizzing with a real mix of cultures. In one memorable issue, Madness singer Suggs acted as a guest editor and wrote comment pieces through the edition. We benefit from having Arsenal and Spurs on our doorstep, but we do not forget the real engine of community sports. Hardly any local team gets forgotten, whatever the sport, and we have a particular focus on youth. We remain determined to be a voice for our readers.