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  • Writer's pictureJaldeep Katwala

Our network of independent news publishers is growing, in-person and online

We are delighted to welcome Jaldeep Katwala to PINF as our new Network Manager. Jaldeep brings many years’ experience as a journalist and media development expert both in the UK and internationally. In his first blog for PINF, he gives an update on the upcoming Independent News Forum in Bristol and announces our plans to connect indie news publishers up and down the UK in a collaborative online community.

Our second annual gathering of independent news publishers, the Independent News Forum, is rapidly approaching and will take place in Bristol on October 21. At the same time, we’re fulfilling a longstanding goal of ours to facilitate a community of indie news publishers with which we can share resources and in which they themselves can collaborate and offer all kinds of peer-to-peer support.


What’s amazed so far in planning the in-person meetup is the range of people who are coming this year. From a newly launched local newsletter for Berwick-upon-Tweed to two very different independent news providers both on the Isle of Wight, small and big players of all sorts will be joining us next month to network, share experiences and continue solidifying these crucial and generative relationships within the industry.


These are the leading thinkers on what the future in journalism might bring, and we can’t wait to see what ideas and initiatives their coming together will spark. An outlet in Wales that went against trend from online to print will swap notes with the driving force behind the Scottish Beacon, a group of 22 independent news outlets collaborating to bring their best work to readers. Our hosts, the Bristol Cable, a highly successful co-op outlet, can compare notes with publishers that write exclusively on Substack.


And what unites us all is a passion for independent journalism and local democracy. We’re all working towards a common goal. As journalists we want to change the world and we want to serve communities.


It’s also a chance for us at the Public Interest News Foundation to talk about what we’ve been up to and get insights and guidance from publishers – we want a steer from you about where you’d like us to go. Above all we’re looking forward to the chance to meet, greet and network with everyone who’s coming.


Join the growing online community of indie news providers


We also just launched the Independent News Forum – a WhatsApp community with various sub-groups that will serve as an extension and expansion of the relationship-building that took place in Leeds last year and will continue in Bristol in October.


The community is a resource for independent news publishers all over the UK. We will share training, research, capacity-building and funding opportunities from PINF and partners in the sector as they pop up.


We encourage participants to use the community and its various sub-groups to collaborate with each other and offer peer-to-peer support. If you have a question to ask or an experience to share with a wide and diverse network of indie news providers, this will be the place to do it!


The community will also include a separate group for three regions in England and one each for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, corresponding with our News for All campaign organisers who will moderate each group.


If you’d like to join the WhatsApp community, or would like to snag one of the handful of places left at the in-person Forum in October, please get in touch at jaldeep@publicinterestnews.org.uk.


And if you can’t come, we’ll update you on what happened and what we talked about through this blog, our mailing list and the brand new Independent News Forum WhatsApp community.

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