CJAG becomes a hybrid local news media

3 mins read

You are currently browsing the new CJAG website. We want CJAG News to be the hub of local news for the area of Clapham Junction and beyond, covering topics on the local community life of Wandsworth residents .

The Clapham Junction Action Group is a community group which formed spontaneously in response to the threat of proposed skyscrapers (two 42-storey towers) for the station in 2008.

Fourteen years later, we are still here, helping the community when possible and providing information as well as analysis on events in the Clapham Junction area, but also for matters that might affect the whole borough.

From a simple blog to a news media

First CJAG website in 208-2010

It started on 17 November 2008 as a simple WordPress blog, aiming at providing information on the twin skyscrapers project.

Thanks to the responses of the local community when they were made aware of the need to protest, CJAG succeeded in stopping that development as well as a proposed 16 storey hotel nearby.

The story could have ended there, in Spring 2009. However, with the support of several local residents, we decided to carry on and work along with Societies and Community groups on planning matters, environment, transport and education issues, addressing the interests of the local residents.

Our website evolved to cover so many topics that we are now displaying more than 700 articles. We are helped by the contribution of several local residents and you can find the list of authors HERE.

CJAG website 2010-2022

From 2010 to … last week, May 2022, the website layout stayed similar, but with a specific logo and a more professional layout, including photos, multiple section and more concise presentation.

We have now decided to go a step further and transform the CJAG website into a local news media.

This website is not another source of local news

You can find news in Brightside, the Council’s monthly magazine, the Council’s weekly newsletter but also with independent websites such as the very local WandsworthSW18 and PutneySW15, and London media such as MyLondon and This Is Local London.

CJAG News does not intend to replace those sources and display the same content. Instead we want to carry on with what we have always done: provide you with detail information, deep analysis and exhaustive reporting.

Objectivity doesn’t exist. Honesty, yes“, said Hubert Beuve-Mery, founder of the French Newspaper Le Monde, about journalism.

You can read a similar opinion with a much longer explanation on this post from Joe Amditis, the associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University.

CJAG News promotes hybrid journalism: activist reporting.

Today, when self-censorship and economic pressure dominate the media, when lie and truth seem to be worth similar weight on the altar of objectivity, we want to provide detail information and analysis to the readers, presenting not only the facts but explaining their meaning. That’s what is often defined as activist journalism.

Producing such content cost time, effort and therefore… money

Until recently, I have been the main contributor of the CJAG activity with the help (in term of time but also with some financial support) of several local residents. Most of them have also contributed to this website, and are credited as authors of articles.

Producing a thorough analysis on a topic such as the Low Council Tax slogan or the question of Property developer’s money paid to the Council means hours of research, sometime days trying to compare date obtained with Freedom Of Information requests, calling sources and exchanging with other experts on the topic. In the next months, we intend to participate and cover the Local Plan review by a government Inspector. It means reviewing the 1274 pages of responses submitted by the Council officers over the last 10 months, preparing a contribution and informing the community.

I would also like to organise other public meeting and debates welcoming many different actors of our community to talk about our local environment with topics as diverse as housing and construction, transport, open space, recycling, … etc.

But to do all of that, I need your help!

I am therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

2 ways of supporting the project

Do you think what we are doing is helping the community and you want to encourage us to do more? We have set up two ways of supporting our project:

  1. Paypal: For one-off contributions, you can just use your bank card. However if you wish to encourage and support us regularly with a small amount, you will need a Paypal account to set up a monthly subscription. Click here to donate.
  2. Patreon: For regular contributions (the best way to make the project viable) this is a well-known membership platform that connects content creators with supporters. Mainly, it offers financial tools that let supporters subscribe to projects that give creators a predictable income stream as they continue to create content. Click here to subscribe and support us regularly.

If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

CJAG News editor and Clapham Junction Action Group co-founder and coordinator since 2008, Cyril has lived in Clapham Junction since 2001.
He is also funder and CEO of Habilis-Digital Ltd, a digital agency creating and managing websites and Internet solutions.

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