BBC producer takes career break to launch one-man Glasgow paper

By Hamish
Mackay A paid-for monthly tabloid, which its journalist founder hopes
will be the pilot for community interest newspapers across Scotland, is
to launch in Glasgow on 15 December.

David Eyre is taking a
year’s career break from his producer post with BBC Scotland’s
parliamentary unit to launch G41, a 16-page tabloid with a cover price
of 50p.

Named after the Glasgow postcode, G41 will be very much a
one-man newspaper, although Eyre has signed up a team of volunteer
contributors.

The newspaper will be published by Southside Media – a company set up by Eyre as a social enterprise.

Seedcorn funding of £2,000 has come from Scotland UnLtd, an organisation that gives cash to new social ventures.

Southside Media is also getting support from an environmental education charity called Radius Glasgow.

Eyre
said: “Southside Media’s main purpose is to create local newspapers
that give people the information and skills they need to help transform
their communities from the ground up.

“We believe that strong
communities need strong local media. We believe that large media
companies with pressure to deliver profits to shareholders find it hard
to deliver that goal and communities are missing out as a result.

“At the heart of our newspapers will be a belief in community action, equality, social justice and local democracy.”

G41
is targeted at the Pollokshields and Strathbungo areas of Glasgow where
Eyre has been secretary for one of the community councils for the past
three years – a post he has had to resign due to potential conflict of
interest.

The initial print run, which will be handled by Johnston Press, is 2,000 copies.

“I’m
deliberately starting small,” says Eyre, “and hope to build up
circulation gradually. There is no point in being too ambitious at the
outset.”

G41 will have full colour on the front and back pages. The centre spread will be devoted to a full-colour community calendar.

Eyre
began his career on the Express and Chronicle series in West Yorkshire
and worked on the Huddersfield Examiner. He then moved to Scotland
where he joined the BBC TV Scotland Eorpa current affairs programme as
a researcher and director before moving to the parliamentary unit.

He added: “We believe that the local media works best when local people are involved.

“We believe the social enterprise model creates a space for that to happen.”


Former Paisley Daily Express editor Jonathan Russell launched the
Southside Mail weekly in Glasgow in September on the strength of a
voluntary redundancy settlement. However, the paper folded after only
six weeks.

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