Croydon Citizen launches print edition after hitting £2,000 crowdfunding target

Online news magazine The Croydon Citizen is launching its first print edition today after raising more than £2,000 via a crowdfunding website.

The free magazine will be handed out at train stations and shopping areas around Croydon today.

The magazine, has five editors and 70 contributors, launched online last year.

James Naylor founded The Croydon Citizen as a part-time project, targeting people who are actively involved in the community and who want to further intellectual debate on local issues.

“We talk about the really big issues, like you would find in the Economist or the New Statesman, but related to Croydon. I go by the ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ motto with it.”

He doesn’t get paid, and works on the project outside of his full-time job in technology advertising.

“I do it because I love it. No one gets into journalism because of a big fat pay pack.”

The magazine’s print edition was paid for through crowdfunding and advertising, which has tended to focus on local community members and businesses.

“I’ve been quite touched, to be honest,” said Naylor. The project raised £2,425 from members of the public, far beyond its target of £2,000. This will pay for the first issue, and reinvested back into the next one.

Naylor is looking outside of the realms of traditional journalism, and believes that the future of news resides with the citizen. None of the editorial staff or the contributors are paid, but he aims to hire “a handful” of full time staff to work in the office next year.

How are the web and the monthly print run going to work alongside each other? “I see the two as very separate, but complementing each other. The print magazine will be a ‘best of’ edition of the past month, with new and topical, high-quality content. This issue is on Westfield developments, a huge issue for the area right now.”

And will they charge for content in the future? “A paywall or a charge for the magazine would be a barrier when we’re trying to reach out to as many people as we can and have a wide debate. It’s a crazy project, and for now we just want to concentrate on the content”

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