‘The Eclipse’ Our new people powered newspaper, created as an alternative to the billionaire owned mainstream tabloids launched last Friday on the 27th October at Settle Down Café in Newcastle.
The Eclipse has been made by ordinary people - carers, grandparents, mums, school teachers, charity workers, artists, campaigners and mental health workers. They are the ones who investigate, write and produce the content alongside trained journalists and ex-newspaper staff.
The founders of the paper Jessie Joe Jacobs and Andrew Wilson describe how they came together out of a common cause to see a better type of tabloid.
Jessie, who founder and ex-charity chief executive of A Way Out in Stockton said
“Running a charity that worked with some of the most vulnerable people in society, I was often left outraged by the way the tabloids portrayed the type of people we were working with.
“Yet when I looked into to it, many of these papers were run by billionaires, who had no connection with ordinary people so it was unsurprising they had a seemingly one-sided view of society.
“We decided to create an alternative newspaper, to give a platform to the many stories and issues that weren’t being adequately covered, from an ordinary person’s perspective.”
The idea for the newspaper has been developing for over a year. Initially We Are Our Media project, to train up citizen journalists and go into communities to hear what stories people had, what issues people were facing and also what peoples perceptions of the mainstream media where.
Andrew describes the journey
“We went out to various groups, with the hope to learn from many diverse voices about what an alternative tabloid for Newcastle and it's surrounding region could be.
“We hosted workshops and held meetings with mental health groups, women’s groups, youth and community groups, residents groups and anti-racism projects and ran a 'Do It Ourselves Journalism' course, which took place at The Recovery College Collective and enabled 40+ people to learn various aspects of ‘citizen; and ‘do it ourselves’ journalism.”
The first edition of 'The Eclipse' had around 35 different contributors including photographers, researchers, writers, graphic designers, illustrators and editors. It is to be a free newspaper, delivered to 10,000 people across Newcastle, Gateshead and South Shields in it’s first run but the group hope it will grow to other areas of the region in future editions.
We hope that people who like what they are doing, and support future editions by donating a small amount here