London SE1 community website

The SE1 website & the current pandemic

Update 23 March - good news! We are delighted to announce that emergency support from United St Saviour's Charity and Shad Thames Residents' Association means that the SE1 website can continue to serve local people during the crisis.

From James Hatts and Leigh Hatts

James Hatts

17 March 2020

Dear readers

During the crisis we plan to:

  • publish accurate, timely information about local public services and businesses
  • share the work of our colleagues in the Local Democracy Reporting Service, to the extent that they are able to continue
  • write up some of the pre-COVID-19 articles that are still on our to-do list
  • publish non-time-sensitive local material (eg local history articles, interesting local pictures from public domain archives) to give you something stimulating to read while you're spending more time at home
  • continue to send a weekly email bulletin

We have:

  • contacted our office landlord and web hosting company to alert them that we will struggle to pay our bills
  • asked the group that supports our sister site se16.com to advance some funds slightly earlier than usual to help cash flow

We will need to:

  • take urgent steps to reduce our costs
  • find new ways of covering basic costs
  • consider what happens if we can no longer meet the costs of our web hosting, which could only be a month or two away
  • work out ways to draw more people into producing content for the website (a one-man operation doesn't offer much capacity or resilience)

As the long-term consequences of the crisis become clearer we will:

  • consider the role for local journalism as life begins to return to some sense of normality
  • discern whether there's a future for the SE1 website with a new ownership structure, whether to join forces with another publisher or whether to shut the doors

At a time when many people in our neighbourhoods are going to struggle to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, it is a tough proposition to ask for support for journalism. The blunt fact is that sooner rather than later we will need in-kind and financial help to continue to serve the people of SE1. If you value our work, please consider what you can do.

We are profoundly grateful to those who have funded us with recurring or one-off contributions over the past few years. The SE1 website would no longer exist if it wasn't for you. We appreciate entirely that some of you will need to cease your contributions as your own financial circumstances change.

James Hatts
Editor, SE1 website

Leigh Hatts
Co-founder and co-owner

Update 23 March - good news! We are delighted to announce that emergency support from United St Saviour's Charity and Shad Thames Residents' Association means that the SE1 website can continue to serve local people during the crisis.
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