CNJ at 40: Help us celebrate our birthday – and support campaigning journalism

In 40 years, we have asked readers for nothing but engagement – but these are tough times

Thursday, 24th March

05_Election special CNJ held by Helen Chapman

FOR 40 years, we have published a weekly newspaper, purposely free to all – the idea being that nobody should be denied important information simply on whether they have the ability to pay.

In return we have asked for nothing but your engagement – a deal from which we have been rewarded with perhaps some of the liveliest letters pages in the country.

The pandemic has shifted the dial however, painfully for the majority of us, and it means even those with the most modest outgoings face unprecedented hurdles.

Never before has the news industry faced so much jeopardy.

This is why, on our 40th birthday, we are today running a one-off collection for financial donations to help protect the New Journal and its campaigning, investigative journalism.

We know that there are currently so many important causes which readers will be supporting with wonderful generosity; in that regard any contribution that can be made will be even more gratefully received.


We are, of course, not alone in doing this. In fact, we are one of the last newspapers to suggest that donations could be made – and we do so hopefully as a singular event.

You may have found news outlets hounding you for money every time you visit their website. At others, they are asking for donations to maintain “campaigning journalism” with little evidence of any campaigns being run.

Then there are the appeals that have come from companies still employing executives on ludicrous wages.

And watch out too for those who want to take your donations but also pay dividends to shareholders. How does that add up? We can guarantee that none of this will be the case at the New Journal where we work on the basis of simply covering the costs of good, solid journalism, rather than making profit for somebody else.

None of the staff has a sports car, none of us holidays in Barbados or St Tropez; our motivation is simply to maintain Camden’s community voice as it has now been for four decades. It would be impossible and unhealthy for you to agree with every story and every comment that has appeared in the paper over such a long period.


We know too, despite the list of awards over the years, we are not perfect and embrace the constructive feedback.But we are also aware large sections of Camden value the CNJ as a vital forum for debate and discussion, an organ constantly asking questions of those in power.The premise of being “open to all” remains. And even those in power, occasionally frustrated by the questions, recognise the importance of this in a functioning democracy.

Rest assured too, that any donation will go straight to your local paper, working on the ground here – with no risk that it will be swallowed up by a conglomerate with hundreds of titles all around the UK.

We will simply use it to help pay for our reporting operation during this difficult post-lockdown period and while the events, which normally advertise locally, are only slowly returning.

As ever, we thank you for all your enduring support.

Related Articles