Tinkering with the format – suggestions welcome


Editorial comment from Jim Jepps


We’ve had some brilliant articles up on the North London Star in the last seven days. Merylin Moos’ review of the Tottenham Theatre company’s Walter Tull was really lovely, and well timed as today is the one hundredth anniversary of Great Britain declaring war on Germany.

It’s not just the written word of course. Our video at beneath the housing crisis looks at a community of about twenty homeless people sleeping rough in the garages of one Enfield estate that’s been emptied for development. What I particularly like about this video is the chance it gives us to give voice to those whose voices we normally ignore. Speaking of which the eye opening account of what it’s like to be homeless and sheltered in Haringey’s YMCA was a real revelation for me, a true insight into the conditions some people are forced to live in.

star frontIn our short life we’ve had a number of other publications use our content and pictures. We’re really happy about this; spread the love we say. Last week the Morning Star published an updated version of our interview with Spanish anti-abortion activists in London, including a special mention on the front page (right). The group goes from strength to strength and were out demonstrating this weekend (video). We’re proud to support their efforts in protecting a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body.

Tinkering with the site

As we mentioned last week our collective of North London Stars recently got together to discuss what improvements we want to make to the site. You may have noticed a few changes that came out of that meeting.

We’ve increased the number of discussion and North London news pieces that appear on the front page, we’ve experimented with a ‘open thread’ style post as we look for new ways to encourage feedback and comments from our readers.

Speaking of which we’ve enabled the ability to follow posts that you’ve commented on to make sure you can keep up with the discussion and ensure the debate can flow.

We’ve started to beef up our facebook page and twitter, which you have our permission to follow if you like.

We’ve also done a few things that you’re unlikely to have noticed. We’ve increased the number of people who can ‘contribute’ to the site and given them some light training in using the site to spread out the load of uploading content. You’re still encouraged to submit your own articles, reports or events via our submission form or by email to office@northlondonstar.org.uk.


What’s to come?

One thing about the notice board is that it does display events in the order they were posted up, which can make it a little illogical sometimes. This means that while there’s a commemoration of those who opposed the First World War in Green Lanes this Tuesday meeting in Islington on TTIP on Wednesday, a film exploring racism this Friday, it’s not always obvious what’s happened, what’s this week and what’s further ahead.

We’re in the process of adding a calender that will link to those notices (and potentially events advertised at other sites) in date order to help you fill those rare spaces in your diary.

We’ve had a couple of suggestions for new features. For instance, there was a proposed ‘letters page’, a forum and a cultural section. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see at least one of those things appearing over the next couple of weeks.

We’ve come a long way in our first month online but in many ways we’re still getting it together. Feel free to leave a suggestion for the site in the comments box below, email us at the office or, if you feel inspired, send us a report or thought piece for the site – we’re an open collective so don’t feel you need a special card or password to take part in the North London Star. Come on in, the water’s lovely.