Flyover Media CIC – the new publisher of The Charlton Champion and 853.London

By Matt Abbott | 9th Apr 2019

Charlton Champion and 853.London, two of London’s most well-renowned independent community news websites have begun trading under a new name: Flyover Media CIC.

The move will help the sites’ owner, Darryl Chamberlain, apply for grants and new funding streams, broaden the sites’ reach into neighbouring Lewisham, and provide scope for going into print.

Following in the footsteps of other London titles, Tottenham Community Press, Enfield Dispatch and the Waltham Forest Echo – all run by Social Spider CIC – and Brixton Media CIC (the team behind Brixton Bugle/Blog), Flyover Media CIC will reinvest all profits back into the business. 

Darryl said: “We’re really excited to be starting this. We hope that setting up Flyover Media will help our sites go from strength to strength.

“Everybody knows the market for local news is in serious and deep trouble. Its business model – based around local advertising – has been wrecked by online rivals, while cherished news brands have been fatally weakened by many years of cost-cutting by corporate owners.

“In south-east London, we’ve seen this with our own eyes. Yet the need for local news and analysis has never been greater. Much of Greenwich borough is changing at a pace unseen since World War II – yet you wouldn’t know it if you read the local press.”

Darryl wrote about the problems surrounding local journalism for our blog last year after his content was used without his permission and he took his local paper to court. He has since

853.London started as a personal blog written by Darryl, a journalist with more than 20 years’ experience, but has evolved over the years to become a website trusted by thousands of southeast Londoners for bringing news you won’t see elsewhere, holding power to account robustly, but fairly.

Over 100 local people help fund 853.London through a Patreon membership scheme, turning the site into a part-time job for Darryl but also helping to form the basis for Flyover’s launch.

As a result of this, Darryl plans to update 853.London’s sister site, The Charlton Champion, with a new hosting plan – giving it a new look and the ability to run local ads for local businesses.

The Charlton Champion, edited by Darryl together with Neil Clasper, is a community site for one small but frequently overlooked corner of southeast London. It is funded by the community.

Both sites are part of the Independent Community News Network.

As well as funding, Darryl and Neil are looking for people who can help. 

Darryl says: “We know there are journalists in southeast London who want to give something back to their communities. Are you a sales whizz? We could do with your sweet talking. And we’ll also be looking for trustees, to keep an eye on us as we apply for grants.

“We’re really excited to be starting this, and we’ll hope you’ll join us at our launch event in June – date and details to be confirmed soon. We’ll be talking about the state of local news and what we – and you – can do about it.

“For years the local media in this area has been withering away. Now, with your help, we can try to do something about it.

“For now, let’s get to work.”

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