Church seeks journalist to build 'community life'

A Kent-based church say they’re looking to strengthen community life by recruiting a full-time journalist to its staff.  The Vicar and Churchwardens of St Margaret’s Rainham in the Diocese of Rochester are advertising for a ‘multi-skilled qualified journalist’ to join the team at the church to produce a mix of community and church-based news.

Vicar Nathan Ward says the appointment is revolutionary:
‘For thousands of years it is stories which have kept communities together and sadly in recent years local journalism has been under increasing pressures which reduce the amount of truly ‘local content’.

"As a church we want to step into this gap and employ a Community Journalist – an appointment which I believe is revolutionary. It comes as we respond to a community survey, we conducted which revealed that people wanted local news as a way of dealing with the lockdown."

He continues:
"We know that there are some fantastic things going on in Rainham which we need to celebrate and also some real challenges which people are facing and overcoming every day. The lockdown period has taught us a huge amount about our community and for us the importance of staying in touch with people is crucial."
The Bishop of Tonbridge, Simon Burton Jones, welcomed the move; he says the decline in local journalism everywhere has led to local people being less informed about what’s happening on their doorstep:
"The shrinkage in local journalism as advertising gravitates online is already having really important consequences at community level. As long-standing local papers disappear and the remaining ones have to cut back their staff and close, their long-standing and important links with their communities can be lost. Online alternatives like clickbait, lists, gossip and the like are no substitute for real journalism.
"The lack of local journalism also brings a lack of scrutiny - Grenfell is an example, where local residents had raised concerns about the cladding, but it was too local a story for the nationals and there was a lack of local reporting to pick it up, through which a wider audience might have connected.’
St Margaret’s is hoping for the successful candidate to start in July.
For further information please visit the job description

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Contact: Nathan Ward –   01634 362023

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