Itís for charidee?
A NEW development could lead to a more optimistic landscape for local news start-ups. A campaign by Lord Phillips of Sudbury seems to have persuaded the Charities Commission to allow local news start-ups to register as charities.
Third Sector reported that the Charities Commission had "referred the matter to its board for a decision" and that "It is the commissionís view that the production of a community newspaper may be capable of being recognised as a charitable purpose", which would make local news start-ups eligible to apply for grant funding and "in kind" benefits - charities get many services at reduced rates, and a lot of local councils have a stock of buildings that they make available at below market rents, but only to organisations with charitable status.
Watch this space for updates on developments at the Charities Commission. See our report on journalism as a social enterprise at www.londonfreelance.org/fl/1003coop.html and the story of Magnet in Port Talbot.