HACKNEY RESIDENT David Altheer, right, Editor of Loving Dalston, has been a freelance reporter since volunteering for redundancy from a UK national newspaper and representing staff as a National Union of Journalists (UK) member. This site is one of the few not owned by a news corporation to abide by the NUJ code of conduct.
He was the progenitor of the London International Gypsy Film Festival in spring 2006 and is a foundation member of Open Dalston and of the Conservation Area Advisory Committee for Dalston. He was an early joiner of the London Cycling Campaign.
Eddresses: editor [at] lovingdalston.co.uk (business) and davidaltheer [at] gmail.com (personal.) To deter spambots, [at] has been used instead of the @ symbol.
Twitter: @LovingDalston. Following is only in the thousands but includes more local businesses, organisations and people than any other tag, although reporters and news executives from national media, and some from further afield, also look to @LovingDalston for breaking stories from northeast London.
LinkedIn: Altheer quit because the exchange of information was becoming one-directional.
The population of Hackney and around includes, according to The Times, the greatest number of young graduates in Britain. That is the Loving Dalston catchment area, which makes this news site a prime target for publicists and, as you see, for advertisers.
Sponsored editorial is welcomed. All copy submitted will be subjected to the usual Loving Dalston high standards of editing and, eschewing florid advertising language, written as a news feature. The article will be clearly marked as “brought to you by” or in some other way to show it is externally supported editorial. See example. The same quality standards will be applied to branded-content stories/features, which are also welcome. Quality journalism requires quality fees: minimum price for a sponsored article is £500, 5% in advance. Nothing will be transacted unless the other side provides more than one contact detail and a physical address and phone number.
Contests/competitions: The editor is happy to run them but experience has taught him that since the time-consuming work of editing, picture research and complying with the relevant legislation has always fallen on him he now levies a good-size fee which, for a while, will be open to negotiation. Make an offer.
Here are some pointers for publicists, amateur and professional:
* news tips, especially from whistleblowers, and releases from community organisations, are welcome (see Noticeboard section). A Loving Dalston reporter, if interested, will email or ask by phone detailed questions as part of the effort to find an exclusive angle.
* press releases that open with “Hi there”, or some other indication that it has been sent to hundreds of outlets and probably has no relevance to NE London, will be deleted. Over-use of the exclamation mark suggests desperation.
* refusing a Loving Dalston request for info or for a comment within a news report is a bad idea: far from shutting down a topic it can make it seem you are trying to hide something and make a reporter more curious and start casting about for other sources to get the story you seek to suppress. A political site adds: “We want to get the facts right… Press officers and party apparatchiks may not like the tone or the thrust of an article coming down the line, nevertheless running away won’t help.”
* pre-publication read? This site trusts you to tell the truth. Trust the site to report your truth.
* jpegs of pictures can be included but must come with any necessary photographic credit and be described as free to use. Loving Dalston may ask you to set up a photo opportunity.
* addresses: please include addresses of relevant venues, with their two-part postcodes, and an assessment of access for disabled people. Details of any ticket prices should be given in clear summary form.
* zip files, PDFs and other attachments will not be opened unless, obviously, they contain images. Send text as text. Loving Dalston likes to take its own photographs but welcomes also press-release Jpeg pix and will credit them as necessary, unless used small.
* if an email elicits no response, you are welcome to send another email or to telephone. Email servers occasionally fail and you may have to use the other eddress listed on this page.
* many people want to write for this site. If you see that only as a way of free entry to clubs, cinemas, concerts and other entertainment, approach a blog. Otherwise, email your (succinct) proposal to the editor, who is looking for a previewer of concerts and clubbing (not theatre… yet) and for a knowledgable and amusing reviewer of eateries. No salary can be paid but you will learn fast and eat well or enjoy a good night life at little or no cost.
* The editor loves invitations to product launches and other parties, but not to pay-bars.
* If you want to re-publish a Loving Dalston article or a photograph, you will have to pay something like NUJ rates; certainly nothing less than £50 a photograph, as stated in the About section of this site.
Contact: editor [at] lovingdalston.co.uk