A missing story
Good morning readers — I hope you’re having an enjoyable and relaxing weekend so far.
First of all, an apology. Normally, our big weekend read arrives in your inbox at 7am sharp on Saturday. There’s no better way to start your weekend than a sumptuously written and deeply reported long read from your favourite local publication, of course.
Sadly, this weekend’s story didn’t materialise — but I hope you’ll understand the reasons why.
I’ve been meaning to do a story about the Roma community in Page Hall for some time. During my time at The Star I wrote several stories about the fascinating but misunderstood community, over 2,000 of whom now live in just half a dozen tightly-packed terraced streets around Northern General Hospital.
However, I picked the wrong week to do it. On Tuesday and Wednesday, three serious incidents took place in Page Hall, and there was a large police presence there for the rest of the week. This meant that a community that is already wary of outsiders were doubly on edge, and it made the job of speaking to people there and hearing their perspectives much more difficult.
I battled on and wrote the story. But in the end, we knew it could be better if we spent more time with local residents and approached them at a time that police cars weren’t crawling past their homes. We owe it to the vulnerable and marginalised community there to tell their story properly, and we’ll bring you the finished story as soon as we can. If you live in the community or know someone who does, please do email me (email@example.com) to help out.
You can count the number of missed publishing dates I’ve had since I started The Tribune back in March 2021 on the fingers of one hand. Still, they shouldn’t happen and we’ll try to make it up to you as soon as possible. I think moments like this are probably a reminder of how tiny we still are and how easy it is for our journalism to fall through if things don’t work out as planned. It’s why we really, really appreciate every new member who joins, because the more members we get, the more time we can give ourselves to work on stories — by commissioning more freelance writers and expanding the team.
We’ve got a great template here that has become an unbelievable success in Sheffield in the space of less than two years. So imagine what it can look like when we have a few reporters and a bigger freelance budget and a little office that you, our readers, can visit us in.
We have published some great pieces recently. We hope you enjoyed Daniel Timms’ first story for The Tribune in his new role as our data reporter (he’ll be reporting on Sheffield and for our two sister titles in Manchester and Liverpool for the next four months). As a freelance reporter, Daniel has previously written some of our best received stories including ones on the importance of play, climate change and the city’s new clean air zone.
His latest — which was all about how house prices in Ecclesall, Crookes and Crosspool, and Broomhill and Sharrow Vale have rocketed since the pandemic — was one of our most popular stories this year and prompted lots of suggestions from our members for other aspects of the housing market he could look into. You can still read and comment on that piece here (members only).
We’ve come such a long way in the last two years, but we’re not quite there yet. If you’d like to support our work and help us become the kind of newspaper that Sheffield needs and deserves, please consider becoming a member today. It costs just £7 per month.
Editor, The Tribune