Kelner said The Journalism Foundation was proud to support “a website in Stoke-on-Trent which monitors, discusses and challenges political matters in the region.” Kelner said that he hoped that “with the Foundation’s support, Pits n Pots will continue to grow and provide the valuable service to the local community that it has done since its launch in 2008.”
Ian Norris, a regular contributor to Pits n Pots and former Stoke City councilor said that he was looking forward to continuing to apply pressure to the council through journalism on Pits n Pots including a current investigation he is conducting into the close relationship between a councilor and certain local businesses.
Jack Brereton, a Conservative councillor said ‘we need more sites like Pits n Pots in Stoke-on-Trent to continue to promote people’s engagement with democracy’.
Randy Conteh, an independent councillor with over ten years of experience said that he had come to the relaunch party to meet a Pits n Pots commenter and talk through some of his issues. Pits n Pots has a history of allowing readers to discuss their concerns with councilors live on the site.
Editor of Pits n Pots Mike Rawlins that the Foundation’s backing would enable him to “investigate ways for Pits n Pots to become a more sustainable public service business model”, encourage greater engagement with democracy and “create a template that can be used by active democratically engaged people across the country”.
Charlie Burgess, Managing Editor of The Journalism Foundation and Simon Kelner visited the University of Staffordshire yesterday to give practical advice and support to the journalism students who are compiling a print edition of Pits n Pots, which will be distributed to 50,000 households just after Easter. Focussing on how to set out a page and how to compose good headlines, the Fleet Street veterans also talked to the students about how best to approach a career in journalism.
The foundation also announced a free online toolkit for people who want to learn how to build a local website.
To find out more about The Journalism Foundation’s project in Stoke-on-Trent click here