I take the romantic view that I cannot be alone in wanting broader and deeper coverage of London, its politics, its people and the debate about how to make it a better place.
There many good journalists and others writing and broadcasting about the capital, but a fully-dedicated London website that is serious yet enjoyable and seeks to report and explain how this extraordinary city is changing in these momentous times seems to be missing. I hope On London can start to fill that gap.
The site is quite rudimentary at this stage, but I’m populating it with the kinds of stories that interest me and, with luck, plenty of others. Most of the articles are written by me, but a pool of eminent guest writers is developing.
Pieces are organised into ten main categories. Most of them describe a type of journalism while some specify a particular subject. Some of the categories have sub-categories sitting below them.
News will concentrate on stories that won’t get much coverage by larger outlets but seem to me to be important and sometimes extract a London angle from issues of national significance.
Comment is what it sounds like.
Analysis is what is sounds like too, and includes question and answer (Q&A) interviews. A sub-category is called Hard Times, the title of the one Charles Dickens novel that had no London setting. I’ve borrowed it for pieces about the many Londoners today who find it difficult to make ends meet.
Culture is about the arts, history and going out. It has a sub-category on books.
Lost London contains pieces written by former Guardian leader writer, Vic Keegan about little fragments of the capital’s history that tell us a lot about it.
Open City carries interviews with ordinary Londoners, whether from overseas or (like me) elsewhere in the UK, who came to the city seeking opportunities and made it their home, along with other pieces relating to the same theme.
Reportage is the home of descriptive articles and long reads.
On London’s readership is modest at the moment, but growing steadily. I would also like to earn at least enough of a living from it to be able to keep it going and I have plans to expand. More on that in due course.
Dave Hill, August 2017.