The pandemic has forced many local and hyperlocal newsrooms to close their physical offices and go virtual.

Although this saves cost, the downside is that newspapers have lost visibility and connection with the community.

In December last year, two local outlets decided to bring their journalists back to the heart of the community, launching a shop front newsroom in Glasgow's Govanhill.

The Community Newsroom is a shared space between Greater Govanhill community magazine and investigative journalism cooperative The Ferret. Each organisation has two desks, and four more desks are rented out to contributors and freelance journalists.

"It's nice to see conversations happening that would have not otherwise happened," Rhiannon J Davies, founder and editor of Greater Govanhill, told Journalism.co.uk.

A few weeks since the opening, people are starting to trickle in, either because they want to learn more about their local papers or because they just wonder what the space is about.

The Community Newsroom is not all about journalism though. Both publications are looking to hold events that will bring together the residents and give them the opportunity to discuss issues that matter to them. Other local actors, like the council, are also planning to use the space to hold events about improving the neighbourhoods.

So far, the reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. Although the Community Newsroom is yet to lead to new local stories, the fact that people are popping in shows their interest in supporting their local journalists.

"People are still getting used to the idea," says Davies. "We are hoping that the events will open up new conversations."

The project is financed through a grant from the European Journalism Centre's Solutions Journalism Accelerator, crowdfunding and the rent of the co-working desks.

"We want to make journalism accessible, give people the opportunity to come and see what we are doing and how. Not being afraid of being out there. There are a lot of conversations about the lack of trust and news avoidance. We are trying to break those walls," concludes Davies.

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