Hyp Samara Jayne Martin Credit
HYP - Hastings Youth Press
Hyp Samara Jayne Martin Credit
Hastings Youth Press . 2023 . Hastings, East Sussex © Samara Jayne Martin
Hyp Samara Jayne Martin Credit
Hastings Youth Press . 2023 . Hastings, East Sussex © Samara Jayne Martin
Frustrated at the quality of local press coverage, in January 2014 a group of local residents in Hastings, East Sussex took matters into their own hands and created a community-run newspaper. The Hastings Independent is a free newspaper and the team behind it aim to give a voice to the residents of Hastings, to support a strong sense of community and to provide an impartial platform for community focused information and debate.

In 2023 the Hastings Independent Press partnered with The Magnum Photos Foundation and the Peter Marlow Foundation to deliver a free multimedia journalism training programme to a group of local young people from backgrounds underrepresented in the media.

Journalism as a profession has not been representative of our wider society. Only 20% of journalists in the UK identify as being from working class backgrounds, and only 0.2% are Black. Lowering barriers to participation and creating greater equity in regards to who’s perspectives we see can not only be life changing for individuals, but for society.

We actively encouraged people from working class backgrounds, people from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds, people with experience of exclusion, incarceration, formerly looked after children, young parents or carers, differently abled people, refugees and migrants and those from the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller and LGBTQI+ communities to apply.

The group worked with Shannon Ghannam from the Peter Marlow Foundation and Magnum Photos Foundation, Ben Bruges, Anselm Ebulue, the HIP team and industry guests to create a special edition of the newspaper and accompanying exhibition HYP - Hastings Youth Press to represent their experience of life in Hastings, and issues important to them, through multimedia journalism.

Participant Samara Jayne Martin said this about the experience, “The project provided me with a creative and intellectual space where I felt genuinely valued and respected. It played a pivotal role in my journey of self-discovery, particularly in exploring my neurodiversity. It encouraged me to delve deeper into understanding my own cognitive processes, strengths, and challenges. This exploration has led to greater self-acceptance, as I have come to recognise that my neurodiversity is not a limitation but rather a unique facet of who I am. It has empowered me to embrace my neurodiversity as a valuable asset that contributes to my ability to excel in various aspects of life. As a result of these transformative experiences, I now have a renewed hope for the future. I am more confident in my abilities and more optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead. The project has shown me that I am capable of achieving much more than I had previously believed, opening doors to a future filled with exciting possibilities.”

You can see the pdf of the newspaper and the work of the participants here and watch a film about the project here.

Partners and supporters include: Eggtooth Hastings, Hastings Commons, Xtrax Young People’s Centre, The Refugee Buddy Project, Hastings Radio and Stella Dore.

Funded by the East Sussex County Council Community Wellbeing Fund, Peter Marlow Foundation and our community through our crowdfunding campaign!

With special thanks to Fujifilm UK.

Hyp Shannon Ghannam Credit
Hastings Youth Press . 2023 . Hastings, East Sussex © Shannon Ghannam
Hyp Samara Jayne Martin Credit Copy
Hastings Youth Press . 2023 . Hastings, East Sussex © Samara Jayne Martin