While the big newspaper companies are barely keeping their print products afloat, one new fish and chip wrapper will be launching in a few weeks.

Neighbourhood has been more than a year in the making, and it will be delivered free to 75,000 homes in inner-city suburbs in Sydney.

Publisher Jonathan Samway told Crikey the monthly paper would fill a gap in the market for 25- to 45-year-olds living in inner Sydney with university educations and generally working in creative industries.

“It’s sort of the cultural heartland of the city. We’ve targeted a very specific part of the population,” he said. “It’s a group of people that have gone back to things that are crafted, from brewed beers to locally roasted coffee.”

He says that audience have got to the point of digital saturation and are keen to get their hands on a high-quality newspaper. 

Journalist Mark Mordue is Neighbourhood‘s full-time editor, and he will use contributors for essay-style written content, including news, arts, reviews and opinion. Other creative work will come from staff at Samway’s content and marketing business, Moth Projects.

For Samway, success for the venture would be two-fold. First, he wants it to be involved in the community. Second, he wants to see it expand, both to other Australian capital cities and overseas.

“We want to get very involved with the community and become a touchstone,” Samway said.

Samway said the paper would only take about 20% advertising, which he hoped would boost advertisers’ interest. The first edition will be distributed in the second week of May. — Emily Watkins

Peter Fray

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