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I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help

Pledge “citizenleeds”

"I will commit £23.32 per month to a citizen-run news service for Leeds that offers quality writing with a determinedly local focus but only if 35 other local people will do the same."

— Matt Edgar

Deadline to sign up by: 31st May 2011
14 people signed up, 21 more were needed

Country: United Kingdom
Place: Leeds, Leeds (near Kirkstall, Beeston Hill, Stanningley) (view map)

More details
Think about this carefully because it's quite a commitment.

The Guardian Local pilot including the successful will soon be winding down. You can read the announcement here:

It currently costs £23.32 per month to subscribe to the print edition of the (London-based) Guardian.

If you subscribe to the Guardian (or indeed any other daily paper) in Leeds would you consider switching that spend to a citizen-run news service that offers (in the words of one of the commenters on the wind-down announcement) "quality writing with a determinedly local focus"?

If 36 of us pool our current spending on daily papers we'll have £10,000 to get the ball rolling.

This pledge is now closed, as its deadline has passed.

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Comments on this pledge

  • Excellent idea - best of luck. Maybe groups of like-minded people could also combine to pay the £23.32, using one of them as the 'name', if that's within the rules.
    John Baron has done exceptional work on Leeds Local, backed all the way by Sarah Hartley, and I am sure that the Guardian would be pleased to find a way to keep things going (I don't agree with this decision but like a lot of the commentors, I well understand the G's financial position.) All this support can only help so please keep it coming.
  • Thanks Martin, It's an honour to have you sign the pledge, and the idea of groups joining together is a good one.

    I've also written up some thoughts on my motivation for this pledge on my blog at

  • Being a right tight-arse (and in order to maintain my marriage) I can't afford the monthly £22. Can I pledge £50 or maybe a fiver a month?

    Mick McCann, 10 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Thanks for your support, Mick. Really appreciated! I'm sure other people will be in the same position (in what they can afford, I mean, not the marriage :)

    To activate the pledge we need to find 25 more people who can subscribe the full amount. Quite likely they're already paying for a daily newspaper so it's a case of switching existing spending, not finding cash from elsewhere. If you know some of those people please point them this way.

    Others who want to show commitment like Mick can leave comments here. If a few of you are in the same position you could club together to sign the pledge as a group.

  • We’re now over a third of the way towards our target of 36 people to support a citizen-run news service for Leeds. A big thank you to all the signers so far, and to everyone who is helping spread the word. Please tell your friends and neighbours; blog about it; keep up the pressure on the #SaveGdnLeeds Twitter hashtag and anywhere else where potential subscribers can be found.

    The pledge has attracted interest in the media, with a number of bloggers and trade publications writing about the Guardian’s announcement and Leeds’ response to it...
    * From Phil Gyford:
    * From Ed Oldfield on the Media Briefing:
    * From Jon Slattery:
    * From Rob Greenland:

    All this attention is making a difference. Behind the scenes people are working to find a way forward after the end of Guardian Leeds. So if you have ideas or expectations please add them as comments on the Pledgebank page.

    You may also be interested in WePublish, which takes place in Leeds this Wednesday, May 11, 2011, at 6pm. WePublish is billed as "a rallying call for all those active in journalism, blogging and publishing to come together and share ideas, experiences and best practice in how we create and deliver great new on and offline editorial and communication experiences." There will be a panel discussion including Guardian Local editor Sarah Hartley, who was responsible along with beatblogger John Baron for creating the Guardian Leeds blog. You can find out more and sign up to attend at

    Thank you!
  • In my work as a director of a local visual arts organisation I've got nothing but respect for the work John and Sarah have done in delivering an amazing resource to Leeds. To talk crudely, in terms of visitors, The Guardian Leeds regularly generates more visitors to our site than all the other supporting blogs combined - visitors we are very grateful to receive. But additionally they provide a breadth of readership we could never achieve through other channels. As a not-for-profit organisation we can't financially support this campaign, but we truly support it's objectives and aims.
  • Leeds resident and former journalist Megan Waugh has organised a public discussion on alternative media in the city. The meeting takes place at 6.30pm on Wednesday 25 May at Old Broadcasting House, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds. For more information, please see or email
  • Hope to make the do next Wednesday. Meanwhile people may be interested to know that John and Sarah are joining (part-time) the Northerner Blog on the Guardian website which our little band up here, assisted by some excellent colleagues in London, is trying to beef up and expand - and ideas on that are most welcome. It's at and should soon have an even more alluring heading with John and Sarah's beaming mugshots alongside Helen's and mine. Good luck with the pledges meanwhile. M
  • So today is the last day of Guardian Leeds, and this pledge gets a mention in John Baron's characteristically gracious and professional signing-off post:

    Leeds won't let quality local news slip away without a fuss. There have been two meetings and numerous discussions about what happens next. You can find out more on two new blogs:

    And in terms of this pledge, an amazing 14 people have said they'll commit the price of a Guardian subscription to a citizen-run alternative for the city. For the pledge to succeed in its current form we need to sign up 21 more people in the next four days. Reader, I hope you'll be one of them.
  • My company is willing to offer free web hosting for the organisers of this pledge. Please get in touch.
This pledge is closed for new comments.

Current signatories (Green text = they've done it)

Matt Edgar, the Pledge Creator, joined by:

  • Exploring Leeds
  • Lee Hicken
  • Mike Wallis
  • Karyn Fleeting
  • Penny Coles
  • Martin Wainwright
  • Neil Owen
  • Gary Partington
  • Danny Wright
  • Paul Cave
  • Imran Ali
  • sarah hartley
  • Rob Greenland
  • Stuart Long

View signup rate graph