The fragility of an unfunded independent press is illustrated by the lockdown. Nailed is entirely volunteer-run, and minimally funded by a handful of subscriptions and donations. There’s no money for someone to run it, and usually it needs to be run full time to do Belper justice. Although Nailed is filled by dozens of people, Nailed is run by just one person, collating submissions, assigning stories which are not time sensitive, and managing every aspect of its existence. Normally this is a donation of time outside of work, with Nailed regularly taking up time that should be work.
Then came coronavirus, and lockdown.
The closure of businesses, despite its absolute necessity, ended my income. Everywhere I worked for is closed, and I’m not an “employee”. I don’t get 80%. If I can eventually, as a freelance editor and writer with no predictable income levels, get any support from the government, it won’t happen until June. Bills don’t wait, and neither does eating. So I have had to put my energy into creating a brand new source of income, whilst also trying to be of help to the NHS, because lives are more important than most other considerations.
On top of which I had to deal with caring for a sick (not Covid) family and household member, whilst being limited by the fact that I have asthma and coronavirus would almost certainly kill me.
And of course we are all dealing with change, and a mental and emotional overload of processing all this new information.
In the crisis within a crisis, the thing which had to take the back burner is Nailed, so that I could eat, feed my family, keep the lights on, and afford deliveries. This is still precarious.
There’s nothing new to tell you on coronavirus itself, unless we repeat the daily briefing and the hospital death tolls. We stay treading water inside our houses, dealing with it all however we are individually aimed, by personality, belief, and flaw.
I’d like to put out news of the things that are happening in reaction to the virus and lockdown – The Belper Moo, keyworker clapping, those who help others, virtual festivals, online music gigs, and anything that we would normally cover physical events for. But I won’t have time to write them as I work to financially survive this.
Nobody who would normally write for us is doing so at the moment, besides 4 articles. So I would like to invite those who usually write for us, those who have written for us before, those we usually cover, and those who have the time to give it a go, to write. Be part of keeping Nailed going. A lot of people have the extra time, with guaranteed wages for suspended jobs.
How to write for Nailed:
1) Pick a couple of topics – things you’ve seen on social media, or noticed in the community
2) Phone 07881 284 805 to get the topic approved, and have it assigned to you
3) Communicate with me over any problems you have. You have full editorial support.
4) Write your article- check all facts, have permission from people referenced, and for photographs/videos used.
It would also be lovely to feature people’s art and creative writing.
If you can help me to tell the world what Belper is doing (now that everyone is paying attention to our Mooing), I promise to make the time to fill Nailed up with all the wonderful things you are up to.
Clare Washbrook, Editor-in-Chief