About

Upper Calder Valley Plain Speaker  is a streetwise, hyperlocal online news magazine that honours the area’s rich tradition of dissent by questioning authority – and authorities, as we report with a focus on environmental, economic and social justice issues.

It’s always in beta – there’s no blueprint for hyper-local online news, so we’re making it up as we go along, in dialogue with the public. We have been awarded a grant from the Coop Community Fund (many thanks) to upgrade the website, so work will start on this soon.

Upper Calder Valley Plain Speaker appreciates recent support from Coops UK and the Carnegie Trust UK, through their Make Your Local News Work scheme.

Plain Speaker is edited by Jenny Shepherd, who is also the main contributor. Jenny is a member of the National Union of Journalists and follows the NUJ code of conduct.

Got an idea for a story you’d like to write? An event you’d like to publicise? A call to action? News you’d like Plain Speaker to report on? Comments? Email changingmorethanlightbulbs@gmail.com or use the Contact form.

Corrections & clarifications

We will correct and clarify  factual errors or failure to keep to the NUJ code of conduct.

Plain Speaker articles aim to:

  • be factually correct
  • allow the subjects of any story the opportunity to comment and give their side of the story
  • avoid claims of wrong-doing – that’s for the law to decide, not writers.

How did Plain Speaker start and who makes it happen?

With funding from an UnLtd Millenium Award, Plain Speaker started in October 2011, under the name Energy Royd and at the time focussing on renewable energy, energy conservation and climate change issues in the Hebden Royd parish council area.

In July 2012,  the website received Media And Digital Enterprise (MADE) Start Up support from the School of Journalism, Media and Communication at the University of Central Lancashire.

Alan McDonald, web guru and writer from Todmorden, is an administrator for this website. Along with journalist Mark Metcalf, he and Jenny form the UCV Plain Speaker Steering Group.