REGGAE fans craving a fix of news and features from their local area finally have their prayers answered with free quarterly magazine The Dub.

The publication hit the shelves in East Oxford and Blackbird Leys and features contributions by poets and artists from across Oxford.

Creator Natty Mark Samuels, 51, came up with the idea while leafing through publications on sale in Cowley Road.

He said: "It compelled me to think that there's not really anything for 'black music' in particular, especially as my passion is reggae.

"It's all about that self-help and empowerment. If the authorities or the powers that be aren't providing it, that's what we have to do for ourselves."

Mr Samuels, from Donnington Bridge, set up The African School – a series of monthly classes in the Town Hall on African cultural studies – in 2009. In the past he has also written a book on the life of Apache leader Geronimo and a play about the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

It is hoped The Dub, the first magazine to focus on the Roots Reggae subgenre in the Thames Valley, will rise to the status of the more general Nightshift magazine.

Mr Samuels said: "Nightshift is the most well-known magazine for music makers in Oxford and Oxfordshire.

"They are the real vehicle for information about rock and various other genres, but I want this to be the same for Roots Reggae."

Roots Reggae has its origins in Jamaica and West Africa in the 1960s and often deals with the day-to-day lives of writers and the spiritual side of Rastafari culture.

The first issue of The Dub was printed at Parchment in Crescent Road and 150 copies were distributed in shops last week along the Cowley Road, and in Blackbird Leys Community Centre, Blackbird Leys Library and the new Communi-Tea cafe in the Church of the Holy Family.

It includes contributions from about 10 Oxford residents and features Leys artists such as Gary Constant, Danny Dread and King Lloyd.