Thursday, February 22 2024

About Rye News

We are proud to say that Rye News is now approaching it’s eighth year being run entirely by volunteers.  In that time we have had four editors and an ongoing team of local people who have helped us develop into what we hope locals will agree is a valuable resource.  We have listened to your comments and studied the survey results and as a result have now launched a faster, more sustainable site which includes additional features and resources.

We are always looking for volunteers with relevant skills to join our team.  Email

If you would like to donate to help us with costs, or sponsor Rye News, see Sponsor for further information on how you can do that.  Your support will be much appreciated.

How it all began in 2014

In 2014 conversations among ourselves, among friends and among Rye residents: the desire for a more relevant local newspaper, a community newspaper. So a small group of us got together to see if anything could be done by volunteers in a not for profit enterprise.

We explored first the possibility of a printed broadsheet and this remains our long-term ambition. But we realised on cost grounds that the only practical option is to produce an online version first. This will help us build the necessary skills and the advertising revenue that we need for hard copy production.

We set about getting grants and found early support from the Hastings Trust and the Police PPF. We applied to the Big Lottery and won a major award enabling us to engage a professional web designer. Six months of hard work later we’ve arrived at where we are today. We have defined our objectives:

We will act as a platform for voluntary organisations. We will publicise their work as they so often struggle to gain support. We will provide an accessible calendar of events to permit them to promote their activities. Better publicity will help them to be more financially viable and encourage new volunteers to come forward

We will be a forum for comment, readers’ views, opinions, and discussion on local issues. We will feature health, education, living, and the natural environment. Rye’s Neighbourhood Plan for example is an obvious candidate here. We will aim to reach out to the younger generation and make use of their talents.

We will showcase Rye and the villages around us. To bring visitors to the town for commerce and entertainment. Local businesses will be promoted through advertising or features on new local enterprise. Festivals and artistic events will benefit greatly from a highly accessible central news medium.

Information sharing is beneficial to the life of any community – it acts as a social glue, raising social awareness. A lively source of communication is an indicator of a vibrant community and these benefits are measurable – not just statistically in terms of readership but in improved living standards, and in financial benefits for local residents.

Our paper will provide an opportunity for learning new skills. For example, we have already been in touch with Rye College and the Rye Studio School, exploring possibilities for working with and providing training for students. We will work with the whole community, not forgetting the needs of the older generation. I’m one of them myself – and I’m listening to me in doing this.

Above all, perhaps, a community newspaper helps build a sense of ownership of place which impacts in all sorts of ways from civic pride and sense of identity to less litter-dropping and petty vandalism. A truly local paper helps create “a belonging community”.

So back to earth with presenting the product. I would like to pay tribute to all members of the team who have helped us get us this far, particularly to Tony Nunn who has done really sterling work, bringing his journalistic experience to bear in drawing up the specification for our website.

After the presentation, we’ll talk about the organisation of online news gathering and you’ll have the opportunity to say how you can help us launch Rye News. Indeed we do need your help! We’re looking for people willing to act as contributors, reporters, photographers, category managers and sub-editors of a living newspaper.

But now let me introduce our web designer Mark McGee. Mark is a web analytics and digital marketing consultant based in Ashford, Kent. His company, InfoJuice, works with small businesses and start-ups to help them get the most out of their digital marketing activities. He is a professional trainer and works with both Manchester Metropolitan and Canterbury Christ Church University where he is an Associate Lecturer on digital marketing.

When Mark has completed his demonstration I’ll invite you to meet our team and to put your questions to them, and tell them what interests you in the project. Let’s see how your skills and interests can match what we need for our new local paper. As the posters and banners proclaim: HELP US LAUNCH RYE NEWS

Kenneth Bird
Chairman Rye News Project
March 22 2014

* This speech is taken from the launch address at the Milligan Theatre, Rye College.

Meet the Team

Editorial Team

Kenneth Bird

Dennis Leeds-George

Christopher Strangeways
Director, comments moderator

Nick Forman
Editor, Director

KT Bruce
Photographer & correspondent

Susan Benn

Heidi Foster

Charlie Harkness

Mag Ivatts

Juliet Duff
Deputy Editor

Gillian Roder
Sub-Editor and correspondent

Dee Alsey
Ads and services

Join our Team

We are always looking for volunteers with relevant experience such as journalism, editing, photography, advertising, please contact us at

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