Local news and information

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Back in the fifties and sixties the local weekly paper was “Sussex Express & County Herald” the daily paper with some local news was the “Evening Argus” which you purchased from the newsagent. “Rye and District Fixtures” was first printed in 1935 and provided local information for free and was delivered to the houses in Rye or could be found in newsagents and shops.

First published in November 1965 was a monthly community magazine “Rye’s Own” edited and produced by Jim Hollands. “Rye’s Own” featured historic events that happened in Rye as well covering current events.

In the following years there have been other local publications that have been available, some for a number of years and others only lasted a few months. This includes a weekly free newspaper “Rye, Battle & District Citizen” published by 1066 Newspapers Ltd. The “Rye Gazette” started in 1982, produced and edited by Mary Owen also appeared weekly. It contained items of local and topical interest. “Hastings and Rother Sports & Leisure Monthly” was published and edited by Pat Stewart. The “Martian News & Advertiser” had news and views for Rye, Romney Marsh and surrounding areas, published and edited by Dave Homewood, and another was the “Friday Ad” paper which this year has moved from print to digital. David Wimble produced “Rye & Winchelsea Looker” a fortnightly newspaper, a spin off from the “Romney Marsh Looker”. These are examples of the printed paper and magazines that were available in the past.

Present news and information

At present the local newspapers and magazines in print are “Rye’s Own” and “Rye Fixtures”, two well established publications still going strong. The weekly “Hasting and Rye Observer” which has increasingly less local news and information is purchased from newsagents. The weekly “Wealden Advertiser” based in Hawkhurst was established in 1980, is distributed in Rye. “What’s On” based in Battle has been established for 22 years and is a monthly lifestyle magazine. The monthly “Village Directory for Tenterden & Rye” is still available, as is the yearly “Weald Of Kent, Rye & Winchelsea Directory”, both delivered by Royal Mail. The “Rye & Winchelsea Community Ad Magazine” was recently relaunched and another new magazine is “Ryezine” which about local people of Rye.

Traditionally, print newspapers and magazines have been funded by advertisements and often a cover price. Times however are changing, and with increasing production costs and income reducing from advertising – with more and more businesses turning to social media and other promotional means – survival of the print newspaper and magazine had become more and more difficult. Some, such as Fixtures, have managed it while others have been less fortunate.

Today, the way ahead is largely seen to be digital and “Rye News” was the first local news outlet to take advantage of this with a purely internet-based publication. Celebrating its eighth birthday this February it was funded originally with the aid of grants and now by a mixture of advertising and donations from regular readers and can achieve up to 80,000 views a month.

The internet has also provided many different ways of accessing news and information. There are local specialist websites as well as chat rooms, forums covering every subject under the sun, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, various apps (there is now a Rye App available) and so on. The list of social media is almost endless.

For those publications not online, one way forward is to form an association with those who are. A good example of this is Fixtures which each month carries a number of pages that have featured in Rye News. Maybe this is the way forward, time will tell. But one thing is certain, the way we access our news in the 21st century will continue to evolve and change.

Rye News itself is run by a small team of volunteers, a mix of professional journalists and others keen to learn the art. We are continually looking to improve our weekly publication and welcome any feedback from readers so we can make our content even better.

Image Credits: Dennis Leeds George .

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1 COMMENT

  1. I am able to take advantage of and regularly use online publications, but I regret the loss of print newspapers and magazines. To be honest, I find it much easier to look for items in a newspaper than in, for example, Rye News. Whilst I am a regular reader, I usually go first to the Recent Comments column and work back from there. Other than for the most recent stories on the front page, it’s usually a case of “out of sight, out of mind” although the search function sometimes comes to my rescue. It’s a problem common to many similar online publications.

    In days gone by the arrival of the Rye Fixtures was keenly awaited each month. It was essential for checking on bus and train times, what was showing at the Regent cinema that month (when the cinema management hadn’t forgotten to get the details to the publisher on time!) and myriad other useful information. I am pleased to hear that it is still going strong.

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