Following the example of our mayor, Andi Rivett I felt that as editor I should provide a monthly update about what’s happening at Rye News.
Now that I have found my feet, I’m able to report that various changes have been or will soon be implemented and, as a team, we are all continually striving to make Rye News even better.
After nearly eight years, former Rye News editor John Minter has now retired as a regular contributor and is spending his well-earned retirement finishing off his boat renovation. John has been a stalwart and a loyal member of the team, never afraid to pin his colours to the mast and we thank him for his service and wish him well as he takes to the waves (eventually!).
Michael Montagu has recently joined us and now writes regularly for us on a variety of interesting subjects and we would also like to welcome on board two new contributors namely Susan Desrosiers and Kim Zanes, who will add another dimension – you will be hearing more from them shortly.
Peter Connock has been appointed company secretary and joins the board of directors who currently include Dennis Leeds-George, Christopher Strangeways, Chris Lawson, Natasha Robinson, Gill Roder, Susan Benn and myself. We now hold regular board meetings and are working towards finalising a business plan to ensure the future and sustainability of Rye News.
One of the recent initiatives was to update our comments policy which has had a positive effect on comments received and has made clear the revised boundaries which were beginning to be abused.
Increasing our profile has been another objective: it’s surprising how many people have never heard of Rye News! You will have noticed our distinctive window stickers in shops and businesses in town which include a QR code which links you to our website. We would appreciate further support in displaying these (where possible) so please let us know if we can give you a free self-adhesive window sticker. They are easily removed if you need to re-position them.
We have introduced a business section and, in addition, we have agreed that the heading Living will be replaced by Community which we feel encompasses a wider selection of articles and which will make navigating our website a little easier. It has also allowed us to keep the news section purely for actual news stories. For articles which fall somewhere between news, living and the arts, they will now feature under the community heading.
Our editorial team meet on a bi-weekly basis, courtesy of the Mermaid Inn and we are very grateful to Judith and Martin Blincow for hosting us there. In addition, Rye News has also been looking for an office in town where our readers can ‘pop in’ and see us but as you know, rents are high in Rye and suitable premises are in extremely short supply but we are in the process of negotiating a solution and I hope to be able to make an announcement in the next editor’s update.
Writing articles about anything sport-related has always been a challenge. Had it not been for the cricket articles submitted by Martin Blincow on a regular basis we would have had very little to write about. But, after a ‘bit of a push’, we have had two or three sport stories each week for the past few weeks so we are winning the battle. We need sports clubs and societies to tell us what they are doing, send us match reports and landscape-shaped photographs. We will do something about it but we haven’t got the resources (yet) to send a reporter to cover the game so until then I’m afraid it’s down to you to do the leg work.
We are now members of, and working more closely with, the Rye Chamber of Commerce who promote businesses and events and publicise campaigns and initiatives. Our function, and strength, is communication. In bringing businesses together by consolidating and sharing resources, we hope to be more effective, help make a difference and promote positive change.
We are always looking for ways to improve Rye News but we still have gaps in the system. We need a regular sports writer, we also need someone to take over managing advertising space at Rye News as we need income to survive. Do you fancy writing a regular baking / cookery column for us?
If you have something to offer please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and if you have any thoughts or suggestions on how we can continue to improve then please let me know, we do listen and your views are important.
Finally, on behalf of all the team here I would like to thank you, our readers and all those who subscribe or donate to Rye News. Your generosity is very much appreciated and vital to ensuring our existence. It’s your community newspaper, thank you everyone for your continued support.
Nick Forman, editor, Rye News
Image Credits: Kt bruce .