New editor signs on

Chris Lawson

Rye News has a new editor. His name is Chris Lawson and he has been writing for us for the last couple of years as a member of the team.

During a Fleet Street career spanning over 30 years and encompassing roles as photographer, picture editor and journalist, Chris has produced pictures and stories for both print and digital media.

From the “gutter press” to the best of its kind, the Financial Times, he’s covered some of the most memorable moments in recent history – from royal weddings, sports and celebrities to the fall of the Berlin Wall and New York’s twin towers. And from Barings Bank, Lehman Brothers and global financial crises to the rise of Silicon Valley, social media and all things app.

After 16 years at the Financial Times, Chris now follows his heart – writing and taking pictures wherever he finds a compelling story. A member of the International Travel Writers Alliance, he is a freelance writer and photographer specialising in travel, news and features.

He travels as much as possible and admits to a love of live country music and the wide-open spaces of those forgotten US flyover states where, as country singer Ned LeDoux waxes lyrically: “Grain stores mark the country skyline.” Along the way he’s also been a successful jockey and trainer of point-to-point racehorses. And has all the aches, pains, lumps and bumps to prove it.

Chris takes over as editor on July 1 from Charlie Harkness to whom we are immensely grateful for having steered the ship before and during the pandemic. He gave us the benefit of his professional skills acquired in a life of journalism and now he takes his latest retirement with honours.

At the launch of Rye News: Charles Harkness, Jane Taylor, KT Bruce, Kenneth Bird and Tony Nunn

Chris Lawson is our fourth and fifth editor. First was Tony Nunn who got Rye News off to a flying start in 2014; he was succeeded by Charlie Harkness and then by John Minter in 2016, before handing back over to Charlie in 2020 for a second term. We are now in our eighth year of publishing, with a strong team of volunteers and and over 350 weekly issues to our name. One of our messages remains true today: “This is your community online newspaper – come and join us.”

Image Credits: Libby Lawson .


  1. I visited Rye 2 years ago over New Years for 3 days. I have not missed reading the weekly Rye News since. A great community news outlet, a model for for others.

  2. Great source of local news and information. My wife and I have been visiting and staying in Rye on and off for the last 25 years. The newspaper keeps us abreast of the life that we are missing in Rye. Thank you to the volunteers and everyone on your staff that contributes to the paper. Every Friday we look forward to catching up on the news from the town.

  3. We have been blessed with award winning journalists, such as Charlie Harkness. Looking forward to seeing journalistic offerings of the same excellent calibre going forward. Good luck to Chris Lawson

  4. As a regular contributor to Rye News I have very much appreciated the confident guidance of Charlie Harkness. He has been especially helpful and supportive when there has been contention to deal with. Charlie’s over riding interest has always been to ensure that published news is always first and foremost in the interests of our readers. I’ve learned such a lot from him, which I will always appreciate. Thank you so much Charlie.


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