View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
January 2, 2020updated 30 Sep 2022 8:45am

Local news website apes Guardian with call for reader donations on tenth anniversary

By Freddy Mayhew

A local news website has taken a leaf out of the Guardian’s book and is appealing to readers for donations as it marks ten years online.

Brighton and Hove News is free to read, supporting itself with advertising, sponsored content and selling stories to other publishers.

“As yet, though, all this is not enough,” said editor Frank Le Duc.

Le Duc, who helped launch the News in 2009, said staff supplemented their incomes with a “modest amount” of freelance work but wanted to earn enough to give the website their full attention.

To that end it has asked for support directly from readers, much like the Guardian whose former owner and editor Charles Scott went to school in Brighton and Hove.

The News lists six editorial staff on its website, three of whom are full-time, including a BBC-funded local democracy reporter.

Le Duc said the news website breaks even “at the cost of not paying ourselves as much as we would like”.

Content from our partners
MHP Group's 30 To Watch awards for young journalists open for entries
How PA Media is helping newspapers make the digital transition
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it

He added: “Some describe websites like ours as “hyperlocal”. The term, to me, seems to diminish what we do. In covering a city of almost 300,000 people, we do the things that were traditionally done by a local newspaper.

“We report from the courts, the council chamber and the health trusts. We cover crime, education and transport. We attend inquests, planning inquiries and all manner of other events, including local and general election hustings and counts.

“For 10 years we have covered our local football team, Brighton and Hove Albion, now playing in the Premier League. And we probably publish more previews and reviews of the arts – gigs, concerts and stage shows – than any of our rivals.

“We also provide a platform for comment and a forum for debate. We try to report and reflect and chronicle what is important in and to our community.

“Some of it matters most to a small section of that community. Some of it has been headline news not just in Brighton but around the world. But predominantly our journalism is about the public interest.”

The Guardian announced earlier this year that it had broken even after a three-year strategy to turn its finances around.

Donations can be made directly to Brighton and Hove News through its website.

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network