Award-winning hyperlocal launches their first print edition

By Matt Abbott | 4th Dec 2018

Jodie Nesling and Kathy Bailes

An award-winning hyperlocal website owner who left her job of 13 years with Reach plc (then Trinity Mirror) to found her own hyperlocal has now launched a newspaper.

Kathy Bailes, from the Isle of Thanet News website, and reporter Jodie Nesling are now the co-owners of a free, monthly edition of The Isle of Thanet News.

The paper includes news features, leisure, sport, schools and more. The website will continue to deliver breaking news and a wide range of articles covering everything from council meetings to crime, school news, leisure and sport.

The Isle of Thanet News has been online since March 2017 and has a continually growing audience. To date the site has received 6.5m views with a daily average of around 12,000 page views. It is sustainable through local advertising.

In 2017, Kathy won the Kent Digital Journalist of the Year award at the annual Kent Press & Broadcast Awards.. In 2018, the website scooped the top prize at the same awards winning the Kent News Website of the Year Award.

Kathy said: “We are both really excited to be launching our first print edition. We realise it could be seen as going against today’s trend but feel there is a market for a truly local printed paper which combines news features with leisure, sports and more. The first deliveries had to be restocked by the evening and the feedback so far has been great.”

She added: “We had two really impressive designers working on the pages and have had an enormous amount of support from readers, advertisers and contributors.”

Kathy is a former editor of the Isle of Thanet Gazette, published by Reach. Jodie was also a former reporter with the Gazette before going freelance and working with the Kent Messenger and on projects including the annual Power of Women festival in Thanet.

The new print edition has a first run of 6,000 with plans to take that to 10,000 by February. It is being distributed from dozens of Thanet venues, including everywhere from supermarkets to micropubs.

Find the website at theisleofthanetnews.com

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