THE TEAM behind Shetland News is appealing to its many readers to show their support for the popular online news service.
Shetland News is today (Monday) launching an ambitious Become a Supporter scheme as part of its strategy to further improve the quality of its local news coverage.
The website, which until now has been entirely financed through local advertising, is asking its readers to consider making a small regular voluntary contribution towards the running cost of www.shetnews.co.uk
Partner in the business, Hans J Marter, said the initiative had become necessary following some drastic cuts in public sector advertising.
“In many ways a scheme such as this has been overdue for some time. Journalism that is more than just rewriting press releases is time-consuming and costs a lot of money,” he said.
“We have many thousands of readers every day, and all we are asking is that those who use the website regularly consider donating a small amount on a monthly basis, similar to paying their TV licence fee or buying a newspaper; the only difference is that this scheme is entirely voluntary.”
There is also the option of making one-off donations.
News editor Neil Riddell added that everybody was conscious that such an approach was largely untested, but the team is hopeful that the community will rally behind it.
“Shetland News has always strived to keep its overheads to an absolute minimum,” he said, “but generating additional revenue would enable us to bolster our freelance budget for writers, photographers and filmmakers to boost the site’s content.”
Marter added: “This is an attempt to open up a second income stream that, if successful, could help us make Shetland News even better.”
The company’s plans include:
- Completely redesigning www.shetnews.co.uk over the next two years;
- Developing and launching a Shetland News app;
- Growing the number of journalists working at Shetland News;
- Increasing community involvement.
Anyone interested in signing up as a supporter can do so at https://supporters.shetnews.co.uk