WITH just one more week to go before the bells ring in the New Year, Shetland News is looking back at another busy and eventful year.
Our online news service, which will soon be celebrating its 15th anniversary since re-launching in 2003, has again recorded a healthy growth in readership figures.
By the end of the year we will have had well over 3.6 million visits to www.shetnews.co.uk from over 700,000 individual users who called up over 7.2 million pages, an increase in the region of 10 per cent across the board.
During 2017 we published in excess of 1,800 news stories, features, reviews, opinion pieces and letters.
They included live coverage from the general election and local council election counts, numerous emergency services call-outs throughout the year and a host of memorable stories such as the Hrossey returning to port after her windows smashed, a couple’s fury at fashion house Alexander McQueen and the exploits of a thrill seeker dressed as Spiderman.
We would like to say a big thank you to all our readers for the continued trust you put in our efforts to report local current affairs in a prompt and impartial manner.
2018 will see a number of exciting changes to the way we work.
Shetland News is the only small publishing company in Scotland to have been awarded a contract to employ a local democracy reporter as part of a new BBC scheme that aims to improve council reporting across the UK.
We are still in discussions with BBC Radio Shetland about how this will work on a day-to-day basis, but it should result in improved and more in-depth reporting of council affairs on both our website and the local BBC radio station.
We will also be launching a completely re-designed Shetland News website later in 2018, made possible thanks to the financial support we are receiving from our readers.
Back in summer 2016 we asked those who are using Shetland News on a regular basis to consider paying a small voluntarily monthly “subscription fee” to help us finance some of the development work needed and, long-term, make the project more sustainable.
We stepped up the campaign for more supporters earlier this month with a series of pop-up adverts.
Apologies if this was a little bit intrusive. We don’t like pop-up adverts either, but they helped get the message out, and producing the news is time consuming and also costly.
We now have more than 120 regular supporters plus many readers who have opted to make one-off donations, giving us another leg to stand on. Many thanks to all of you; we are grateful for your support.
And is not too late to sign up! To do so, please log on to https://supporters.shetnews.co.uk
Finally, we would like to wish all our readers, advertisers and contributors a very happy Christmas and a prosperous 2018. We hope you enjoy our festive season quiz, which gives you the chance to look at some old maps of Shetland.
The Shetland News team