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Community / Wishing you all the very best for the New Year: thoughts on another remarkable year

WITH THE start of the New Year just hours away it is time to look back at another successful and in many ways remarkable year, and to wish our many readers, supporters and advertisers a prosperous 2024.

As usual there were many sad and often tragic incidents it is our duty to report on, but there were also plenty of joyful community events during 2023, particularly the return of the Tall Ships Races and the Island Games in Guernsey.

And Lerwick Up Helly Aa – for the first time in its history – allowed women to participate in the fire festival’s torch-lit procession and burning of the galley.

During the last 12 months our small team, featuring two full-time reporters and contributors, published around 1,600 news stories, features and reviews. Most of the material we publish is original in content and often lengthy and thoroughly researched.

Perhaps the most important event for the team here at Shetland News was celebrating our 20th birthday with a reception at Mareel in April this year.

The last year has been remarkable for many other reasons, most of them not immediately obvious, but important for us nevertheless:

  • In January, we organised and hosted – for the first time – a well-attended public debate on climate change and Shetland’s net zero aspirations. One of the guest speakers was the chief executive of climate think tank Uplift, Tessa Khan: https://www.shetnews.co.uk/2023/01/26/plenty-to-talk-about-at-net-zero-discussion-event/
  • In June we became a founding member of the Scottish Beacon collaborative network (https://www.scottishbeacon.com) that brings together independent local newsrooms to give local news a stronger voice in Scotland;
  • In April this year Shetland News was accepted by Google as a Google Showcase contributor, a major achievement that was negotiated for us and a group of around 50 other small independent news publishers by the Public Interest News Gateway (PING). It means that Google pays us for some of our output;
  • And earlier in December we learned that Shetland News had been shortlisted in the website of the year category at this year’s Highlands and Islands Media Awards. Reporter Chris Cope meanwhile is in the running for the environment and sustainability writer of the year prize.

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To wrap up the year it is always worth having a look through the many stories that shaped 2023 and select a few news items and features that for many different reasons made our year:

There are many more on the website at https://www.shetnews.co.uk

We would like to say a big thank you to all our freelance contributors, to Freya, Sarah, Malcolm, Dave, Jen, Jane, Erin, Neil, Caroline, Davie, Ronnie, Austin, Jim, Carol and Alex, and to all those who drop us a line to tip us off or call us to point us in the right direction. Your help is invaluable and much appreciated.

Finally, a big thank you for the continued financial contribution from our now more than 600 supporters. Your support helps us reporting the news.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

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