Who runs this website?
The website is owned and operated by Reigate.UK Online Limited. The editor is me, David Grantham, a Reigate resident.
What is reigate.uk?
The website is a ‘hyperlocal’, offering community news and information for Reigate and surrounding areas.
I set the site up in 2014 because I thought there was a gap for a hyperlocal, similar to ones I’d enjoyed reading when I lived elsewhere. There are plenty of Facebook groups covering Reigate, but rather fewer people going along to council meetings or picking up the phone to ask organisations what’s going on. In short, I thought there was probably a space for some community journalism.
There are of course established local newspapers but these cover a wider area, and at least when I set the site up their online and mobile offering wasn’t brilliant.
As well as running the site, I write most of the articles. Work on reigate.uk comes after other priorities of family, friends and a day job. Much of the writing is done on my commute to and from London, although obviously there’s research and meetings to attend which require time at evenings and weekends.
Reigate.uk also participates in the BBC-funded Local Democracy Reporter (LDR) scheme, so the site benefits from some material being written by an outside journalist. Stories from the LDR are clearly identified as such.
How is reigate.uk funded?
I work for free on the site and put money into the company to fund web hosting and other costs.
Occasionally the site has managed to attract advertising as originally intended, but it’s not an easy sell given the existence of Facebook where firms can put up an ad for a few pounds or even post for free into local groups. (Even though an ad on reigate.uk arguably stands out much better than yet another post on social media.)
Other hyperlocals around the UK have had more success with ad sales, but they are larger and perhaps with more time to make a concerted sales effort.
(As for Google ads, when tried, that brought in only pennies per day and cluttered the place up.)
So the site will at some point also have some sort of soft subscription facility – ‘soft’ meaning there’s unlikely to be a hard paywall, but the chance to pay, say, the equivalent of a coffee a month for some extra benefits like a weekly e-mail round-up and guaranteed listing of events. Some readers have asked how they can support the site (usually after one of the site’s better articles), and a soft subscription model might suit that.
The subscription model also has one advantage over advertising: it’s less about clicks and more about reader value.
Whatever the source, money from advertising and subscribers will never take away from editorial independence. In the past the site has run some promotional (paid) features but very clearly marked as such.
What about complaints and standards?
Like a growing number of hyperlocals around the UK, the site is regulated by Impress, a press regulator. This means the site follows Impress’s code of practice, and there’s an independent complaints process if needed. More information is on the corrections and complaints page (link below).
I hate/love the site. Where can I give feedback?
Feedback on the site, positive or negative, is always much appreciated. E-mail is below.