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You're reading the Kent News Website of the Year
We're officially award winners!
A quick extra edition from us today, and if you follow us on social media you can probably guess why.
Local Authority has been named Kent News Website of the Year at the Kent Press and Broadcast Awards.
That’s hardly a sentence I expected to be writing when I launched Local Authority back in 2021 and to be honest, not one I was expecting to write even last week.
When our nomination for the award was announced last month, it was an honour to be recognised for our attempts to make local news for Medway more accessible, but we didn’t think we were serious contenders for the award. Not up against the local behemoths like KentOnline and ITV Meridian for sure.
So when we were announced as the winner at the awards ceremony on Friday, it was something of a shock. Here’s the moment as it happened:
We’re incredibly grateful to the judges for recognising that we’re trying to do local news differently. We’ve been doing this thing in one form or another for many years now, but it’s only the second year for Local Authority in its current form, and it’s validating to know that we’re doing something right.
We haven’t always got everything right along the way, but we think we’re doing okay. Our free Friday edition with a roundup of Medway news is now read by over 2,000 readers every week. Beyond that, we publish in-depth interviews with a range of Medway figures, monthly events guides and planning updates, and a range of essays covering issues from housing to buses to crime. Our content will undoubtedly keep evolving as we figure out what our readers need to know about.
Kent News Website of the Year wasn’t the only category we won in either. As an organisation, we’re absolutely delighted that Steven Keevil won Kent Columnist of the Year too. On a personal level, I’m so proud of what Steven has added to our output in the past year, and I can’t wait to read and share some of the things he has on the horizon.
We’re immensely proud of what we’ve been able to do with Local Authority in a short period of time. This project isn’t a full-time job for either of us. We each have other jobs to pay the bills while putting as much time into Local Authority as we can.
We’d love to spend more time on Local Authority, putting more into the big stories and investigations that we feel are currently underreported in Medway. But we can only do this thanks to our generous paid supporters.
This project has no external funding beyond the readers that choose to support our work. Right now, we have around 1,400 free subscribers on our mailing list, with around 250 of you choosing to support our work.
Of course, we’re thrilled that anyone reads our work, and we totally understand that not everyone is in a position to pay for this kind of thing. But if you are able, could I please ask you to consider becoming one of our incredible paid supporters? It costs less than £1 per week when joining us for a year, and every single subscriber makes a huge difference to what we’re able to do.
Thanks for sticking with us this far, and for all of the incredibly kind words we’ve received since the announcement last week.
Thanks again for reading and supporting Local Authority, Kent’s News Website of the Year, which will continue to feel surreal for some time yet.