DORSET’S first online weekly newspaper – the Dorset Weekender – has signed up 500 people in its first three weeks.
The digital edition is produced by View From Publishing, based in Lyme Regis.
It’s aimed at a younger audience than the View From’s five conventionally-printed free weekly newspapers.
Sources say that users registered to receive the Weekender are generally “a lot younger” than the readers of the free weeklies.
About two-thirds of those signed up are looking regularly at the online paper, which comes out on Friday afternoons.
Adverts in the Weekender are not yet being sold separately. That is due to happen when 2,000 people have registered. The target date set is the end of May.
Current Weekender ads are sell-ons from the company’s printed titles.
Kingston Maurward College, just outside Dorchester, is sponsoring a four-page wrap in this week’s View From newspapers, promoting the Weekender.
One View From source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “We don’t know whether it will work but we’re having a go. Response from those who have registered has been very positive.”
Editor’s Note: The Weekender is well worth looking at. (There’s a link here).
Firstly, because it’s not got many ads, it’s much more compact and attractive, much less sprawling than the printed newspapers.
Secondly, because it’s trying to fill the gap at the end of the week that’s been gaping ever since the Bridport News and Lyme Regis News moved Friday to Thursday and then to Wednesday.
Thirdly, if you like that kind of thing, it has an intriguing and well-informed Dorset Media Watch column by The Chronicler. I don’t know who The Chronicler is. It also has a nice feature about other Dorset websites (and, no, in case you’re wondering, it hasn’t included this one).
Fourthly, the Weekender is changing the West Dorset media landscape, just as much as moves by the Northcliffe-owned Western Gazette and the Newsquest-owned Bridport News and Lyme Regis News. These things are worth keeping an eye on, it seems to me, because they do shape how a place and its people think about themselves, discuss local issues, decide what’s important, and so on. I suppose that sounds a bit worthy, but it’s true!