Kathy Bailes, left, has launched the Isle of Thanet News site after 13 years working in the regional press in Kent.
Kathy was editor of the Trinity Mirror-owned Isle of Thanet Gazette between January 2015 and July 2016, before a group restructure saw her take on a content editor role with the company’s new county-wide website Kent Live.
She has now left TM to set up Isle of Thanet News – which is aimed at sharing news, business, events and education content on the island.
Kathy told HTFP: “I had been thinking about creating the site for a while and spoke to some other people who are running hyperlocals in different parts of the country.
“The Isle of Thanet News has been received really well with lots of Facebook likes and visitors to the site over the weekend. It is still in progress, I shared it to get feedback from readers on how it could be improved, and will be taking some of their comments onboard.
“I learnt a lot during my 13 years with Kent regional papers and then the last eight months in the new website-first Kent Live structure. It’s an experience I have enjoyed greatly, especially my time with the Isle of Thanet Gazette, but I felt that what I really wanted to do was focus on Thanet – the community I live in and am a part of.
“I’m grateful for all the support and encouragement I have received so far.”
Kathy is currently running the project on her own and is also embarking on some freelance projects while she builds up advertising on the site.
Kathy’s new project comes after former Cornish Guardian journalist Graham Smith set up his own digital venture, Cornwall Reports, in opposition to Trinity Mirror’s Cornwall Live online arm just before Christmas.
Graham was suspended and later dismissed for “experimenting” with Cornwall Reports while still working for the Guardian, and claimed he had set the site up after being asked to write what he termed “trivial clickbait” for Cornwall Live.