An independent news title has revealed plans to invest in its journalism after appointing a former regional daily editor to its board.
The Norwich Seeker been incorporated as a Community Interest Company and is set to launch a membership model to allow readers to make voluntary financial donations.
But founder Tom Bristow, who was formerly investigations editor at Archant, has confirmed all content on the site will remain free on the site after attracting 400 subscribers in its first three months of operation.
As part of its incorporation as a CIC, the Seeker has set up an oversight and advisory board with four voluntary members, including Dave Powles, a former Archant colleague of Tom’s who edited the Eastern Daily Press until September.
Tom, pictured, told HTFP all funds raised will go “directly into commissioning better and more local journalism”.
Tom, who also works as a fact-checker for Facebook owner Meta, told HTFP: “The feedback I’ve had from readers so far has been fantastic with people really welcoming an ad-free, easy to read, in-depth model for local journalism. I’d like to thank everyone who is now reading it each week.
“So far we’ve published an investigation into how the dental crisis is impacting Norwich, revealed delays to the city’s bid to create a zero emissions zone, revealed that the Norwich in 90 rail service could be making a comeback next spring, revealed that the nurses strike wouldn’t affect the local hospital and in our first investigation back in September revealed that Anglian Water was discharging untreated sewage into the region’s waterways without environmental permits.
“This has been achieved with me running the Seeker in my spare time, so I’m very excited to see what we can achieve next year when we raise funds and are able to commission a range of local writers to produce great features, interviews and investigations for us.”
HTFP reported in October how Dave had urged publishers to stop “shying away” from long-form journalism after writing a piece for the Seeker.
Announcing his appointment to the new board on Thursday, he posted on Twitter: “Honoured to have been asked to be a board member for the Norwich Seeker.
“First meeting of board last night and we’ve some very exciting plans for quality journalism focusing on Norwich in 2023. Tom Bristow is a fantastic person to lead this project.”