“Our mission is to inform and inspire our readers to engage with local matters, take part in community action, shop local, attend local events, and exercise their right to decide who we choose to represent us in all levels of government”
This month news reporting in Bedford jumps into the 21st Century with the launch of the Bedford Independent, a new online news desk.
The Bedford Independent soft launched on social media in August and has already published 165 stories and achieved a readership of over 250,000 a month. Now our website has launched, we can deliver high-quality, genuine news to even more people.
We’ve shared emotive stories about local people and helped find missing loved ones. We’ve followed campaigns fighting education restructures and launched our Shop Local campaign to support all local businesses.
Trust in journalism
As a responsible news desk our editorial will be of the highest quality. In an age where fake news is rife and ‘churnalists’ are simply copying and pasting whatever line they’re fed, our editorial team will seek out the true story and provide balance at every possible turn.
We’ll be regulated by Impress Standards and will abide by their code of conduct. This means we’ll protect our sources and also respond and investigate any challenge to our editorial. This will mean our readers can trust that what we write is genuine high-quality editorial, whatever the subject.
All our journalists will also be given the opportunity to join the National Union of Journalists and they’ll receive training to ensure they’re able to carry out their duties passionately with the utmost professionalism.
“Bedford needs a strong voice. The Bedford Independent might just be the answer”
– BBC’s Roberto Perrone
Our editorial won’t take sides. If our local authority does something right, we will say so. If they do something wrong, we’ll find out why. If action is needed at a community level, we’ll help raise awareness. If a fellow Bedfordian does something above and beyond we’ll celebrate their achievements.
We can only do this if our editorial is accurate, unbiased and comprehensive. Bedford Independent readers will then be armed with exactly what is needed to make an informed decision about things that matter to them.
- News: Whether it’s business, politics, village news, environment, health, transport or education you’ll find everything you want here on your mobile, tablet or desktop.
- Sport: We’re building strong relationships with sports teams and clubs across the borough, so you can get more than just a simple match report.
- Going out: Bedford has more going on than most towns and you won’t want to miss out. We’ll have weekly roundups of what’s happening right on your doorstep.
- Jobs: Our job pages will help you find the right career for you. As a business you can fill that role far more quickly by targeting future employees right on your doorstep.
- Announcements: Celebrate key milestones with our announcements page. Each one has its own link so you can share your good news or memories with loved ones across the world.
- Property: Our easy to use property pages give you access to homes the day they’re up for sale, helping you find your dream home and selling your old one more much more quickly.
Great for Bedford business, great for our readers
While the Bedford Independent will be funded by advertising, offering excellent opportunities for businesses of all sizes to promote themselves, this won’t be at the detriment to the readers.
We’re committed to ensure our readers come first and this extends further than the content of our editorial.We won’t have pop-ups obscuring your view or surveys that have to be filled in to read a story.
Instead our banner ads will sit alongside high-quality editorial and be aimed at readers who are already primed to find out more with a simple tap or click.
As we’re primarily online we can move quickly with breaking news, making sure you’re kept up to date as a story develops.
This means more readers becoming informed and more people seeing the businesses and organisations around them. A perfect balance that need not be ruined by invasive advertising practices.
“Bedford Independent is a news desk for Bedfordians by Bedfordians about Bedfordians”
But we can’t ignore the fact that some people still like to have their news in print.
Each month we will also be publishing a round-up of our biggest and most popular stories in The Bedford Clanger, so no one will miss articles from what we’re sure will become their favourite source of Bedford news.
With all this, it’s no surprise we’re already turning heads. We’ve made the news ourselves and been featured in national and local media already. We’ve also been criticised and congratulated by exactly the people we want to criticise and congratulate us.
As traditional news desks face uncertain times and struggle to adapt to the needs of the modern reader, the Bedford Independent offers an opportunity for news gathering to not only survive but thrive well into the 21st century.