** Reworked **
As of today (Tuesday), VentnorBlog has been freely serving news to the Isle of Wight for a full five years since our first article about an explosion in the Ventnor Haven.
Is it really five years?
Time is a funny thing, isn’t it?
In many ways it’s really hard to believe that five years have passed since the first VB post. Other days – the hard days – it really feels like it.
Of course when VB started, it was bit of a giggle – it was much more about the wide-eyed amazement at how active and vibrant the art and music scenes were on the Island.
Gradually, through requests from readers, VB grew to cover ‘hard news’ – stories that really mattered to those on the Island. Stories that required research. That old-fashioned thing called journalism, that is missing from so much of the media these days.
First source of news
Our ‘hard news’ coverage has grown to a point where many people tell us that they use VentnorBlog as their first source of Island news. Something that makes all of the work that has gone into it worthwhile.
It’s not just on the Island. National media organisations have told us that VentnorBlog has been their source for information about Island events.
We’ve helped many people to have a voice, where previously they’ve been ignored.
We were also very proud that all of those who have contributed to VB over the years have had their work recognised by peers around the UK – awarding VB the Guardian Local Hyperlocal Site Of The Year Award earlier this year.
The thing that has made us most proud is how much the Isle of Wight community has engaged with VentnorBlog, with over 30,000 comments left just on VB stories. On top of this, over 35,000 posts have been added to the VB Forum, plus goodness knows how many comments on Facebook and Twitter.
Nearly 10,000 stories
Over five years, we’ve published close to 10,000 articles – that’s an average of nearly to five and a half articles every single day of that past five years.
We don’t actually publish every day, so you, dear reader, sometimes get days like Monday, where we put out 18 Island-related stories in a single day. That’s what brings VB such a high daily average.
What drives us
Why have we done it? To this point, it certainly hasn’t been the financial return.
But then again, up to now, we haven’t been that commercially focused. It’s been delivering the news that’s stimulated us … and that’s proved to be what you, the reader, has liked too.
What has driven us for five years has been bringing The Truth to the Island. News that isn’t influenced by commercial or political favour. News that tells it how it is, rather than how someone else with power – no matter how it’s sourced – wants you to hear it.
With this small group of people, we haven’t made many friends. Our approach challenges their status quo. Removes their carefully constructed fig leaves. Shouts, “The Emperor has no clothes!”
They don’t like that. So, over time, we had much muck falsely spread about us – both as a publication and personally.
We’ve been accused of all sorts of nonsense – not telling the truth(!), misreporting, being Communists and plenty more – you name it, and it’s highly possible that someone has said it in an effort to blacken our character.
And for why? Because those people who think they’re in power – no matter how tenuous their connection to it – haven’t liked to have their version of reality challenged.
Please support us
If you’ve read VentnorBlog in the past and have found it useful, or you think it might be useful to you in the future, please donate some money to enable us to continue doing what we’ve been doing for five years.
We’ve been told by many people that they believed we were paid to produce VB. Although this would be lovely, it’s far from the truth. Any advertising you see on the site goes towards the running costs, but doesn’t stretch to cover salaries for those who work hard to keep the news coming.
(As his pay wall shows, even the deep-pocketed Rupert Murdoch has decided that he can’t give his news away for nothing.)
If you’re able to show your support through a donation, it really will make a massive difference to us.