What we've achieved so far & our plans for 2023 🎄

Happy Christmas! Read on to find out about our plans for the next stage of The Norwich Seeker.

What we've achieved so far & our plans for 2023 🎄
Norwich sparkling at Christmas. Credit: Brittany Woodman

Hello and happy Christmas!

As it's Christmas Eve, this is is just a short update on what we've achieved since launching in September, thanks to your support, and what we're hoping to do in 2023.

I set up The Seeker because, after a decade in the industry, I wanted to do local journalism differently - no annoying ads, stories delivered directly to readers' inboxes and journalism written more informally, but more in-depth.

I had no idea if it would last, but knew I'd regret it if I didn't try. The last few months have been stressful at times, while trying to set up The Seeker and produce it each week around other commitments, but we have at least outlasted the subject of our first newsletter on September 10!

Credit: Office of U.S. Ambassador to U.K. via Wikimedia Commons

Today's edition is going out to 412 subscribers and in a moment I'll detail our plans for early next year, but first I want to focus on some of our work.

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 and in our first investigation, back in September, brought to light that Anglian Water was discharging untreated sewage into the region's waterways without environmental permits.

However, I think we can do a lot more, which is why I have incorporated The Seeker as a Community Interest Company. That means it is now registered as a non-profit, with any funds we raise in the future 100% dedicated to producing journalism for this city. This followed feedback from the reader survey which so many of you did.

Earlier this month, we had the first meeting of our Oversight & Advisory Board which will bring fresh ideas and ensure The Seeker is sticking to its principles. The voluntary members of the board are Annelise Savill, Amanda Bunn, Frances Anderson and Dave Powles.

Lots of ideas came out of that meeting and we agreed to do the following next year:

Become a member: From January you will be able to support The Seeker by becoming a member from £2.50 a month. We're doing this because we think it is the best chance we have of becoming sustainable. We don't want to rely on advertising or on chasing hits online to produce local journalism.

So, if you're enjoying the newsletter and can afford it, please help keep it going by becoming a member when we launch. Members will get an extra monthly newsletter updating you on where your money is being spent and what we're doing behind the scenes. However, all other content will remain free as we believe everybody should have access to local journalism.

We are also exploring the possibility of a crowd-funder next year and applying for grants.

As a registered non-profit, we will use funds to commission local writers to tell stories which aren't getting enough attention and to give new writers their first chance to get their stories published.

Thank you once again for reading over the last few weeks and I wish you, your family and friends a very happy Christmas and a restful festive break. We're back on Saturday January 7.

Until then,

Tom