There is a landmark anniversary on the horizon for the Fife Free Press – in 2021 we will celebrate our 150th anniversary.
The road travelled from that very first edition, which sold out, to the paper in your hands today has been incredible.
So much has changed across that century and a half but the commitment to report on local issues fairly and honestly remains as strong as ever.
It was set in stone by our founders, James Strachan and William Livingston, with the commitment that we would produce a newspaper “worthy of the support of the public” that would “chronicle and criticise faithfully and independently all events which affect the interests of the public, whether as individuals or as a community.”
We have been doing that for almost 150 years, and, in the era of fake news, that commitment is stronger, and more important, than ever.
In 2018, people get their news when they want it and how they want it – and we have had to change our business model to ensure that the Press still has a voice in this town.
And it does.
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Our stories now reach a bigger audience than ever before thanks to a huge online readership.
Our website, fifetoday.co.uk, logs an average of 800,000 views per month – and we have passed the magic 1,000,000 on more than one occasion in the past 18 months.
And we still produce a value-packed weekly newspaper which is picked up and read by our core audience.
No wi-fi necessary, no annoying pop-up ads, no registration just as you go to read a fourth or fifth story – a product you can pick up and enjoy over a cuppa at your leisure.
And the stories are produced locally by our editorial team based in the heart of the town up in Carlyle House.
But we cannot do all of that without your continued support.
That is why we are backing a new #buyapaper campaign – which stemmed from readers, not the bosses.
Local newspapers and the websites we produce are the most trusted providers of news in this country.
Our priorities are our communities and our focus is unwavering...if it affects our readers, we are interested.
That means our content covers a huge range – from local events and restaurant reviews to courts and council meetings.
We hold our politicians to account and we support them when they try to get a better deal for local people.
We champion the issues raised by our readers and highlight their achievements.
In the digital age – when more information is available to us all than at any point in history – the reliability of that information is becoming more critical than it has ever been.
We are accountable to the law, we are accountable to the Independent Press Standards Organisation and we are accountable to our readers.
We are not faceless or hard to find – our door is open to anyone to pop in with a story, a photo or a query.
And if we do make a mistake we are quick to correct it.
So this is what we are asking of you:
Buy a copy of the Fife Free Press newspaper every week.
Encourage a friend, neighbour or colleague to do the same.
Of course, visit our website, follow us on social media and engage with the content we provide, but just as importantly... buy a paper.
We will repay you by continuing to focus everything we do on reporting the local news and the issues that affect you.