We are often being asked what our plans are for the Bridgwater Magazine, so it would be much easier to post that information here than type it out each time.
Also, it means that I can go into a little more detail and look further into the future right here, something which would be a nightmare via email or social media.
The Idea Behind the Bridgwater Magazine
The idea for the magazine came from hearing from a number of people that there was not something available that was reporting our news for our town, as well as a variety of other articles that were not necessarily news. There were also complaints about a continual stream of non-Bridgwater stories appearing to overshadow the Bridgwater ones, and whenever you did try to go online, there would be a barrage of advertising, not to mention the feeling that the news being reported was not everything going on in the town and a lack of proofreading.
We made the decision to look at what people had told us and see what we could do to provide a resource that would be of use. As a trained journalist, having attended Highbury College in Portsmouth, considered one of the top journalism colleges in the country, we felt that I was qualified to go ahead and be the editor of this resource. Sylv Jenkins works with authors around the world providing marketing, editing and proofreading services, so she is the perfect accompaniment.
It all started out as being an online magazine, but as we looked further into it, we realised that what Bridgwater needed was a physical copy of the magazine, which would be delivered free of charge to a large number of homes and businesses, along with copies available throughout the town. We will be printing 15,000 copies, with 10,000 being delivered to homes and businesses every month.
We made the decision to make the magazine free, as it would then not just be available to those who could afford it, or who could find it in their local newsagent. By making the magazine free, we could charge advertisers and that would then pay for all the fees, which will be £3,500 per month for a 48 page magazine. We aim to have more pages in the future, but we did not want to go too big too soon.
The important thing to note, is that we are completely apolitical. We remain independent and do not feel that our job is to convince you of anything. Our job is to give you the facts and then leave you to make your own decision on how you feel about it.
While it is not really news, as you are right here reading this, the website is now live, and we are starting to add news and articles to it.
The real aim is that the majority of the news and articles will be written by those of you living in Bridgwater, ensuring that we are getting out the news and articles that matter to you. As editor, my job would then be to just polish things up without changing the context, and work on making everything look good.
We want to get the latest news onto the site, though it would be good to sometimes report on the same news item more than once, as everybody has a different view and this would ensure that everybody’s view is heard.
Our articles range from the history of Bridgwater to recipes. We have two series just starting up, one giving advice on being an author, with articles written by ourselves but also authors from around the world. The second series is on using WordPress to create and keep your website running, which I am writing as I have been designing WordPress websites since 2008, and websites since 1997 (which is a scary thought).
Over time, we would like to build up a full Bridgwater business directory which will have all the details on each business, as well as the ability for reviews on each of these businesses. This will then allow you to find just what you are looking for. We would have specific emphasis on independent businesses in Bridgwater, but all are welcome to be added. Of course, this is free.
Organising an event can be a nightmare, and it is scary knowing that after all the hard work, you may end up with nobody attending. We will advertise any event in Bridgwater free of charge on the website, along with all the details of the event, including contact details.
We are organising four film festivals, starting in February 2019, which will be taking place within Bridgwater over the year. These will vary from our horror film festival (Bridgslaughter) to family friendly film festivals.
We have been involved in mini film festivals since 2006, and they are a great way to see some great films without the Hollywood machine.
All money from our film festivals is donated to The Hub, which is a collection of charities in Bridgwater and the surrounding area, based in Angel Place.
We are currently working on our first script for a paranormal horror film set in Bridgwater. The aim is that this will become a web series if it is well-received.
This will be the first of many films we will be making in the town.
We will also be happy to look at sharing any films made by anybody living here. If this is something you would like to do, but do not know how to get started, you should contact The Engine Room, which offers advice, equipment and courses.
Bridgwater Social Media Website
We are looking into creating a social media website, which would be specifically for Bridgwater. Similar to sites such as Facebook, this would allow for friends, groups, etc.
This will be available once we start making enough money to run the service, again through advertising in the magazine.
Our service will provide you with a free website, which works in exactly the same way as WordPress.com, but based here in Bridgwater. You will have free access to both free and premium themes and plugins. If you don’t know what any of that means, then don’t worry, as you will have access to video tutorials within your admin area, exactly where you need them.
There is much more that we have planned, and we are happy to listen to your feedback.