On Monday 31 January 2022—eleven months after registering the domain and a year after first speculating how we could build a different kind of online newspaper for Brighton and Hove—The Brighton Seagull published its first weekly briefing. Reading that now, it's very easy to see how far we've come since that initial briefing. From then to now, though, the Seagull has been self-funded. The sponsorships you see in our briefing are from our technical director's other business, and go to our operating costs and paying our wonderful freelance contributors, and our editor puts in huge amounts of unpaid time to keep everything going.
We can't keep going like this forever, though. We want to be able to spend more time on our work, pay our contributors more and invest in the future of independent local news, which is why we're asking for your help. In order to set us on a sustainable path to continue providing high-quality journalism, we are launching a paid membership programme, The Flock, giving readers the opportunity to support us directly. We’ve got three tiers—£5, £10 and £15 a month—to allow people to support in the manner that best fits their means. Don’t worry, the Seagull will remain free—though members of the Flock will gain the exclusive ability to comment on articles—and there will be more exciting things for the membership programme coming soon!
We've learnt so much, and we've brought so many of you along on that journey with us. We've covered everything from local politics to cultural events, breaking the fraud news at the University of Brighton, covering Brighton Fringe, and now with a developing team of writers, we're proud to have given writing opportunities to and mentoring for people starting out in their journalism careers. We're so grateful for the support we've received from our readers over the last year and a bit, and that includes you. Thank you for being a part of The Brighton Seagull's story so far. With your support, we can continue to spread our wings and soar to new heights, one story at a time.
We hope you all enjoy the Bank Holiday—we'll be getting some hammock time in—and we'll see you for the Weekly Briefing tomorrow.