Celebrating10yearsislandecho

10 YEARS AND 35,000 ARTICLES LATER: HOW ISLAND ECHO HAS CHANGED ISLE OF WIGHT NEWS

It was on 19th May 2012 that our journey began as Island Echo went live for the very first time – and what a rollercoaster the past 10 years have been…

Many dismissed us at first and even to this day we can’t please everyone, but our now multi-award-winning digital publication has taken the Isle of Wight by storm with over 27million page views and 2.7million visitors in 2021 alone – making us one of the biggest websites for the Island.

Island Echo launched from a tiny office in Wootton with 3 core values; to provide 24 hour news 7 days a week, that every article must have a photograph and to be a publication for the common man. We remain true to those values today and have enhanced our offering by developing our first, fast, free ethos.

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Over the past 10 years, a staggering 34,574 articles have been published right here at islandecho.co.uk. Last year alone we published 5,682 articles – that’s around 15 local news stories delivered to you each and every day, keeping Islanders – and those further afield – informed.

How did Island Echo come about?

Island Echo was established to fill a gap in the market, to enhance the news offering to Islanders and to break the status quo. It had become clear that Islanders deserved better and that a ‘Sky News’ style approach to local news was needed, dragging the Isle of Wight into the 21st century.

Rewind the clock a whole decade and things were very different. Local news was very much a 9-5 operation, popping down to the shops for a paper on a Friday was still common practice and there just wasn’t an emphasis on digital distribution. But then came along Island Echo and that all changed… we now have an extremely competitive local news market here on the Island – perhaps one of the most closely-fought markets in the country – and Islanders receive up-to-the-minute news, as it happens, at any time of the day or night.

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A trip down memory lane… how Island Echo has evolved over the years

You have to remember that technology was very different in 2012. Forget 5G and 4G, 3G was the UK standard. Island Echo was an early adopter of new technology, as is still the case today with the latest drones. This meant that high-resolution photographs could be uploaded directly from the scene, completely changing how news would be reported on the Island forever. Speed became key.

Awards

It took 7 years to cement our dominance and receive our first award. Just months before the pandemic hit – which would see massive growth for the business – Island Echo picked up Micro Business of the Year at the IW Chamber Business Excellence Awards 2019.

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Then, in November 2021, Island Echo received its first national award by clinching the Google-sponsored Community News Website of the Year at the newsawards 2021.

Island Echo is well-known within the independent sector and is a key member of the Independent Community News Network (ICNN). As well as improving the news coverage here, Island Echo is participating in nationwide campaigns to improve the support for independent publishers across the country, as well as the safety of journalists.

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L-R: Penny Richter from Google News Initiative, Darren Toogood of Island Echo and newsawards host Mark Durden-Smith

The Future

The demand for accurate, up-to-date and truly local news is greater than ever before. Island Echo is always adapting and growing with further expansion planned, building on all the good work over the past decade.

Later this month we welcome another journalist to the team to continue enhancing the service we provide and to continue our investment in local talent, local jobs and the local community. Furthermore, a move to much larger offices is on the horizon, alongside some other exciting developments…

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But who knows what the next 10 years will bring. Undoubtedly the market will continue to change, technology will continue to develop and more Islanders than ever before will be making Island Echo their number 1 choice for news. At a time when paywalls are popping up elsewhere, Island Echo remains 100% free to all readers.

For now, we continue our 24/7 rolling coverage with a particular focus on enhancing our sport coverage in 2022, as well as investing in new and improved technology to keep one step ahead of the competition.

Darren Toogood, Editor and Publisher of Island Echo, says:

“I am incredibly proud of what Island Echo has achieved in a relatively short space of time. I could never have imagined a decade ago that Island Echo would grow to what it has become today.

“I must say a big thank you to every reader, advertiser, contributor and tipper – your support means a lot and it’s that support that has enabled Island Echo to become the multi-award-winning news website you know and love.

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The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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John
John
1 month ago

If only other local news outlets had the same principles and practices as Island Echo the news output would be a greater following locally. My local news on line source generally has a headline change once a week.

Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
1 month ago

Island Echo is a good place for people to read local news, but sometimes can be a little biased also. Any comment against tourism, 2nd homeowners etc, no matter if true get taken off. But at least we can comment a bit.

Robin Burnett
Robin Burnett
1 month ago

Congrats to Island Echo. Always my first local port of call website. Here’s to the next 10 years!

Letting you know
Letting you know
1 month ago

Congratulations IE…but could we have a little more free speech please, don’t be a shadow of the BBC..

Wolf
Wolf
1 month ago

Well said Letting you know,only those who have something to hide are afraid of free speech,in my opinion

Darren Street
Darren Street
1 month ago

Quite simply WELL DONE, Darren has built an amazing business but most importantly he has provided an amazing up to date news service to the Isle of Wight. His work is relentless dispute the minority who TRY to mock or insult him. Darren should be praised and admired by the people of the IOW for his commitment in delivering news often within minutes of it happening.

sharon speed
sharon speed
1 month ago

could you start a new feature with rental properties or private rentals available?

 

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