Rochdale Online turns 22 this weekend
Date published: 28 June 2020
Launched on 28 June 1998, Rochdale Online is one of the oldest ‘hyperlocal’ websites in the country
Rochdale Online is today celebrating 22 years of serving the borough of Rochdale, as one of the oldest and most popular ‘hyperlocal’ news websites in the UK.
For the first three years, Rochdale Online was one local man’s hobby, becoming a commercial enterprise when Rochdale Online Ltd was registered as a company in 2001.
From our launch on 28 June 1998, Rochdale Online has strived to serve the local community – Heywood, Middleton, Pennines and Rochdale – by publicising businesses, sports groups and organisations.
With journalists classed as a key worker role by the government, Rochdale Online’s staff have continued to work throughout the pandemic, bringing you not only our regular standard of journalism (without sensationalist headlines), but also key information and resources unique to the pandemic.
Our news is carefully researched to bring you all the information you need in a way that is easy to understand, without scaremongering or dramatising events.
Providing the real story is of particular importance in 2020; at a time when the internet is rife with what has been dubbed ‘fake news’, trusted legitimate sources of online information is key.
Rochdale Online’s Editor, Claire Flett, said: “During the last three months our focus has been on guidance, advice and signposting residents and businesses to the help available from government or the local council hubs.
"We have also promoted the work being done by local businesses, charities, volunteers and individuals to help the local community at this time. We have publicised appeals for donations of money, food and PPE etc for all kinds of groups and organisations as well as informing residents of organised groups providing support, delivering food parcels or shopping for shielded people.
"Many turned to Rochdale Online for local information amidst the coronavirus pandemic: our page views topped the one-million mark in March 2020 – the same month lockdown began – and over 210,000 unique users have, on average, visited the site each month so far in 2020 (January to June).
"After years of reporting and building relationships with readers, businesses and social media users across the local community, Rochdale Online has built a trusted foundation without which we would not be able to survive.
"We are grateful to our readers and contributors as well as our advertisers and supporters who contribute to Rochdale Online each month.
"I'd also like to thank the team at Rochdale Online for their hard work and dedication over the years."
Whilst the site is a comprehensive portal of local information, including jobs, properties, a constantly updated local business directory and a competitions page, the news section of the site is the most popular.
Rochdale Online’s busiest page, Main News, covers everything from breaking news to community fundraisers, police and crime news to coverage of events and items sent in from you, the public.
‘Sports News’ carries reports on the town's professional sports teams, and an array of amateur sports/clubs, including cricket, rugby league, rugby union, football, golf, hockey, running, cycling, swimming, boxing, martial arts, and even regular reports on a local motor rally driver.
The local business community is catered for in the ‘Business News’ sub-section. In the main this covers news about local companies, but also features regional and national business news that is of interest to our readers.
Rochdale Online takes its commitment to the local community very seriously.
We think it is important to give back to the community, and as such, from the very beginning of the website back in 1998, Rochdale Online has offered local community groups, voluntary organisations and charities a free website hosted and maintained by Rochdale Online.
Since the site’s inception, Rochdale Online has provided free listings in a very popular ‘Events Diary’, with an average of over 25,000 page views a month.
A round up of weekend events is posted each week in the News section, which is proving more and more popular every week.
Rochdale Online also uses local suppliers; the website is hosted on servers from Zen Internet in Rochdale, IT support comes from a company is in Heywood, security systems were installed by a company in Milnrow, the company accountant is in Littleborough and office supplies also come from a Rochdale company.
The future of independent local news
Since 2001, the site has been funded via advertising revenue, however, you can continue help us to employ local people to research and report on local news, from as little as £3 per month.
A small contribution will allow us to continue covering issues that concern you about the area you live in, your community, business or sport news, photograph and report on events which happen around the borough.
Rochdale Online also pays for ongoing training for our reporters, to provide you with a top-quality news service.
If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer, please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come.
Support us now, and help us to continue to provide local engaging content for many more years to come; after all, we wouldn't have reached 22 years without you:
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