Andover Radio is excited to announce the launch of a new free newspaper for Andover and the surrounding areas
In partnership with the Observer Media Group, the local radio station announced at a VIP launch event last week that the first edition of the fortnightly Love Andover Observer will be available from 10th September.
“The publication fits our philosophy of providing access to local information to the people of north west Hampshire free of charge,” says Andover Radio director Ben Tuffin. “The radio station, the website and the events we manage like Armed Forces Day are all provided at no cost and we intend to stick with this strategy.”
“This is a paper by the people of Andover, for the people of Andover”, added Ben.
The publication will feature information and news of interest to people who live, work and play in Andover and will feature correspondents from across the area providing ‘news you can use’ each fortnight.
Correspondents include Richard Smart who will focus on news from Thruxton, Tommy Gentleman who will supply through provoking content for personal development and MP Kit Malthouse has committed to providing commentary on parliamentary matters of interest to north west Hampshire.
Richard Smart, who also runs the Thruxton Life website, said, “This is a great opportunity to showcase our village and all of the wonderful people and events we host.
“The Observer will also be of huge benefit for residents who want to read all that is good news in Thruxton and the Andover area, particularly those who have no online access”.
Whereas the idea for the paper had been brewing for over a year, it was over lockdown that access to freely available information and the importance of locally-based media organisations was proven and the agreement with the growing Observer Media Group was signed.
Many people rely on radio and newspapers as a ‘friend’ and in many cases it’s their only access to local information. As one listener to Andover Radio commented, “radio is my only immediate access to the world around me”. The local radio station saw a 400% increase in online listeners over the lockdown period. The loveandover.com website also saw a growth in online users, over 18,000 people used the site in July.
A letters page will feature, giving the people of Andover the opportunity to express their opinions on local matters.
At the ‘soft launch’ event on Thursday it was announced that local journalist Rebecca Rayner will be the publication’s point of contact, based at Love Andover’s offices on the high street. She spoke of the importance of local media in an increasingly global world.
With initially 5,000 copies of the paper being published each fortnight, the Love Andover Observer will be distributed through selected letterboxes. It will also be available for free pickup at high footfall areas around Andover, in selected local shops and in all supermarkets. The paper will be available as far as Thruxton, Whitchurch, Ludgershall and Stockbridge.
Like the local radio station, the paper will be funded through advertising and businesses that wish to secure space should contact Ben Tuffin by email here. Budding journalists or feature writers are also welcome to contact Rebecca Rayner by email here. All news stories, press releases and letters should be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MP Kit Malthouse commented, “I was delighted to join Love Andover for the launch of the new paper. I’ll be contributing with stories from here and Westminster, so be sure to grab a copy and stay up to date”.
Test Valley Borough Councillor Nick Matthews has also said he’s “honoured” to be able to provide regular updates on the area’s military in his capcity as Armed Forces Champion.
The paper is a unique partnership with the respected Observer Media Group that runs the Basingstoke Observer. Group Managing Director Steve Lucy said, “The Basingstoke Observer has been published for the past 20 years, our focus is on quality and trusted local news across the community.
“We are thrilled to have partnered with Love Andover to deliver the same commitment, passion and quality of product to this town and surrounding villages”.
The paper will feature stories from local community and not-for-profit organisations, on behalf of the Enham Trust, which will feature regularly in the paper, Director of Care Chris Dixon said, “It was a privilege to join the Love Andover team as they launch the Love Andover Observer. I look forward to seeing this new initiative progress and become another staple of Andover life”.
LOVE ANDOVER OBSERVER LAUNCH EVENT