Today marks the birthday of Kent and Surrey Bylines. Like a human baby we have been about nine months in gestation. We had more than 750 articles (from over 100 authors) on our former Kent Bylines site, which have all been laboriously worked through in order to migrate them to this new template – now hosted on kentandsurreybylines.co.uk.
Kent and Surrey Bylines
Kent and Surrey Bylines is part of the Bylines Network of ten citizen journalism publications. Each of the Bylines is run by volunteers engaged in progressive journalism, making connections between the hyper-local to the global.
Over the last few months here in Kent we have been extending our article coverage to include Surrey in the mix, and have welcomed new Surrey-based volunteers to the team. There are very few counties in the UK who aren’t part of the network, and we didn’t want Surrey to be left out! So, we’ve been quietly recruiting talent from our neighbouring county, and have been searching out Surrey-based topics to commission. If you’re from Surrey (or Kent) and would like to write for us, please email your idea or submission to [email protected].
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never written before, as we can support you with editing and checking your article. Each of the Bylines publications includes sub-editors and proofreaders on the core team of volunteers, as it’s important to us to present our articles to a high standard in terms of content and style. If this is something you’d be interested in helping with, we’d love to hear from you too.
We’d also welcome new volunteers who are social media savvy. We post our articles to Twitter, Facebook and Mastodon, and we also have an Instagram account. Keeping up with all the engagement on these various platforms can be challenging and it helps to have a team sharing it between them. The more the merrier!
New logo, new-look website
As you can see, we’ve also got a new logo, which brings in elements of both Kent and Surrey. The horse at the top is the Kent Invicta horse – the white horse rampant, which is the Kent County motto. For the logo we’ve turned the horse to face right, so that it confronts the text rather than turning its back to us. The oak leaf below the horse represents Surrey, with the green of the leaf reflecting the fact that the county contains much woodland.
Kent and Surrey Bylines is the ninth of the Bylines titles to move across to the new template, which we feel gives a fresher and more modern feel to the site. Our dynamic front page will now update automatically as new articles are published throughout the week. You will notice that when viewed on a larger screen, the newest articles will always appear in the top section, and will then move down the page according to which category they’re in. The top ‘mega menu’ shows the main topics – Politics, Business, Society, Regional, News, Global – with each of these sections having various categories for you to explore.
And we’ll be making much more use of the ‘tag’ options now too, which means there are even more ways to navigate the site and enjoy reading articles that interest you. We already have tags for ‘refugees’, ‘gardens’ and ‘pets’, for example – just some of the many diverse subjects we’ve covered.
Great content from Kent and Surrey Bylines
All our original content from the old site is now here and looks amazing, but if you try to access articles from an old link (such as from social media), you may initially land on “page not found”. Worry not, just use the search facility to look up the article and you’ll soon discover it. Or you canbrowse the various topics from our home page and discover articles you may previously have missed. We will be continuing to explore our favourite topics from across the 30 months when we have operated as Kent Bylines.
We are most grateful to Jayson Winters for all his technical work on this, and the design of the logo, and to Louise Houghton and the Bylines Network team who worked systematically through the old articles across the nine months. Please bear with us while we learn to use a new system – and in the meantime, have fun exploring our new site!