For the next interview in our ‘People Behind Your News‘ series, we speak to Andrew Diprose, Founder and Editor of Dorset Biz News – a business news website launched in October 2019.
Andrew is a qualified journalist with 40 years’ experience in print and online media, commercial radio, news agencies, corporate affairs and PR. His previous posts have included Business Editor of the Bournemouth Daily Echo.
We speak to him about his motivation to create Dorset Biz News and the impressive impact the news outlet has already had on the Dorset business community.
Q: Why did you choose to start dorsetbiznews.co.uk?
A: I felt there was a gap in the market for a lively, informative, trusted and impartial business news website in Dorset. We have 22 separate news categories covering every kind of business activity so whatever the sector, or interest, it’s pretty much covered. As at January 31, we had 388 business stories on the site, 9,245 unique users, 382,562 views across our platforms and 4,340 ‘likes’ for our LinkedIn/Twitter posts. Above all the feedback from Dorset’s business community has been incredible.
Q: What does a normal day in the office look like?
A: Mornings are spent getting out and about with interviews and visits. Business doesn’t need to be dry and boring so I really enjoy meeting entrepreneurs and business owners and finding out what makes them, and their businesses, tick. Afternoons, and often evenings, are devoted to writing and getting the website ready for the next day. One of the best things about www.dorsetbiznews.co.uk is that we can get stories out very quickly. If I’m attending an evening launch or reception I’ll often write it up that night and use it as my top story the next day.
Q: How important are outlets like dorsetbiznews.co.uk for the business community?
A: In my book, very important (but then, as someone once famously said, he would say that, wouldn’t he!) However, I genuinely think that businesses not only want to know what’s happening in their sector but across the entire business community. They also like to read about other businesses, how they started, the challenges faced and the people behind them. The response to www.dorsetbiznews.co.uk – and our viewing figures – shows there is a real demand for specialist media outlets like mine.
Q: What would be your ideal story?
A: One involving human interest. Even if you haven’t started your own business, people are fascinated by what makes an entrepreneur, particularly when they’ve put everything on the line to follow their dream. Most people go through their lives, content with the status quo but secretly wondering what it would be like to run their own business. A story about someone taking huge risks to successfully launch their own venture ticks all the right boxes for me.
Q: What’s the main reason you chose journalism?
A: I’m curious, some might say nosey, and wanted to be at the centre of things. From the age of 13 I had set my heart on becoming a journalist, eventually joining my local newspaper at the age of 18 to start my three year apprenticeship. This year I celebrate my 41st anniversary in the media world which has included working in print, commercial radio, news agencies, corporate affairs, PR and now online journalism. It continues to be a fantastic career and if I had my time again I wouldn’t hesitate to be a journalist. Without doubt, I’m having the best time of my career with Dorset Biz News.
Q: How do you see journalism changing in the future?
A: The internet has changed everything, as my specialist business news website is proving. Sadly – and I speak as someone steeped in newspapers – print is going to continue to decline dramatically. Without question the future is digital but also independent hyperlocal specialist sites such as www.dorsetbiznews.co.uk. The big newspaper publishers know in their heart of hearts that print – and all its associated costs – is no longer a sustainable business model. However, the big mistake they’re making is to pack their websites with pop-up ads and other features which slow down the reader experience. I’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve commented on how they find www.dorsetbiznews.co.uk quick and easy to navigate. That’s because there’s not a pop-up or irritating video in sight, and that will always be the case while I’m the proud owner and editor of the site!
To find out more on Dorset Biz News, visit: https://www.dorsetbiznews.co.uk/