The Jed Eye – it all began in the summer of 2010

First edition of The Jed Eye
At a meeting of community groups in July 2010, the question of a local newspaper was raised. Graham Fry attending at the time as Chair of the Jed Valley Community Council, volunteered to take the project on board with the aim of producing a monthly news magazine.

The challenge was daunting, though having originally produced a newsletter for the community of the Jed Valley (albeit on a limited scale) it was decided this would be a good model to follow - that was just the start, a lot had to be done to convert the enthusiasm for a local paper into a reality, for instance:

A name had to be decided upon and an editor was needed. Issues about production costs, style, advertising along with other challenges had to be faced. At this point it was obvious that the whole project was dependent on a viable plan that made sure production would/could be sustained over a long period.

A business and financial plan was produced, and a constitution was drawn up under the name of Jedburgh & District Community News Group (JDCNG). A grant application was made to the Lottery (Awards for All) to fund the printing and production costs for the first six months, after which the aim was to become self-financing and support good causes. Now a constituted, non-profit Social Enterprise organisation, JDCNG had a clear objective for the first edition to hit the streets (dependent of course on the lottery grant coming through) which it did in October 2010.

New Look for The Jed Eye

New Design
We were fortunate to have secured the services of Lisa Brown to be our editor who pulled out all the stops to achieve our target date for the first edition. Meantime Lisa sounded out various contacts and pupils of the Grammar School for an appropriate name that would stand the test of time and reflect on the character of the community for which ‘The Jed Eye’ has become synonymous. A notable development commencing in the autumn of 2022 was to restyle the magazine to provide a fresh new look consistent with a more modern and professionally produced magazine. The December/January edition launched the new style. This was only possible with thanks to Debi Webster who led on the project in collaboration with our graphic designer Viv Sealey. The new design coincided with the appointment of Kathryn Wylie as editor from January 2023.

Our previous editor of 10 Years, David Pike was instrumental in building the reputation and support for our publication during his stewardship for which we are eternally grateful.

Over the years the activities and personnel of the group have developed. The structure now includes the editor, an advertising/website/production coordinator, a financial administrator and voluntary Management Committee, Chair and Treasurer. Tasks and duties undertaken by our volunteers range from proofing, deliveries, following up stories and events for publication and the treasurer produces a quarterly/annual financial report that ensures effective financial control of the operations. We are also fortunate to have had the services of photographer/s producing high quality photos, a key feature that makes The Jed Eye so appealing to its readers.

The Future of The Jed Eye

Blue Plaques Book
The town tourism website (Jedburgh.org.uk) was a significant achievement and we are proud of what has been achieved in providing an informative and interactive site for the benefit of the community and potential visitors to Jedburgh and the Borders. It also hosted content for the Jed Eye which has since been transferred to our new dedicated site www.thejedeye.co.uk.

JDCNG is a proactive group in the community working on initiatives to improve the local economy. For instance, we produced the ’Blue Plaques Town Trail/booklet and a sub-group was established to market Jedburgh producing a town leaflet and other associated tourism and community related activities. The group also initiated the idea of seasonal markets in the town which have been very successful.

The viability of the ‘The Jed Eye’ though is down to the support from advertisers and the community whose donations enable us to maintain our financial viability and contribute to some notable good causes – over £6000 in the five-year period prior to the pandemic. Above all else though it has been the people within the group, past and present, giving of their time and commitment that has enabled JDCNG to sustain production of our magazine since October 2010. It is this that allows us to look ahead with confidence of a bright future ahead.

Graham Fry

Chair. JDCNG

July 2023
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