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David Cameron Praises 'Vital Role' of Local Papers

David Cameron has praised the “vital role” played by local newspapers in an article written for Local Newspaper Week.

The Prime Minister wrote: “For decades, local newspapers have faced fierce competition. First there was the radio, then television, now of course, the internet. But despite all these challenges, they continue to play a vital role and that’s testament to the extraordinary creativity and versatility of all those people who work in local media.

“Local newspapers are hugely important to our country - for two good reasons. First, they strengthen our democracy, holding the powerful to account. Whereas national newspapers can focus on the bigger picture, it’s local papers that often really analyse the detail of what central and local government is doing and the impact their policies have on the ground.

“Second, local papers are hugely important in helping to build a bigger, stronger society. There is a massive gap between the state on the one hand, and the individual on the other, and local papers help fill the space in between, galvanising readers into action."

Along with articles from other high profile contributors, such as Michel Roux Jr, Peter Preston and Julia Bradbury, the full article by the Prime Minister can be read on the Week website here.

These articles have been published by hundreds of local papers across Britain which are taking part in the Week. Papers are running articles, features and supplements championing the medium and their role in the community.

Some papers such as the Liverpool Echo, Evening Star in Ipswich, Hartlepool Mail, Newcastle Chronicle and Halifax Courier have been highlighting their campaigning work for good causes in their areas.

The Express and Echo flagged up its work to publicise local clubs and interviewed members asking how important the hobby was to their lives.

The Galloway News announced its sponsorship of a local sports awards at the start of the Week while The Citizen is flagging up the different ways it helps communities engage with the paper such as the Young Echo scheme which sees local school children write for a dedicated page of the paper each week.

The Oldham Evening Chronicle is running a series of articles over the course of the Week looking at all aspects of its place at the heart of the community. Some papers such as the Southern Daily Echo and Worcester News are running competitions in partnership with the NCTJ to find budding young journalists.

The Tenby Observer has run a detailed account of its history and The Huddersfield Daily Examiner told readers how it was adopting multimedia reporting in the digital age in a feature. 

The NS is the voice of Britain’s local media, the UK’s most trusted medium. It represents 1,100 newspapers, 1,700 websites and other print, digital and broadcast channels.