WITH this week marking Local Newspaper Week in the United Kingdom, the main political party leaders have spoken of their respect for local journalists who keep those in authority on their toes.
Prime Minister Theresa May states that local newspapers such as The News are at the heart of their communities.
Local newspapers do not always make for easy reading for politicians, but that is just as it should be.Theresa May, Prime Minister
She explained: ‘A strong and independent free press, unashamedly seeking out the truth and speaking that truth to power, is one of Britain’s proudest traditions. It is a pillar of our democracy.
‘It is important for us to remember that truthful, accurate and informed reporting from local papers can be a tremendous force for good.
‘Local newspapers do not always make for easy reading for politicians, but that is just as it should be.’
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said: ‘One of the first jobs I ever had was working as a reporter on a local newspaper in Shropshire, and I have been passionate about their role in local communities across the country ever since.
‘Local newspapers are central to our democracy and I am very pleased to give my backing to this year’s Local Newspaper Week.
‘Local papers do so much more than simply keeping their readers informed.
‘They are a glue that binds communities, celebrating local people’s achievements and accomplishments and, in equal measure, standing with them when challenges or obstacles arise.’
Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, added: ‘At a time when political ideas and arguments are being intensely debated and challenged, people rely on their local newspaper to cut through the spin and present them with the unvarnished facts about their candidates and what they stand for.
‘In the run up to the general election on June 8, it is essential for people to be able to access trustworthy information and make well-informed decisions.’