Today marks the start of Local Newspaper Week.
It is the annual celebration of the part local newspapers and their partner websites play in keeping their communities reliably informed with the latest news, sport and adverts.
Under its major theme of Making a Difference, it is also an opportunity to remind our audiences of how we have served them in the past by campaigning on their behalf on a particular
issue or helping raise money for a worthy cause.
Here in South Shields, for instance, scores of people signed up to volunteer for Age UK after reading about our No One Should Have No One campaign in late 2015 to end loneliness
across South Tyneside.
Gavin Foster, the managing editor of Northeast Press, publishers of the Shields Gazette, said: “Gazette readers have never been backward at coming forward to us to help others or
support our campaigns and that shows both how generous they are and how they trust what we say is true. It is a relationship which has prospered for more than 100 years and we are
proud to continue fighting for our community and helping those in need.”
Another element of this week’s campaign is fighting the rising tide of fake news.
Nor does fake news cover news in its traditional format. Only last week we warned our website readers about a rise in the number of consumers conned out of cash by bogus internet
Advice to counter further incidents was offered by Tony Neate, the chief executive of not-for-profit safety experts Get Safe Online.
Mr Neate said: “Local newspapers are a trusted source of local news who are signed up to editors’ codes and who know if they write something that is wrong that they can end up getting
“We have worked with them countless times in the past and will do so again in the future because of their reputation.”
Given the onslaught of bogus websites and online headlines linked to last year’s American election race, internet users following next month’s General Election in this country need to be
even more careful than normal with what they read.
Sticking with our trusted diet of news, sport and advertisers is a trusted way to start.