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The events of 2020 have shown why journalism matters - and here’s what you can do to protect it

PUBLISHED: 05:27 05 October 2020

Balanced, fair and non-sensationalist reporting has been so important during the pandemic. Picture: PA Images

Balanced, fair and non-sensationalist reporting has been so important during the pandemic. Picture: PA Images

Archant

Editor David Powles on the campaign to highlight why journalism continues to matter and make a difference to communities.

Balanced, fair and non-sensationalist reporting has been so important during the pandemic. Picture: PA ImagesBalanced, fair and non-sensationalist reporting has been so important during the pandemic. Picture: PA Images

Journalism Matters.

That’s the title of an annual campaign that kicks off again this week; a chance for the news media industry to shout about the good work we do for our regions and for our society as a whole.

Never before have those two words held as much resonance as they do in 2020. Journalism matters more than ever in a pandemic, when there is a pressing need for accurate local information from trusted sources rather than the wild speculation on social media. Journalism matters more than ever in lockdown, when those excluded from digital news by age, by social status or by choice, rely on the regular arrival of their paper to keep in touch with their community and the world outside.

During these challenging last few months, my team and I have felt keenly our responsibility to keep you informed, to keep readers connected and to keep supporting the businesses that serve our regions.

Editor David Powles. Photo : Steve AdamsEditor David Powles. Photo : Steve Adams

So we provided verified news, data and explainers on the Covid-19 outbreak in whatever forms you wanted it - in print, on our websites, via our social media channels and newsletters. We highlighted the amazing work being done by local residents and we called out national and local authorities, when we were justified in saying that their response was not good enough.

We offered free delivery for our newspapers to help vulnerable readers and gave free publicity to the local firms who innovated in order to survive. We were there with you and you were there with us in huge numbers, supporting us by buying papers and visiting our websites just as we supported you. Thank you.

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Together, we face more uncertain times ahead. Many industries remain in a precarious state, and the news media business is no different.

Chris Goreham, of BBC Radio Norfolk Picture: SubmittedChris Goreham, of BBC Radio Norfolk Picture: Submitted

Our industry has set out several proposals for how the government can help us out by reducing the huge imbalance in bargaining power between the news media and the giant tech companies. You can read more about these proposals at www.newsmediauk.org.

You can help by emailing or writing to your MP and asking them to put pressure on the government to implement these proposals. You can write to them at House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA of find their email address on their respective websites.

If you prefer to read our work in print, please guarantee yourself a copy by taking out a subscription. You can do this by calling 01603 772138 or emailing readerservices@archant.co.uk.

If you are reading on your smartphone, laptop or tablet, you can help out by pledging a one-off or recurring amount to support our journalism. Just click on the ‘Become A Supporter’ boxes on our sites and in our newsletters.

The worst of circumstances has shown the best of local journalism. As we move forward, news media will be a critical part of our recovery by continuing to keep the you informed and also by providing a unique boost to local business.

So if you agree that Journalism Matters, get behind our news media industry so that it can continue to perform this vital role and deliver the journalism we all want to read.

Editor David Powles will be discussing Journalism Matters, the future of the news media industry and what it takes to edit in a digital, post-pandemic age in a special live Q&A hosted by the BBC’s Chris Goreham at 3pm on Thursday, October 8. You can send questions in advance to david.powles@archant.co.uk, marking ‘Editor Q&A’ in the subject field, and sign up to join us live on the same email address.


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This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

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