Local Newspaper Week, the annual event organised by the Newspaper Society to celebrate the local press, begins on Monday with support from the likes of John Humphrys, John Sergeant, Piers Morgan and Kelvin MacKenzie.
Both Humphrys and Sergeant have recorded video messages of support for the local press.
Humphrys who worked on the Penarth Times and Western Mail says: “Local newspapers hold local authorities to account. Whether you’re reporting the local court or council, local papers bring the way the community works into everybody’s home. If we don’t have local newspapers who is going to do that? If people don’t know what is going on in their community, how are they going to hold to account the people that run their lives? In the end, that is the point of local newspapers. They are essential.”
Sergeant, who started on the Liverpool Echo, says: “Local papers are not just amazing training grounds for people like me, but they also infuse the community with that lifeblood of information, democracy and informed comment. Without local newspapers you don’t get a proper sense of community; you get no ordinary way of living.”
Video of Humphrys and Sergeant will feature on the Local Newspaper Week website and is available to local newspaper editors for use on their own websites.
Also quoted on the website is Piers Morgan : “Local newspapers are the lifeblood and the heartbeat of towns and cities up and down the country, and educate, inform and entertain local residents in equal measure in a way that national newspapers never can.”
And Kelvin MacKenzie: “If there’s no local paper to call the council to account for increasing council tax when we've got deflation who else is going to cover it?"