Work of local press hailed

The Scottish Conservative Party Conference 2011 was held at the Dewars Centre, Perth. Pictured during the afternoon session is the Prime Minister David Cameron giving his speech. 18th March 2011. Pictured by JANE BARLOW
The Scottish Conservative Party Conference 2011 was held at the Dewars Centre, Perth. Pictured during the afternoon session is the Prime Minister David Cameron giving his speech. 18th March 2011. Pictured by JANE BARLOW

this week is Local Newspaper Week, which celebrates the key role played in local communities by newspapers like your Cumbernauld News and Kilsyth Chronicle.

Week in, week out, we do our best to make sure you know what’s going on in your patch - , from the big news stories to the smaller - but no less important - community items.

We’re the paper people turn to when they’re getting married, buying or selling a house or looking for a local service.

We’re also the paper local firms choose to advertise in - because they know we reach far deeper into the hearts of local communities than the national press ever can.

We’re also proud to stand up for our readers when we think they’re getting a hard time from those in authority, or when we think there’s something that they need to be told about.

And our photographers are on hand to record those big moments in people’s lives - starting school, moving up to secondary, retiring. Our sports pages frequently highlight the local people who enhance ou area’s reputation with their achievements both on and off the field.

Local newspapers have a high profile fan in the Prime Minister, David Cameron, who has lent his support to Local Newspaper Week.

Mr Cameron said: “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.

“In the weeks and months ahead, I expect local papers to continue to scrutinise everything this government does in their area and act as a voice for their readers.

“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.

“That could be by campaigning on local issues, highlighting local clubs, groups, businesses and societies and encouraging people to get involved, or championing local people who are playing their part to make their community a better place. By shining a spotlight on this good work, local papers persuade others to do more - and I want to see more of it. “