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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Local newspapers: A special relationship underpinning community life

Community in Cumbria is as important to people who live here as is food, drink, the landscapes we love, the friends we cherish.

David Helliwell photo
David Helliwell

And at the heart of Cumbria’s communities are local newspapers reporting, recording, reflecting and championing local lives and choices. It’s a special partnership of trust and respect. And it thrives here.

It is this relationship which sets Cumbria apart from many other parts of the country. Local papers and local people engage with each other closely with a common purpose to serve a well-defined, perfectly understood community interest.

The Cumberland News Promise Life campaign is a perfect example of the role of the truly local newspaper. Our responsibility to the communities we serve is to give a voice to those people who may not otherwise be heard.

We take that duty seriously. It is why journalists on this and our sister papers chose their work. To make a discernible difference to the lives they share every day – at work, at home, as neighbours.

Newspapers are under scrutiny in several respects right now. Some national titles have been identified as having been less than honest with readers; found wanting in their dealings with police, politicians and those people whose stories they sourced through underhand – sometimes illegal – means.

Other regional papers in larger cities and metropolitan centres are experiencing the difficulties loss of faith and reader-involvement can bring.

Here at Cumbrian Newspapers we have no truck with deceit – why would we deceive our own? We are proud of the faith our readers invest in us and remain committed to the community activities, support of charities and events that make us an important part of local life.

Promise Life is our latest campaign in a long tradition of championing the needs of our communities and we make no apology for appealing again for your customary fulsome support. Not only in Local Newspaper Week but – as has been shown so many times over many long years of our close partnership – every week.

Editor David Helliwell said: “Newspapers are about people. Our job is really simple, we tell people’s stories with words and pictures, in paper or on a website.

“Newspapers like ours have built up trust with the local community through decades. There are many people who expect us to be their voice. If they get a raw deal, feel they’ve been let down or just can’t get their voice heard they turn to us.

“It’s a responsibility and a privilege that we take seriously and will continue to cherish.”

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