Our popularity may have waned but..

Journalists were once considered the second most unpopular professionals after estate agents.
Fighting Fake NewsFighting Fake News
Fighting Fake News

Sadly, following the furore over fake news, we are probably sitting at number one.

Unless we’ve been ousted by politicians.

Of course this is galling for most journalists, particularly those of us on local or regional papers, who spend most of our time checking facts, wading through nonsense and seeking truth with infinitely far less resource than the more infamous national newspapers, unscrupulous phone-tappers, clickbait websites and un-monitored online news sites that have seen our reputation sullied.

I’m not moaning.

It is what it is.

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A profession which seeks facts, digs out difficult issues and exposes wrongdoing with the world is never going to win a popularity contest - but we are essential.

Our role is to represent our communities and advocate on their behalf.

To ask the questions in a local area that national news outlets never will.

A national newspaper may sometimes be cheaper than us but you are paying for a one size fits all Big Mac, not a locally sourced, organic, artisan burger.

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What we need to do is let people know that we are trustworthy, that we never, with the exception of one tall tale on April 1, fabricate any part of a story. Our job is to gather and publish news, feature stories and issues that matter locally, not create the fake stuff.

Online we want to be first but if push comes to shove we would rather be second - but checked and authenticated.

Sometimes we do make mistakes (we are human) but we always try to put them right and you can ring us and tell us on a local number.

Local newspapers and websites are the most highly regulated of all media.

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All of our journalists are trained in media law, shorthand, public affairs, usually under the umbrella of the National Council for Training of Journalists (NCTJ)

Online, most websites are not regulated, and content producers rarely trained - the internet is such an unwieldy blame game of misinformation it is almost impossible to separate fact from fiction, opinion from truth.

So you may not want to like us, but you can trust us.