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Editor's comment: Matt recognises the power of the press, says Barry Peters

Editor Barry Peters
Editor Barry Peters

We must do everything possible to protect and support local newspapers. Everything starts locally – and we mustn’t lose our local perspective.

Well, you would expect me to say that after 35 years in the industry. But those words are not mine – they are from Culture Secretary Matt Hancock, writing in today’s newspaper.

Those 35 years have seen wholesale changes for me and you – editor and reader. Newspapers used to break news in print. This is now done principally online on one platform or another but still 42 million of us in the UK read a local paper. That’s staggering in the world of Twitter and Facebook.

The government now recognises, thankfully, the value of newspapers and journalists to free speech and education. A diet of clickbait and performing animals can be a little uneasy on the stomach.

So while I have to declare a vested interest in Mr Hancock’s words, please take a moment to reflect on how much poorer we would be without local news, written locally.


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