PRIME MINISTER Theresa May writes:
Great local newspapers are at the heart of their communities. They keep their readers informed and entertained, and help hold those of us in politics to account.
A strong and independent free press, unashamedly seeking out the truth and speaking that truth to power, is one of Britain’s proudest traditions. It is a pillar of our democracy.
The dedicated journalism of local reporters, combined with the campaigning muscle provided by trusted local titles, has helped to improve the lives of people in communities across the whole country.
It is important for us to remember that truthful, accurate and informed reporting from local papers can be a tremendous force for good.
Local newspapers do not always make for easy reading for politicians, but that is just as it should be. As the Government does all it can to ensure wealth and opportunity are spread across every community in our United Kingdom, I look forward to that work being scrutinized, challenged and reported on by a vibrant and vital local press.
Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn writes:
One of the first jobs I ever had was working as a reporter on a local newspaper in Shropshire, and I have been passionate about their role in local communities across the country ever since.
Local newspapers are central to our democracy and I am very pleased to give my backing to this year’s Local Newspaper Week.
Local papers do so much more than simply keeping their readers informed. They are a glue that binds communities, celebrating local people’s achievements and accomplishments and, in equal measure, standing with them when challenges or obstacles arise. By reflecting the concerns, hopes and aspirations of different sections of the local community, local papers foster a spirit of understanding and cooperation.
In this way, local papers will always make a difference to the towns, villages and cities which they serve.
Local papers are highly trusted and I am pleased to see the industry coming together to promote their credentials through the Fighting Fake News campaign. Through their unique insight to local matters, local newspapers can strengthen and promote democracy and the search for truth in the face of fake or fabricated news stories from other media sources.
I should add that I am a member of the National Union of Journalists and I admire that organisation's work to defend local news. I am delighted to give my support to local papers during Local Newspaper Week and wish them all the best for the future.
Liberal Democrat Party leader, Tim Farron writes:
The Liberal Democrats have always been strong advocates for the vital role that local newspapers play within a local community.
They are a critical component of democracy in this country and, in the run up to the general election on 8 June, the role of trusted local journalism becomes even more important than ever.
At a time when political ideas and arguments are being intensely debated and challenged, people rely on their local newspaper to cut through the spin and present them with the unvarnished facts about their candidates and what they stand for.
In the run up to the general election, it is essential for people to be able to access trustworthy information and make well-informed decisions. By investing in high quality local journalism, local newspapers enable and support this process which underpins democracy.
Local papers report in ways that are particularly relevant to their local communities. Through campaigns they galvanise the community on key local issues, as highlighted by the Making a Difference campaign. In doing so, local papers can produce real, tangible benefits for the communities they serve in a way that no other media can.
I believe passionately in a bright future for local newspapers and a free unfettered press because they are so important for our democracy. Anything which impinges upon the ability of local papers to hold power to account must be resisted.
During Local Newspaper Week, it is right for us to reflect on the vital role played by local press in this country. Highly trusted local news is the bedrock of democracy and the Liberal Democrats will always do everything we can to foster and support it.