‘Local press is about communities. We need their voices to be heard more than ever’: West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith

ks170955-10 Aldingbourne Primary Walk phot kate'Leader of West Sussex County Council, Louise Goldsmith supporting the event.ks170955-10 SUS-180312-122828003
ks170955-10 Aldingbourne Primary Walk phot kate'Leader of West Sussex County Council, Louise Goldsmith supporting the event.ks170955-10 SUS-180312-122828003

West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith has backed the Observer’s new campaign – #buyapaper

The campaign was launched last week to highlight the important role the local press plays.

Local newspapers and their websites, like the Chichester Observer and www.chichester.co.uk, are the most trusted providers of news in this country.

They are also fierce defenders of the communities they serve.

But to train journalists to the highest professional standards and to deliver the quality of writing and research on which readers rely costs money.

So across Britain, the #buyapaper campaign was launched, urging residents to purchase a copy of their local title every week.

Newspapers have been in existence for more than 300 years, and in recent years the online version of this paper, and many others, has grown exponentially.

But the importance we place on the integrity of our journalism has not changed.

Our priorities are our communities and our focus is unwavering – if it affects our readers we are interested.

This week, Mrs Goldsmith backed the campaign, saying local newspapers give the community ‘a voice they would not otherwise have’.

She said: “Every week I buy the Chichester Observer and it is, in my opinion, a must read for every politician.

“It provides the latest news from the surrounding area and gives a really useful insight into the views of our community. The letters page in particular, helps us understand the concerns of residents.

“Sometimes it is difficult reading – but that is what it should be. The freedom of the press is part of living in a democratic society. The role of a journalist is a responsible one – we need to hear the stories – well written and crafted. There have been so many times over the years that a curious journalist has highlighted injustices or raised an important issue and that is to be applauded.

“We are very well served by our local press as we have been for very many years. The West Sussex Gazette is another newspaper that has been around for a very long time.

“When I first moved into Chichester I learned a lot about the area from reading the Observer – indeed, I found my home through the property pages!

“Local press is about communities. Its role is to raise issues and give people in the community a voice they would not otherwise have. We need their voices to be heard more than ever which is why I wholeheartedly support this campaign – so pick up a local paper every week.”

How you can help campaign

The #buyapaper campaign was not our idea – it came from readers of local news up and down the country who wanted to support us.

You can give that support very easily – please use our website, follow us on social media and, just as importantly, buy a paper. We will repay you by continuing to focus everything we do on reporting the local news and the issues that affect you. Buy a copy of this newspaper every week. Encourage one friend, neighbour or colleague to do the same. And consider buying a year-long subscription to the title as a Christmas present. Visit www.localsubsplus.co.uk for more information.