Jeremy Hunt Says Local Newspapers More Trusted Than Any Other Media  

Local news media has an “incredible reach” of 40 million people each week and commands a level of trust which is unrivalled by other media, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said this week.

Speaking at a Newspaper Conference lunch on Tuesday, the Health Secretary singled out the Hull Daily Mail’s Kids in Crisis campaign – which was shortlisted for this year’s Making a Difference award – as an example of brilliant local newspaper campaigning.

Addressing an audience of Westminster-based regional press political correspondents at the lunch, Mr Hunt spoke at length about the NHS and local health services and also gave his views on the EU referendum. 

Speaking about local press, the Health Secretary said: “We are always told by Number 10 that we must give much, much, more attention to the regional press than we typically do because you have this incredible reach, 40 million people, but also this trust with your readership that is unparalleled.”

Mr Hunt was asked by Patrick Daly, parliamentary correspondent for the Bristol Post, Hull Daily Mail and Grimsby Telegraph, about the Hull Daily Mail’s Kids in Crisis campaign  to raise the standard of children’s mental health services in the area, and the role of local papers in bringing issues such as mental health to light.  

Mr Hunt responded:  “What you do, what you have to do if you’re going to survive and thrive, is to really be in touch with what your readers and listeners and viewers care about, and they care about nothing more than local health provision.

“So I think mental health is a brilliant thing to campaign on because it’s been a Cinderella service for a long time in the NHS,” the Health Secretary added.     

The Newspaper Conference – the regional press lobby in Westminster – is chaired by Archant group political editor Annabelle Dickson. The News Media Association provides a secretariat service for the Conference.