Ed Balls Supports Local Publishers Fighting Fake News

In an article for this year’s Local Newspaper Week, former Shadow Chancellor and Strictly Come Dancing 2016 contestant Ed Balls champions the important role that local newspapers play in distributing highly trusted news.

In the article, which is available on the LNW website for local papers to run during LNW (15-21 May) as part of their coverage, Ed writes of the role that highly trusted local journalism plays and how it defends and enhances democracy.

Ed writes: “During my time as an MP, I saw first-hand how local papers underpin the democratic process at a local level, whether through holding local councils to account, conducting investigations to expose wrongdoing or reporting on the courts.”

He continues: “Local newspaper readers know that their local paper is on their side and they trust what they read in its pages. Online, local news media content is nearly three times more trusted than social media content.

“We must ensure that the people and businesses who want to invest their time and resources in creating and distributing highly trusted local news content are able to continue to do so.”

Ed’s article will appear in local papers alongside a piece by broadcaster and adventurer Ben Fogle who has written an article in defence of press freedom citing the importance of highly trusted local journalism in the fight against fake news. 

Run by Local Media Works, LNW will celebrate the high levels of trust placed in local media and the fight against fake news through trusted local journalism alongside Making a Difference which celebrates powerful local newspaper campaigning.

Local papers will participate by running LNW-themed initiatives highlighting their role underpinning democracy in communities across the UK and the particular importance of local media in the run up to the general election.  Supporters can also participate by backing the Making a Difference Thunderclap.

As part of the LNW activity, members of the public will be invited to vote their favourite local newspaper campaign from a showcase of 28 powerful Making a Difference campaigns on the LNW website.

The vote will go live at the start of LNW and the winner will be announced by NMA chairman Ashley Highfield at the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards on 19 May.