Local Press Launches Fighting Fake News Campaign

In the run up to this year’s Local Newspaper Week, local press publishers are coming together to launch the first ever print and digital campaign against fake news and highlight the very high levels of trust that readers place in local newspapers.

Launching on 3 May, Fighting Fake News will see local newspapers across the UK carry editorial and graphics highlighting the industry’s highly trusted credentials and the importance of local newspapers in reporting on the upcoming general election.

Papers will highlight the checks and balances involved in reporting local news and the investment required to produce local journalism as opposed to distributing fake news to profit from opaque programmatic advertising.

The campaign will also highlight the highly-trusted environment which local papers provide for advertisers and commercial partners, following an open letter to advertisers from publishers in the 1XL network earlier this month.  

Coordinated through Local Media Works, the local marketing arm of the News Media Association, Fighting Fake News will run up to and complement Local Newspaper Week which highlights local newspapers’ ability to make a difference for their communities through campaigning.

News Media Association chairman Ashley Highfield said: “The critical role of local newspapers in providing local communities with highly trusted news and advertising platforms is even more important than ever in the run up to the general election.

“Through their reporting, local newspapers uphold, promote and support democracy, fighting against the fake news which undermines and subverts it. We must champion the vital democratic function of local newspapers now, more than ever.”

Fighting Fake News will run up to and through Local Newspaper Week (15 to 21 May) which, through Making a Difference, will see the local newspaper industry come together to celebrate the campaigning achievements of local newspapers.

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

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